Perfect for Sunday Pot Roasts or Easter, Challah is a rich and sweet pillow-y bread that is traditionally served every week for the Sabbath and major Jewish holidays.
Servings: 20+ people (2 large loaves or 4 small loaves)
3 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
5 large eggs
1 tbsp. salt
8 cups all-purpose flour
Poppy seeds or sesame seeds, for garnishing
2 tbsp. honey, for baking
1 large egg, for baking
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar, yeast, and 1 3/4 cups warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
Add the olive oil and eggs into the bowl. Mix until smooth.
Add the flour, then using the dough hook attachment, knead on low speed for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to knead on medium until the dough is smooth and pliable, about 4-5 minutes.
Transfer the dough ball to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm environment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled. To speed up the process, place the covered bowl in the oven with the light on.
Punch down the dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Slice the dough into two equal pieces. Working on one piece at a time, slice the dough into 4-6 smaller pieces. With your hands, roll out each smaller piece into a long strand. Begin the braid the loaf with the 4-6 long dough strands. For a straight loaf, tuck the very ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist the braided dough into a circle and pinch the ends together. Repeat with the second large piece of dough.
Place the braided loaves on a large baking sheet with 2-3 inches in between.
Let the dough rise 30 minutes in a warm environment.
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a small bowl, whisk the honey and egg together. Brush the mixture over each braided loaf, then garnish with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until golden. Allow the bread to cool for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy!