5 pounds hi gluten flour, bakery flour or bread flour
3 tablespoons instant yeast
3/4 cup sugar
5 cups warm water
3 extra large eggs or 4 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 egg yolks plus 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
sesame or poppy seeds
Sift the flour into your mixer bowl. Add the instant yeast and sugar. Stir to combine. Add eggs and oil. Add the water and add the salt last. Mix at medium speed for 10-12 minutes.
Remove dough from the mixer bowl and allow to proof (rise) in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap for 45 minutes. Take “challah.”
Divide dough into 5 equal parts. To be really precise, you can weigh each piece on a scale and check that they are equal.
Using one of the 5 pieces, divide it into 6 equal pieces, once again weighing, if you want them to be exactly the same size. Knead each piece lightly and roll into a strand approximately 6 inches long. Place all 6 strands on Silpat or lightly floured counter top. Pinch all the strands together at the top. Use our easy to follow braiding method to braid six strands.
Remove from oven and cool until you can comfortably touch the pans. Remove the challah from the pans and continue to cool on a cooling rack to promote air circulation and keep the challah from becoming damp due to the condensation in the pan.
To keep it crusty, store home-made challah in a brown paper bag—never in plastic. If you prefer to bake your challah a few days in advance, wrap air-tight in plastic to ward off freezer-burn. To rewarm, heat your oven to 350 degrees and then turn it off. Place frozen challah in the hot oven for approximately 30 minutes. They will crisp and defrost without drying out.