A deliciously light and eggy Challah perfect for your weekly Shabbat dinner or Saturday morning Challah French Toast. Amazingly simple to make and will fill your home with an amazing smell and energy!

INGREDIENTS:

(Makes 2 challahs. About 10 servings per loaf. )

Dough:

– 1 tablespoon yeast
– 1 and 1/3 cups of water
– 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
– 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons organic white sugar
– 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I like to use organic olive oil)
– 2 cage free eggs
– 4 cups of organic unbleached white flour

Topping:

– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– sesame seeds (optional)

RECIPE:

1) Place warm water in a large metal bowl big enough to allow for the dough to rise. Add yeast and allow to sit for a few minutes.

2) Add salt, sugar, oil and eggs and beat to combine.
3) Add flour one cup at a time thoroughly mixing into the wet ingredients. Starting with the third cup, begin to kneed with your hands. After all four cups are added, knead for about 6-8 minutes more. If the dough starts to stick to the bottom add a little flour and continue.
4) Cover the top of the bowl with a wet towel. I like to use paper towels as they are disposable. Set in a warm place (next to a window) and allow to rise for 2-3 hours. You can let stand for longer if you are doing other things (max probably 4-5 hours or it gets a bit crusty). It should roughly double in size.
5) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Punch down the dough and move it to a floured surface. See section above for prayer/separation of the Challah. Divide into two balls. Create four equally sized ropes of challah for braiding (I like a four strand braid, but you can do a three or six strand braid as well).To start the braid, create four equal strands of dough and pinch them together at the top. Keep them slightly apart so they do not stick.
Starting with the strand on the very right pull the dough over the second strand to the right and under the two left strands. Leave the strand there and begin again with the strand that is now furthest to the right and do the same procedure (over, under, under). Continue like this until the entire Challah is braided and pinch ends and tuck under to finish.
6) Whisk together egg and vanilla. Brush over tops of loaves. Add seeds if desired.
7) Cook for 40 minutes in the oven. After 20 to 30 minutes of cooking pull out the Challah and cover with tinfoil to keep the top from becoming too dark. Take out and let the fragrance fill your home and usher in Shabbat.
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