Our friend Rachel makes such delicious challah and is always generous enough to share with us! The first time she brought me a loaf was when we went out to dinner on a Thursday night. She said she made six, so she could spare one. She brought another one when I invited her for a fish taco dinner at our apartment. I told her how much we loved it, so she shared the recipe with me, and now I can have Rachel Challah whenever I want (not that there’s a shortage of challah recipes out there)!
It surprised me that this recipe didn’t have any eggs in it, because when I think of delicious, moist challah I assume that there are a few eggs, or at least yolks involved! But nope, no eggs here (except for the egg wash, duh). Don’t let that fool you, this challah gets moisture from a little bit of vegetable oil.
If you have a bread machine, you can use that to knead. I hand-kneaded because I don’t have a bread machine. I do have a Kitchenaid, but I don’t think it can’t handle 2 1/2 lbs of flour and I didn’t want to take any chances.
This is really just 1/2 her recipe. She usually makes a whole 5 lb. bag of flour’s worth of challah, but I don’t have room for so much challah in my tiny city apartment/freezer.
makes 3 loaves
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- 1 cup warm water + 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sugar + scant 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 lb. high-gluten flour
- 1/8 cup salt
- scant 1/2 cup oil
- 1 egg (for eggwash)
- sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds for garnish, optional
- Mix together yeast, 1 cup warm water and a tablespoon of sugar. let it sit until it bubbles.
- Meanwhile, mix four, salt and the rest of the sugar together. add the yeast mixture, oil and water until well incorporated and then knead for about 12 minutes.
- Oil a big bowl, roll dough in bowl to coat with oil, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.
- Punch down and let rise for another 30 minutes
- Roll into 3 braids. let rise another hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Beat the egg and brush the whole surface of each challah with the egg wash. sprinkle with seeds, if using.
- Bake at 350 until brown, about 20 minutes.
- And presto, yummy challah!