- 1 package of yeast
- some sugar (yeah, I know....like maybe 3 tablespoons...a bit more?)
- 2 cups of warm water - not hot!!!! not cold...
- 2.5 kilos (that's like about 16 cups of flour, maybe a bit more) - I use the 70% whole wheat; or 1.5 packages of whole wheat and 1 package of white flour
- 1 cup of sugar (I know, I know..)
- 1 cup of honey (you want to taste amazing bread...add the honey)
- 1 cup of oil (I use canola)
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups of warm water
- 2 TABLESPOONS of salt (don't put in less, seriously)
Now, you mix this all until it's a dough - typically, I end up adding more flour until you get to around 3 kilo or about 20 cups of flour - but you can play with the water and the flour till it's a nice dough.
I put a tray of water in the oven - that usually helps make the bread lighter.
- Knead it for a while - let it rise; punch it down; let it rise. (I cover it while it rises...don't ask me why.) If you can put the dough in a warm place, it will rise faster.
- Shape it and let it rise again.
- Paint beaten egg over the top - this helps it get that golden color; I sprinkle Zatar (hyssop)(http://tinyurl.com/6rema6v) on the bread before baking; or sometimes I saute onions and put some on before baking.
You bake it for about 25 minutes - at 170 C - around 350 F - until it is golden brown - make sure the bottom is brown as well.
As for the shaping - you can do all sorts of things with this dough. My favorite is the four-braid. Aliza makes an amazing 8-braid loaf. Enjoy and please do let me know what you think, how it comes out!
When I wanted to learn how to braid the challah with four strands, I looked on YouTube - I was hoping to post a simple example here - but I can't find the one I first watched and these are honestly confusing. Anyway, find one you like - and go for it. Happy baking!