I recently hosted a few boys for a friend’s son’s Bar Mitzvah. As a token of appreciation for hosting these teenage boys, my friend sent over some delicious baked goods and the most delicious challah ever. This challah was everything that one can imagine a challah to be. It was beautiful. It was moist. It was just perfect.
I asked her for the recipe and she gave it to me. It may just become my new simply the best challah recipe!
3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon dry yeast
2 cups sugar
4 cups warm water
1 1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon salt
5 pounds bread or high-gluten flour
Place yeast, sugar and warm water in bowl. Let sit for a few minutes until yeast gets a little bubbly.
Add eggs and oil to the yeast mixture and stir.
In separate large metal bowl, mix flour with salt. Add the yeast, water, eggs and oil mixture to the salted flour. Knead until smooth, making sure that the flour is fully incorporated.
Cover with plastic wrap and then a dry dish towel. Let rise 1 1/2-2 hours.
Add a dusting of flour if the dough is too sticky to shape. Shape into challah loaves and let rise for 45 minutes more. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with your favorite topping.
Depending on size of challah, bake 35-55 min at 350 degrees F. Challah is ready when golden brown on top and bottom of challahs no longer look doughy.
I published this recipe just as my friend gave it to me. When I prepare this recipe, I start the yeast with just a few tablespoons of the sugar and the warm water, reserving the rest of the sugar to mix in later with the eggs and the oil. This way, if the yeast does not bubble, I have not wasted all that much sugar.
Since my Kitchen Aid does not accommodate all five (5) pounds of flour at a time, I divide this recipe into half and prepare half of the recipe in each Kitchen Aid bowl. I combine and knead the ingredients separately and then place the dough from both bowls together for rising, for separating the challah with a brocha and then for braiding.
This recipe makes about 6 medium challahs.
For a healthier version, you may substitute half of the bread flour for whole wheat flour.
For an interesting topping, prepare and sprinkle your own everything mix right before baking: DIY Everything Mix Topping: Perfect for Breadsticks and Challah