My Grandmother's Amazing Challah
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: One 1½ loaf of challah
 
Total rising time: 2 hours
This challah is different in that it doesn't rise as high as your basic challah. The egg yolks make it dense and doughy in a good way! Everyone raves about it and begs me to make it!
ingredients:
  • 3¾ - 4¼ cups bread flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup tepid water
  • ¼ cup of sugar (I add an extra 2 tablespoons, but that's optional)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • A scant ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup tepid water
  • Egg wash - beat together 1 large egg plus one egg yolk
directions:
  1. In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup tepid water. Cover and let bloom until foamy.
  2. Place 1 cup of the flour into a large bowl. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and pour the bloomed yeast into it. Mix the bloomed yeast into some of the flour from the sides of the hole, covering lightly with flour. Place in warm place, covered with towel.
  3. When the batter rises and looks foamy, add oil, sugar, salt, eggs yolks and remaining ¾ water, then mix until batter like. Slowly start to add remaining flour until you get a nice, non-sticky, somewhat firm ball of dough. You may or may not use all the flour, depending on many factors like the weather etc.
  4. Remove from bowl, and knead on a floured surface for 10 - 15 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  6. When risen, gently punch/fold down the dough and remove from bowl to a floured surface. Cut into desired amounts of strands, rolling each to about 18-21 inches, tapering the ends, and braid, using one of the videos above if you need help in doing so.
  7. Place braid on a greased or parchment/silpat lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap (I like to lightly grease the plastic wrap prior to placing it on top of the braid) and let rise for about another hour until doubled in size.
  8. Right after covering braid to rise, preheat oven to 350F.
  9. Once doubled in size, remove plastic wrap and brush all over with egg wash.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees about 30-35 minutes until golden brown, brushing with more egg wash half way through baking, if desired.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to a baking rack and cool completely before slicing.
notes:
You can make this challah dough in a bread machine on the dough cycle following the manufacturer's directions. Just don't bloom the yeast first, layering 1 full cup of water, and all the flour (start with the least amount and add more flour as the machine starts to mix, if needed, until it feels as described in the above recipe), along with the other ingredients, according to your bread machine's instructions (you know how it is, some go wet ingredients first, dry ingredients last - others dry ingredients first, wet ingredients last)
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2009/07/06/a-unique-twist-on-challah-2/