Maya’s Challah

Source: Chai Times , Nov. 2009

Yields: 1 v. large or 2 medium challot


1 envelope of dry active yeast (equal to 2 ¼ tsp. or 7g)
½ tsp. granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
3 to 4 cups plain flour
2 to 3 tsp. salt
2 to 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten

1 egg
2 tbsp. sesame or poppy seeds, if desired


Place yeast, ½ tsp. sugar and 1 cup water in a small jug or bowl. Mix with a fork and let sit while you prepare the wet mixture. In about five minutes, the yeast will foam up to indicate it is activated.

Place salt, sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Whisk until frothy. Add foamy yeast mixture and combine well.

Add a cup of flour at a time until the dough is firm enough that it can be turned out onto a clean, flat surface to be kneaded. It should still be somewhat sticky, though!

Sprinkle the surface with flour and knead dough. Knead extra flour into the dough as needed to bring to a consistency that no longer sticks to your hands and is smooth and elastic to the touch.

Place kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a damp dishtowel and pout in a warm, draft-free area (such a dough proving drawer or your closed microwave – just remember not to turn it on!)

Allow dough to rise 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 180c.

Punch down dough. Take your fist and punch in the middle while it is still in the bowl. It should deflate somewhat if the yeast has done its job.

Knead the dough once more for a few minutes.

Shape your challah as desired and place loaves on oiled baking stone or baking trays lined with baking paper or silicone mats.

Cover and allow to rise approximately one more hour.

Beat one egg. Brush loveas with egg. Decorate with sesame or poppy seeds if desired.

Place in oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes for large and 30-35 for smaller loaves, checking for doneness closer to the end. Loaves should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

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