After making challah for 12 years to be eaten on Sabbath, we have decided that this is the most delicious recipe.
1 ½ tbsp. yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp. salt
4 eggs, slightly beaten
7 ½ c. flour
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
kosher salt (for topping, optional)
Take a large bowl and pour in warm water. Soften the yeast in the water. Add sugar, butter, salt. Blend in the eggs. Add 3 cups flour and beat well. Let it rest about 10 minutes. Gradually add the rest of the flour (4 ½ cups). Knead about 6 minutes. (I use a Bosch mixer.)
Put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place. (If you’re using a Bosch mixer, just leave it in the covered mixer bowl during this time.) Let rise about 1 ½ hours.
Remove from the bowl and braid on a counter top sprinkled with flour. I make three braids by dividing the entire lump of dough into three smaller lumps, then divide each of those into three more lumps (unless you want to get fancy and make braids with more strands).
Brush the top of each braid with egg and sprinkle with kosher salt (optional). Let rise 1 hour. Bake at 375 for 35-40minutes. Tap the bottom of each loaf. When there is a hollow sound the bread is done. The tops will be golden brown, and everyone will have a hard time resisting it. 🙂
Yield: 3 loaves. If you can’t eat this much, it’s always wonderful to give a loaf away to a neighbor or friend, and you can make french-toast casserole with the 3rd loaf, to be eaten on Sunday morning.