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Easy Challah

chef.alburt's picture
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  Active dry yeast 1 Tablespoon (1 Package)
  Warm water 1 1⁄4 Cup (20 tbs) (About 110°)
  Salt 1 Teaspoon
  Salad oil 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Sugar 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Eggs 2 , slightly beaten
  Yellow food coloring/Pinch of saffron 3 Drop
  All-purpose flour 5 1⁄2 Cup (88 tbs), unsifted
  Egg yolk 1 , beaten
  Water 1 Tablespoon
  Sesame seed/Poppy seed 1 Tablespoon

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
Stir in salt, sugar, oil, eggs, and food coloring.
Gradually beat in about 4 1/2 cups of the flour to make a stiff dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and satiny (5 to 20 minutes), adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Turn dough over in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours).
Punch dough down; knead briefly on a lightly floured board to release air.
Set aside and cover about 3/4 cup dough.
Divide remaining dough into 4 equal portions; roll each between hands to form a strand about 20 inches long.
Place the 4 strips lengthwise on a greased baking sheet, pinch tops together, and braid as follows: pick up strand on right, bring it over next one, under the third, and over the fourth.
Repeat, always starting with strand on right, until braid is complete.
Pinch ends together.
Roll reserved dough into a strip about 15 inches long; cut into 3 strips and make a small 3-strand braid.
Lay on top center of large braid.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (about 1 hour).
Using a soft brush or your fingers, spread egg yolk mixture evenly over braids; sprinkle with seed.
Bake in a 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Recipe Summary

Side Dish

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