Submitted by Hentscha Plotnik
For many years, I have been experimenting with various recipes, each one promising outstanding results. I have finally come up with one that meets my expectations and standards, with a crunchy golden crust and a fluffy, soft inside.
This particular recipe is kneaded in a bread machine on the quickest kneading cycle. (I personally have found that the texture can be different when the dough is kneaded by hand or in a Bosch or other mixers with a dough hook.) The texture should be soft and workable. If it is too moist, add 1/2 Tbsp. at a time of flour to the dough and mix. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water, then a little bit of flour and keep kneading until you get a smooth consistency.
Makes one 14-15” challah, or 2 regular size, 4 smaller or 14 -16 rolls
Measure the flour into the bread machine. Make a deep dent in the flour and add in the yeast. Add part of the sugar over the yeast. Then pour 1/2 of the water over the sugar and yeast. It will have time to bubble while you put in the rest of the ingredients. Add the salt, oil and eggs and the remaining sugar and start the mix. Add the rest of the water slowly to see how the dough is mixing. You may need to scrape the sides with a spatula to make sure that nothing is stuck to the sides.
When the dough is mixed, it can be put into a bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure the top is sprayed or just roll the dough in the bowl to have top and bottom greased. Cover with saran wrap. Allow to rise for about 1/2 hour or so. This dough rises quickly and makes big challos and a crunchy golden brown to darker brown crust.
When the dough has risen, shape the challah. Let rise again for another 1/2 hour or so. Brush with egg. Sprinkle with Everything Mix. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit while the challah is rising.
When the challah has risen, bake. You will have to check the challah for readiness depending on the size you are making and the type of crust you want. Check after 20 minutes to gauge how much longer to leave it in the oven. (Every oven is different and every baker has different understandings of the measurements.)