More than two and a half years ago, when I started writing for Binah Magazine, I put my challah dough recipe into one of the first issues. Since then, I have tweaked it and also played around with white whole wheat and regular whole wheat flour. You can use a larger percentage of whole wheat to white flour as long as it is 5 lbs in total.
- 4 Tbsp active dry yeast (or 4 oz. fresh yeast) -
- 1¼ cups sugar -
- 3 cups warm water (105° to 115°F) -
- 2 cups additional water -
- 3 eggs -
- 1¼ cups canola oil -
- 2½ lbs white bread flour -
- 2½ lbs whole wheat flour -
- ¼ cup kosher salt -
- Egg Wash
- 1 egg yolk -
- 1 Tbsp water -
1. Place yeast, sugar and 3 cups water into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let sit 8 to 10 minutes, until bubbly.
2. Add remaining ingredients, alternating wet and dry, with the kosher salt going last. Leave mixer on high speed for a full 10 minutes!
3. Place a bit of flour into a large food-safe platic bag or container, hold the top closed, and shake it up — flour will coat the inside of the bag. Place dough into the bag and knot at the top, leaving ample growing room. Let the dough rise about half an hour. (See Note.)
4. Separate challah, make a brachah, and divide dough into 5 or 6 parts. Braid challahs.
5. Let rise another 45 minutes to 1 hour. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes, until golden brown. (When you tap the loaves, they should sound hollow.)
NOTE: As soon as you can handle the heat, remove challahs from pans and place sideways on a paper towel or towel, if you do not have a cooling rack. Never use garbage bags for rising the dough as they may have been treated with insecticides.
VARIATION: I sometimes substitute the 5 lbs of flour for 5 lbs whole wheat flour