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Challah

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
5 lbs High Gluten Flour
4 TBS Kosher Salt
5 Cups Water
4 TBS Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Sugar
1.25 Cups Olive OIl
1 (optional) Egg, beaten
(optional) Seeds

Challah

A Water Challah Recipe

Cuisine:

    Challah is a traditional Jewish bread made for Shabbat and Simchot. These days, you can find this rich bread on many NYC menus. It’s very popular for french toast. :)

    • 3 Hours
    • Serves 48
    • Medium

    Ingredients

    Directions

    Share

    Challah is a traditional Jewish bread made for Shabbat and simchot (celebrations).  These days, you can find this hearty bread on many NYC menus. It’s very popular for french toast because of its richness. 🙂

    This recipe is very special to me.  I’ve been baking challah by hand for a few years.  I created this recipe during that time by making weekly challot for my family and experimenting with the ingredients.  But more importantly, I was learning and perfecting technique. The quality of your challah is far more about technique than ingredients.  

    I also prefer to make my challah with my own two hands.  No machines were used to create this dough! With practice, I have come to know what my dough should feel like and can now troubleshoot problems very quickly.  There is also a deep satisfaction for me in the forming and kneading of the dough by hand. I feel a real sense of accomplishment and a personal connection to the mitzvah of taking challah.  (If you would like information on the mitzvah of l’hafrish challah, please ask your lor or check out this link.)

    This recipe can be made in advance and frozen for convenience.  This quantity of dough will make 4 large challahs OR 6 medium challahs OR 24 challah rolls.

    You’ll need: Dough cutter, rolling pin, very large bowl

    Happy Cooking! Be sure to comment.  I’d love to see your pictures, answer your questions and hear your experiences.  If you like my content, please subscribe and follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  

    #BetheMasterofMealtime   #CandidlyDelicious

     

    Steps

    1
    Done

    Bring Water up to between 110-115 degrees

    2
    Done

    In a small bowl, combine the yeast and 1 TBS of the Sugar. Add 1 Cup of preheated water. Whisk to combine, then let stand for 5 Minutes.

    3
    Done

    While waiting for the yeast to bloom, combine the Flour, Salt and remaining Sugar in a very large bowl (20 qt is ideal).

    4
    Done

    Create a well in the flour with your hand and pour in the proofing liquid. Use a bit of the hot water to get the last bit of yeast from the small bowl and pour that into the flour. Mix by hand, adding all but one cup of the remaining water and mixing it thoroughly.

    5
    Done

    Set aside 1 TBS of Olive Oil. Add the rest to the flour mixture. Mix in by hand, using a punch and fold technique to knead thoroughly. Slowly add water from the last cup as needed. You may not need all of it. You will know the dough is the right consistency when it no longer sticks to your hands and all of the crumbs from the bowl are incorporated.

    6
    Done

    After the right amount of water is added, knead the dough for 5 minutes.

    7
    Done

    Cover the ball of dough with the reserved Olive Oil. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest in a warm area for 1 hour. The dough should rise up and fill the bowl.

    8
    Done

    Remove the plastic wrap. Knead the dough for 3-4 Minutes. At this point, you would perform the mitzvah of separating challah or L’Hafrish Challah.

    9
    Done

    Now, you can divide and braid your dough. Specific instructions for braiding in the video (coming soon). This dough will make 6 medium loaves or 4 large loaves or 24 challah rolls. The braided loaves can then be placed on a parchment-lined sheetpan or inside of a lightly greased oval challah pan or a lightly greased rectangular loaf pan.

    10
    Done

    After your dough is shaped how you like, cover again and let rise another 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375.

    11
    Done

    After final rising, brush the tops of the challahs GENTLY with beaten egg and add any seeds you desire (or none!) This step can be skipped if you are sensitive or allergic to eggs. If you want seeds but cannot use egg, brush the tops with a bit of nut milk and then add the seeds.

    12
    Done

    Immediately bake loaves or rolls at 375 for 45 minutes. If you are baking two pans at once (using the top and bottom racks), then switch the pans half-way through cooking for even browning.

    13
    Done

    Finished challahs should be placed on a rack to cook as soon as you are able. Do not allow them to cool in or on a pan. If desired, challahs can be gently rewarmed by wrapping in foil and placing on a warming plate or in the oven. Only after they are completely cooled, challahs should be stored in an airtight plastic bag. The bread will keep a couple of days at room temperature, 3-4 days in the fridge, or can be frozen for a few months and pulled out when needed.

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