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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Basic Challah

2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water plus 1/2 cup for yeast mixture
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for yeast mixture
6 cups of flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup oil
5 large eggs

Dissolve yeast in 1 teaspoon and 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand until bubbly.
Sift together the flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. add 1 cup of warm water, oil, 4 eggs, and the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Knead until firm and very smooth, either by hand or in a food processor.

Place dough in a large greased bowl. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Let rise until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. Punch down and let stand for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough in half Make three stands out of each half and braid two loaves. Place loaves on greased baking sheets. Cover and let stand until double in size, about 45 minutes.

Make an egg wash with the remaining egg and water. Brush the tops and sides of the challahs with the wash. Bake in preheated 375 degree over for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Makes two loaves.

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