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Ultimate Rosh Hashanah Challah

Ultimate Rosh Hashanah Challah
On Rosh Hashanah we try to eat sweet things for a sweet new year. This challah is the perfect way to start your meal. See braiding video tutorial below.
Yield 6 braided challah loaves
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Ingredients

Dough

  • 5 cups warm water ((110-115°F))
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 (0.25oz each) packages (35g) or 3 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons table salt
  • 20 cups (2268g) or 5 pounds all-purpose
  • 2-3 eggs (for egg wash)

Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) margarine

Instructions

  • Prepare the crumb topping: Combine flour, sugar, and margarine. Mix to form coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  • Begin by using 4 cups of warm water. Combine water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir and let sit 6-7 minutes.
  • Add eggs and oil. Add 1/3 of the flour, mix for a few seconds, until combined. Add another 1/3 flour, and mix just until combined, then the last 1/3 of the flour. Add remaining water (or just as much as needed for a nice sticky dough). Mix for 10 minutes on high speed.
  • Remove dough from mixer and place in a large mixing bowl. Smear the top of the dough with a little oil. Cover and let rise 2 hours.
  • Right before you are ready to braid the challah, preheat oven to 200ºF. When it reaches that temperature, shut the oven off.
  • Divide dough into 6 equal parts. Braid each part and place in pans. Place braided challah into the warm oven (that is turned off!) and let rise an 1 hour (OR cover and let rise on the counter until it doubles in size, 1 to 1½ hours). (See notes.)
  • Remove risen dough from oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Brush challah with beaten egg and place crumbs on top. Bake in oven 45-50 minutes, tops should be golden and bottom should sound hollow when you tap it. (See notes.)

Notes

This recipe was developed using a Bosch (silver bowl) mixer that fits 5lbs of flour. You can halve the recipe to fit in a standard stand mixer.
If your oven can not fit all 6 loaves at one time, only braid and proof 3 loaves first, then braid and proof (on counter) remaining loaves while the first set is baking.
Recipe by Leah Schapira.

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