Traditional Challah

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Traditional Challah

My grandmother's original recipe said "8 hands flour", "1/2 hand sugar." Like that. I worked it out and this is truly wonderful bread. It makes one large loaf, which I advise making because there's never enough! (But you can make this into two smaller loaves or halve the recipe). You can make the challah in a food processor (half or whole recipe depending on the size of the machine).

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 1 large challah ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 8-8-1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon water

Preparation

Preparation

1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar and a pinch of flour. Stir, set aside and let rest for 5 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly.
2 In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine 7-1/2 cups flour with the remaining sugar and salt. In a small bowl, mix 4 of the eggs, the vegetable oil and the lukewarm water.
3 Add to the flour mixture. Add the yeast mixture. Blend ingredients thoroughly. Using the kneading hook, knead for 4-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary to make sure the dough is not sticky.
4 Cover the bowl of dough and put it in a warm place to rise for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough, cover the bowl and let rise again for 30-40 minutes or until doubled.
5 Remove the dough to a floured surface. Cut dough in 3 or 6 pieces for each of either one large or 2 smaller loaves. Make long strands out of the pieces. Braid the strands. Place the braided dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
6 Beat the last egg with the teaspoon of water. Brush this over the surface of the bread. Let rise again for 30 minutes.
7 Bake for about 30 minutes for large loaf, 22-25 minutes for smaller ones (they should be firm and golden brown).

Special instructions

My grandmother's original recipe said "8 hands flour", "1/2 hand sugar." Like that. I worked it out and this is truly wonderful bread. It makes one large loaf, which I advise making because there's never enough! (But you can make this into two smaller loaves or halve the recipe). You can make the challah in a food processor (half or whole recipe depending on the size of the machine).