Sharon's Recipes

December: Challa Bread

This is my favorite Challa recipe, and my father’s. It was given to me by a friend in Concord, NH many years ago. It is great fresh and makes wonderful french toast as well as bread pudding. Both treats for the holiday season.

Mix 2 packages of dry yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water with a pinch of sugar. Set aside to rise.

Beat 5 whole eggs and 3/4 cups of sugar. Add the above mixture. Mix in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1.5 cups of warm water, and 1 T. of kosher salt. Beat till well combined.

Gradually add 9-10 cups of flour. Beat till smooth after the first 3 cups. I use half bread flour and half King Arthur white. Knead till smooth and place in a well greased covered bowl to rise in a warm place.

Punch down three times, letting it fully rise after each punching. Divide the dough into thirds, and each of those thirds into thirds again. Braid the three loaves. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Beat one egg with 1 – 2 T. of water. Brush the tops of each loaf with the mixture. Sprinkle with either poppy or sesame seeds. Place in a warm oven, 140 for 20 minutes. Raise temp to 200 for 15 minutes. Raise again to 275 for 15 minutes. Turn the sheets, raise the temp again to 375 for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown.


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