A KosherEye Signature Recipe
This sweet challah is absolutely delicious for Yom Tov, and for that matter, anytime. It is a treasured recipe by an amazing cook, baker, and daughter.
3 cups warm water
3 cups flour (take this from your 5 lb bag of flour)
1/4 cup yeast
8 eggs (We like a very rich challah, but 5 eggs will work as well)
2 cups oil
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp salt
5 lb bag bread flour, such as King Arthur brand
1 additional egg and 3 teaspoons water for final eggwash (optional)
Step 1 – The Slurry:
In a medium bowl: mix water, flour and yeast and let sit for approximately 10 minutes until bubbly and growing. This is the slurry.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (except the remainder of the 5 lbs. of flour and the egg wash ingredients). Mix well.
Add slurry to the mixture and combine well. Then add the 5 lb. bag of flour. Mix with wooden spoon and then by hand. Knead until dough is fully combined and has good consistency.* Add a little flour if dough is too sticky. Form into large ball, place in large oil greased bowl, cover and let rise for two – three hours. You can also put the batter in the refrigerator to rise over night.
Take the dough and make a bracha.
If challah has been refrigerated, let sit at room temperature for about an hour. Then, punch down dough. Shape challahs as desired. Let shaped challahs rise for 45 minutes. Bake in preheated oven at 325 for approx. 25 – 30 minutes. Watch the challahs….every oven cooks differently. If desired, brush on egg wash* (egg yolk and a little warm water) before baking, when ready to place in oven. Check challah after 25 minutes. Continue baking until it is brown on top, perhaps 5 additional minutes. Challah is done when it sounds hollow when tapping, or reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees.
*Tip: Instead of brushing on egg wash at this point, another option is to bake challahs for 20 minutes and then take them out to brush on egg wash, then bake them for another 5 or 10 minutes as needed to brown.
This challah recipe can be made using a large stand mixer – such as the Bosch, which can mix up to 5 lbs of flour.
For Yom Tov, we love the sweet, cake–like topping of this optional frosting. If using a frosting, egg wash is unnecessary.
Recipes: Bread, Challah, Parve, Kosher
No time to make Challah dough, no problem!
To purchase click here: Zojirushi Bread Maker (Amazon).
Selecting a Breadmaker can be confusing.
Especially if one has not previously owned a bread machine. So many choices - one paddle or two? vertical loaves or horizontal loaves? A machine that makes a 1 lb. loaf or a 2 lb. loaf? Size of the actual machine? Ease of use? Settings? Decisions... decisions... decisions!
So let's talk! We have recently tested the newest model, of the Zojirushi (pronounced zo-jih-ROO-shee) bread maker, the Virtuoso BB-PAC 20. In fact, since we have grown so attached to it, let's use its nickname, the Zo. It has moved to a position front and center in our kitchen, right up there with our stand mixer, Vitamix, Coffee Maker, and food processor. Not only are we busily making whole wheat bread for weekday sandwiches, challah for Shabbos, and cinnamon rolls (yumm) much too often, but we have also made jam. strawberry jam to be exact. So simple! Making jam was so easy, that we plan to progress to blueberry and peach jam later this summer.
Yes, the Zo is an investment ($275), but if you have the counter or pantry space available, and if you love fresh bread and preserves, we think that it is well worth the price. If you use it often, studies have indicated that over time, homemade bread costs substantially less than store-bought bread, and is, of course, healthier, (We guess that depends on your ingredient choices.)
Why did we select Zojirushi? – We compared many popular bread machines, some less costly, but liked the features on the Zo. The Home Bakery Virtuoso® Breadmaker (BBBAC20). If you plan to become a regular breadmaker...these features are important.
The Virtuoso bakes a traditional, horizontal-shaped 1 ½ - 2-lb. loaf, has dual kneading blades, 13-hour delay timer, easy to read clock, and many varied menus settings-including basic bread, wheat bread, gluten-free bread, sourdough starter, dough, jam, cake, quick bread and 3 homemade settings for custom recipes. Trust me, we are not techies, but the accompanying recipe book offers easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for each setting. Additionally, the Virtuoso has an exclusive lid heater, which makes even baking and proper browning possible. The dual paddles ensure thorough mixing and kneading and result in a higher rise. The bread pan includes easy-lift handles, ensuring quick and safe loaf removal of the loaves. And there is a large window to watch what's happening.
And, we must share one of our favorite features..the 13-hour delay timer – which allows us to go to bed and wake up to fresh homemade bread in the morning. Sounds so good, doesn't it? Yes, it's truly amazing. We also especially like the dough cycle, which is perfect for mixing up a batch of cinnamon buns, challah, and rolls.
We find the 2 lb. size loaf convenient, some to slice, some to store and even some to freeze. For Shabbos challah, the Zo delivers fresh challah in a hurry on a Friday morning. One 90-minute cycle provides enough dough to make two 1 lb. loaves. We shape them, place them in loaf pans or on our Silpat mat, let them rise for 1 hour, and bake for 30 minutes. Done! By the way, for those readers who are gluten-free, the Zo even offers a setting for you. So, dear readers, if you are in the market for a breadmaker, do consider the ZO, and share your thoughts (and recipes) with us.
To purchase click here: Zojirushi Bread Maker (Amazon).
*This is not a sponsored post. All recommended products are Koshereye tested. We hope to only provide you with amazing Kosher products and recipes. Koshereye may make a small commission if you purchase a product through our Amazon links.