Our friends and clients  know how much we love baking and how often the office is filled with cakes and fresh home baked bread so this time, we thought we shared the recipes for best challah bread ever.

We share this recipe in our blog for three reasons: 1- friends and clients keep asking us for it. 2-Because we love everything to do with celebrations and sharing and Challah is the perfect example of these. 3-Because its delicious and very easy to do.

Sharing of food and in particular bread, is the most basic and important forms of celebrations, its a way of sharing and building memories. For the jews, challah is a very important bread as it relates to a very important sacred holiday, Shabbat. The bread is usually baked for Friday dinner and/or Saturday morning service. This recipe for challah makes a large loaf that Its utterly delicious and can be enjoyed by all, no matter what religion you come from.

The bread is at it best when freshly baked but if more than a day or to old, simply toast it and it will give it a new lease of life. 

This video is dedicated to our friends at the WLS, good luck with the baking.

Recipe:

7 cups/1k of white strong flour, regular flour works well too.
4 tsp dry active yeast
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup (120ml) of oil (sunflower oil works well)
1 tbs salt
1/2 or 3/4 cups (160g) of sugar (depends how sweet you like your bread)
2 cups (480ml)  of warm water

Method:

-Preheat the oven to 350F or 180C 

-To the 2 cups of warm water add the sugar and yeast, still well until yeast is dissolved. Leave to rest for about 10 mins. Bubbles will form on the surface of the mix. Set aside

-In a large bowl or food processor mix the half the flour and salt. Slowly add the yeast mixture you had previously prepared. Mix well.

-Add the oil, beaten egg and remaining flower and mix well. When the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl, turned onto a floured surface and knead for approx 10 more minutes. If the dough sticks to your hand,  add additional flour. Make sure not to add too much otherwise the bead will be very heavy. Make sure the dough is manageable, smooth and elastic springing back when pressed gently as per video.

Grease a bowl and place dough in it. Grease the dough with a very thin layer of oil, cover with a towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours until the dough doubles. Every half an hour or so, punch the dough to get rid of the air. 

-Take the dough and divide in four equal parts. If the loaf is too big, simply take half the amount and freeze for another day.

-Make four strands and plat as per video. Leave to rest for about 20-30 mins. Don't leave to rest for much longer than that as the definition of the plating will be lost.

-Cover the dough in an egg and water wash but only just before placing the bread in the oven, spread poppy seeds on top (optional). 

-Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-30 mins, when tapping underneath it will sound hollow. 

-Let it rest for 10-20 mins before eating.

Tips:
-You can substitute some of the sugar for honey. 
-For a sweeter challah, simply use 3/4 cups.
-Do not store in a covered place when the bread is still hot.
-The raised dough freezes perfectly, simply place in a plastic bag and freeze. Take the dough out of the freezer the night before you need the bread and place in a large oiled bowl for it to rise. Repeat the plating process.

We share this recipe in our blog for three reasons: 1- friends and clients keep asking us for it. 2-Because we love everything to do with celebrations and sharing and Challah is the perfect example of these. 3-Because its delicious and very easy to do.

Hope you enjoy baking as much as we enjoyed making the video. Please don't forget to contact us to let us know how you got on.