Challah Bread

1/2 oz (2 packages) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs

1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons poppy or sesame seed

Combine the yeast and sugar with 1/4 cup warm water and set aside, uncovered, for 5 - 10 minutes. Into a large mixing bowl, sift 4 cups of flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour-salt mixture and drop into this the oil, the whole eggs and 1 1/4 cups of the warm water- yeast mixture. Mix, working the liquids into the flour. When well mixed, knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth. If too runny, add flour until the mixture becomes elastic. Place the dough in a large bowl, brush the top with oil, cover with a towel and let stand to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch the dough down, cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk. Divide the dough into three equal parts and, with floured hands, roll each piece into a strip, all of equal length. Braid the strips and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise again until double in size. Brush the top with the egg yolks and sprinkle with the poppy or sesame seeds. Bake in a moderately hot oven until well browned (about 40 - 50 minutes).

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