Yesterday I made a nice batch of challah, which should be enough for more than a month. I used a very simple challah recipe and no electric mixer. I knead by hand.
1 cup sugar (I use dark brown)
2 Tablespoons or a bit more of dehydrated yeast
approximately 2 kilo flour (I use whole wheat extra fine)
pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups of warm water
1 cup of any vegetable oil
2 eggs (optional)
1 egg for painting to make a shiny challah
- Put almost all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl; just use a cup of flour.
- Add the warm water.
- Cover with plastic.
- When it looks all bubbly and has risen add the oil (and eggs).
- Gradually add flour, mixing all the time, until you can knead it.
- Knead for about 8 minutes.
- Coat completely in a bit more oil.
- Cover and wait until doubled in size, anything from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the weather and quality of yeast.
- Punch down, then cover and wait again.
- "Take a piece of challah" for the blessing.
- Punch down and shape. The shaping as you can see in my photos can be very simple.
- Paint with raw egg and let the challot rise a bit.
- Bake. Don't preheat oven. First I let the shaped challot, more like rolls, rise in 100c, 212f oven until doubled. Then I baked it at 190c, 374f until starting to brown. Finally lower heat to 160c, 320 until a sort of hollow sound when tapped on bottom. Times depend on size of challah and your oven. Mine is turbo/fan and I have heat from bottom. Usually I bake on two racks, also.
- It's ready when hard on the bottom and has a hollow sound when tapping the bottom.
- Let cool out of the oven.
- Enjoy for Shabbat, Jewish Holidays or whenever you want a special bread.
Afterwards I bagged and froze the challah, since it was only Monday, but the house had that wonderful smell of home-baked challah for the rest of the day.