3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 (1/4 ounce) packages dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups warm water (80 -90)
1 egg, beaten
poppy seed (optional) or sesame seed (optional)
Directions (be prepared...it's long!)
1 First measure out all your ingredients.
2 Now from the 1/2 of cup sugar take 1 tablespoon of the sugar & combine it with the yeast& warm water (you know you have the right temperature of warm water when it's the same temperature as the inside of your wrist).
3 I let my mixer bowl which is metal (kitchen aid) sit in a hot water bath while the yeast dissolves, 10 minutes.
4 After the yeast has dissolved (it's nice & foamy) add to it the rest of the sugar, salt & 3 1/2 cups flour.
5 Mix well (I use the bread hook).
6 Add egg (already beaten) & oil.
7 Slowly start mixing in most of the remaining 3 1/2 cups of flour.
8 The dough will become quite thick.
9 When the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, turn it onto a floured surface& knead for approximately 10 minute.
10 Add only enough additional flour to make dough manageable.
11 Knead until dough has acquired a "life of its own"; it should be smooth & elastic, springing back when pressed lightly with your fingertip.
12 Place dough into a large oiled bowl turning the dough once so its oiled on all sides.
13 Cover with a damp towel & let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, punching down in 4-5 places every 20 minutes.
14 Now, I always write down what time I started so I don't forget when the 2 hours are up & set a timer every 20 minutes.
15 After the 2 hours, turn your dough onto your working surface.
16 Now comes the forming part.
17Prepare your baking sheet lining it with parchment paper.
18Preheat oven to 375°F.
19 First, take a large knife & cut the dough in half.
20Next, from each 1/2 now cut off a third & place the 2 thirds on the side.
21 Now, from the first half (where you've removed a third) divide the remaining dough into approximately equal thirds.
22 Roll each third out till its about 10-12 inches (I'm guessing I never measured it) & braid all 3 roll together pinching the top & bottom half together& turning them slightly under.
23 Place on baking sheet.
24 Now take the first third you removed earlier& divide in 3, braid just like you did before& place on top of the already braided challah.
25 Repeat with the second half of the dough
26 Now let the challah rise for 1/2 an hour.
29 After the challah has risen glaze with beaten egg & add poppyseed or sesame if you wish.
30 Almost done!
31 Put in preheated oven & let bake for exactly 25 minutes!
32Turn off oven & leave Challahs in for exactly another 10 minutes!
33Remove from oven.
34 Enjoy the bread and the compliments!!!!