- 2 ounce active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 6 cups of warm water
- 4 tablespoons of kosher salt
- 1 (6-pound) bag of high-gluten flour
- 2 cups of sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
- 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
Optional Crumb Topping:
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 6 tablespoons of margarine
- 1/4 cups of oil
Daniella’s personal notes are in bold italics
- In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and 3 tablespoons of sugar in 2 cups of warm water, cover loosely with a towel and set aside – Let it bubble and rise for about 10 minutes.
- Place salt in a huge plastic bowl.
- Add flour to bowl.
- Add sugar and egg yolks – Beat the egg yolks before you add them in or your dough might be streaky with yolks.
- Yeast should now have bubbled/foamed and double in size, if yeast has not bubbled or does not seem active repeat the process again.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and slowly pour yeast and sugar water mixture into the well. Then add the remaining 4 cups of warm water into the well. Make sure the water is not too hot. It should be no warmer than you would use for a baby’s bath.
- Start kneading ingredients together and add a 1/2 cup of oil.
- For the next 10 minutes, knead, adding another 1/2 cup of oil slowly during that time as needed to create workable dough. Dough shouldn’t be too sticky and also should not be dry. It should become one cohesive mass – Don’t be discouraged this will take some time, just keep working it. It’s a good arm workout 🙂 if you feel the dough isn’t coming together add up to 1/4 cup more oil.
- Loosely cover dough with a large kitchen towel and place in a warm spot in your kitchen for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, lightly oil your hands and knead again for another 5 minutes adding a touch more of oil if necessary. The dough should now be easier to work with and will become smooth and satiny.
- Rub a little oil over the top and around the dough. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel. Place bowl in a medium plastic bag and place open ends of the bag loosely underneath the bowl, trapping in air.
- Place in a warm spot and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch dough down and knead (lightly oil your hands if necessary), flipping it and releasing any air bubbles. Cover again, using the towel and the bag, and let rise 1 more hour – Instead of one hour, let it rise over night in the garbage bag & by the morning your dough will be huge and fluffy.
- Lightly oil your hands, and punch down again. With a sharp knife divide dough into 4 equal parts.
- Liberally spray baking pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Brush challahs with beaten eggs and sprinkle with a combination of poppy and sesame seeds – Instead of seeds, sprinkle the tops with the sweet crumb mixture.
- Bake at 375 for 10 minutes and then lower your over temperature to 350F and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, until challah tops are dark golden brown.
Optional Crumb Topping:
- Mix all ingredients together by hand.
- Do not over mix – your crumbs should have lumps in all different sizes.
- Sprinkle over dough after brushing dough with egg.