Are you wondering why I’m talking about Challah on a Monday morning? “We’re just starting the week!” you say. Well, if I give you this recipe today, you will not have an excuse not to have baked this by Friday night. :-) Go shopping for your ingredients now, because this Challah is no fail, totally fool proof. If you ever wanted to do the mitzvah of Challah, but it seemed too daunting a task (we’ve all been there, yes?), this recipe is for you.
Over the years I’ve accumulated a few challah recipes that I trust and love — each one for different reasons — and I crave different ones on different occasions. Now, if you would ask me what’s your go to, no fail (and I mean never fail), can do it with your eyes closed and will always come out amazing challah recipe…. it is this one. Try it. It’s really fool proof and it comes from my beautiful friend Dana. Thank you, you know I love you for this and many many other reasons.
Bake it! Your Jewish Soul will appreciate it tremendously! Here it goes…
1 bag (5 lb) of Better for Bread Flour (ok if you can’t splurge or you only have regular flour… yes, it will work too!)
5 cups of hot TAP water
3 packages of Rapid Rise yeast
1 and 1/2 cup of sugar (approx.)
1 cup of oil
a good shake of salt
1. Wash your hands alternatively three times and put a few coins of tzedakah :-)
2. Pour the bag of flour into a large mixing bowl.
3. In a smaller bowl, put 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 cups of the hot tap water, swirl and add the 3 packages of yeast. Then wait for it to bubble up (activate).
4. In the meantime, crack the three eggs (check them first individually for blood spots in order to ensure they are kosher) in a bowl and stir in the cup of oil.
5. Add the left over 1 cup of sugar, the shake of salt and the other 3 cups of hot tap water to the flour bowl.
6. Pour the oil and egg mixture into the flour bowl.
7. Pour the water and yeast mixture into the flour bowl.
8. Start mixing everything with a large spoon, until you have to use your hands. Pound and knead with your hands for a while until the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl or to your counter. You may need to add small amounts of flour periodically but very slowly as you’re kneading.
9. Cover it with a dishcloth and leave it to rise.
10. Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
11. When it has risen (doubled in size), wash hands alternatively again, and do the mitzvah of Hafrashat Challah*
* Take a small piece of dough approximately the size of an egg. Say the bracha: Baruch Ata Adon-ai, Elokeinu, Melech HaOlam Asher Kideshanu V’mitzvotav V’tzivanu le hafrish challah
This is a moment in which the gates of heaven are open for a woman and she should ask for whatever she needs. Many people take this opportunity to ask for Refuah (healing) for any who are sick. Take advantage of this powerful opportunity!
12. Wrap the small piece of dough (this small piece is actually “challah”) in foil and do not burn yet. Wait until you won’t use the oven for 24 hours. You can freeze it and burn it in the oven later wrapped in the foil.
13. Braid the challahs in whatever shape you want. You will get 6 medium to large size challot.
*Once braided, let them rise again, about 30 min minimum! This will give them the most airy, fluffy texture!
14. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds on top if you’d like.
15. Bake for approximately 25 mins. Take out of oven, when it’s golden brown and you can knock under the challa and hear a hollow noise.
Enjoy! Tell me how it goes, please!
Do you have a no fail challah recipe?