How to Make Challah Bread
- IN a large bowl, dissolve yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 3/4 cups of lukewarm water.
- Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs one at a time, and remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. when dough holds together, it is ready for kneading.
- Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth. place dough into greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, let rise in a warm place or( 150 degree oven that has been turned off, this works well for me, bread doesn't seem to rise quickly for me) for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. Punch down dough cover and let rise again in a warm place for an half hour.
- knead the raising into the dough. Cut dough in half and form into 6 balls. roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inch wide. Pinch the tops of the 6 strands together.
- Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.
- Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour. If baking immediately preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again.
- Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Take bread out when internal temperature of 190 degrees. cool loaves on rack.
- NOTES: any of the three rising can be done in the fridge for a few hours, for more deeply developed flavor. When ready to work again, bring it back to room temperature before moving to next step.