1.5 cups WARM water
3 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp dry active yeast
7 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
Foil or wrap for your challah
Additional Preferred Toppings (see the bottom of the recipe below)
- Mix all the ingredients (except flour) together with the WARM water into a large bowl. Then stir together nicely.
TIP: DO NOT USE WATER THAT IS TOO HOT OR IT WILL KILL THE YEAST.
2. Next, add the flour and knead everything together using your hands to form the dough. (If too sticky, add a little flour to make it more “doughy”. If too hard, add a little bit of water to soften. You want a perfectly balanced dough.)
You can divide the dough into two smaller loaves or keep as one extra large challah.
PLEASE NOTE THAT A BLESSING FOR REMOVAL OF THE FIRST PIECE OF CHALLAH BEFORE FORMING IT IS DONE HERE. PLEASE REFER TO THE CLASS NOTES.
3. After deciding if you would like two small loaves or one big loaf, take the dough that you will use for making one challah loaf and now divide it again into 3 or 4 times. (You should now have 3 or 4 small balls of dough as we will be rolling and then connecting them into one giant braid which is a distinctive characteristic for challah).
4. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll each ball into a long roll.
5. Connect the top of the long rolls together by pinching the dough to seal it into place.
It should look like an “octopus”with 3 or 4 long arms pointing out….lol.
6. Now braid until the end of the roll and pinch the dough together again to connect and seal the end.
TIP: Making the dough ahead of time and letting it sit 2 hours at a time in between kneading will allow it to fluff up better. Also letting the formed loaf sit under the tea towel for a while before baking will also allow it to fluff better. So try to let your loaf sit for a while before preheating. Patience is key!
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a pan and set challah on top. Cover with a tea towel to keep moist until ready to bake. When the oven is ready, bake until the challah is nice and brown. The time needed is determined by your oven type and elevation but normally between 30 min to 1 hour. (DO NOT BURN BY OVERBAKING!!!!) When finished, let the challah sit to cool down.
Eggs, honey, powdered sugar, poppy seeds or a mix of “everything” seasoning…
For a golden brown top- before putting the loaf into the to oven, crack an egg, mix it and then lightly brush the top of the challah loaf for producing a nice golden color.
For sweet challah, add a bit of honey on top halfway the cooking time. When it is finished and still hot, sprinkle the powdered sugar on top.
For that everthing bagel taste, brush with your egg mix and then sprinkle the toppings all around.