Adapted for the Bosch Mixer by KosherEye
We are great fans of this superb challah recipe. Bread-making expert, author Maggie Glezer included it in her James Beard Award winning book, A Blessing of Bread: Recipes and Rituals, Memories and Mitzvahs, and then converted it for 5 pounds of flour for a special presentation at a Beth Jacob Sisterhood event in Atlanta. Maggie enjoys making and kneading most of her challahs by hand but, with her approval, we have adapted it for use with the Bosch mixer.
1 /4 cup instant yeast also known as quick rise, or rapid rise
5 lbs. unbleached bread flour, divided (Can be mixed with some whole wheat flour)
3 cups warm water
2–3 tablespoons table salt (Maggie uses 3 tablespoons for full flavor)
1 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar or 1 1/4 cups honey (adjust amounts for personal taste)
9 large eggs, plus 2-3 eggs for glazing
2-1/4 cups vegetable oil
Oil spray for pans
MIXING THE DOUGH In the bowl of the mixer, with whisk attachment, on lowest setting, mix together the yeast and 3 cups of the flour, then whisk in the warm water until the yeast slurry is smooth. Let the yeast slurry ferment uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to ferment and forms very tiny bubbles. As the slurry is hydrating and starting to ferment, add on top, WITHOUT MIXING IN, the salt, sugar, eggs, and oil.
When the slurry bubbles up and over the salt, sugar, eggs and oil, the dough is ready to be mixed. With machine on low (1) mix to blend until smooth. Change to the dough hook. All at once, stir in all of the remaining flour. Mix the dough just until all the flour is incorporated. Knead for about 3 minutes. Dough should pull away from side. If dough seems too firm, add a tablespoon or two of water to the dough; or, if the dough seems too wet, add a few tablespoons of flour. The dough should feel smooth and slightly sticky.
FERMENTING THE DOUGH Place the dough in a large mixing bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. (If desired, the dough can be refrigerated just after kneading and removed from the refrigerator and finished fermenting up to 24 hours later.) Let the dough ferment until it has at least doubled in bulk, about 2 hours, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. (If refrigerated, the dough will take an extra 30-60 minutes of fermentation).
The prayer of Hafrashat Challah: At this point it is appropriate to recite a very meaningful, beautiful and traditional prayer. We have provided a link to the prayer Hafrashat Challah, and to a brief explanation by Chabad. The moment of separating challah is a very special time for prayer = particularly for the well being of family and loved ones.
SHAPING AND PROOFING THE DOUGH Cover several large baking sheets with parchment paper, or oil them. Divide the dough into 9 pieces for 1 lb. loaves; braid or shape them as desired, position them on the prepared sheets or in oiled pans, and cover them well with plastic wrap. (This is another point at which the loaves can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.) Let the loaves proof until tripled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. (Add another hour if the loaves were refrigerated).
Thirty minutes before baking, arrange an oven rack in the upper third position, remove any racks above it, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. To make glaze: beat the remaining 2-3 eggs with a pinch of salt to glaze the breads.
BAKING THE LOAVES When the loaves have tripled and do not push back when gently pressed with a finger but remain indented, brush them with the egg glaze. Optionally sprinkle the loaves with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake one-pound loaves for 35-40 minutes. After 20 minutes of baking, switch the breads from front to back so that they brown evenly. If the loaves are browning too quickly, tent them with foil. When the loaves are very well browned, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a rack.
Yield: Makes about 6 one-pound loaves
Well-wrapped loaves may be frozen
Recipes: Bread, Challah, Parve, Kosher