I have the Family First challah recipe for so many years that it’s no longer legible. Have no fear — I’ve made it so many times that I know it by heart! The crumbs add a new dimension to the challah — it becomes moister, sweeter, and “malei taam” (very tasty). It tastes almost like doughnuts! It freezes beautifully, as well.
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Yield: 6 large challahs.
Dissolve yeast in one cup very warm water. Add one teaspoon sugar, stir, and set aside to proof for five minutes.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl with the dough hook, place the flour (preferably warmed up), one and a half cups sugar, and the salt and mix gently. Make a well in the center and pour the yeast mixture in. Let sit for five minutes. Add the eggs, dough enhancer, and four cups of water and turn the mixer on — gently so the water doesn’t splash all over. When you see it forming a dough, pour the oil in very slowly until completely absorbed. Work the dough for at least 15 minutes.
Punch down the dough and divide into six equal portions. Braid or twist, however you usually do, and place in a greased pan to rise for approx. 30-40 minutes. Brush challah with beaten egg and sprinkle crumbs (see below).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven) rotating the trays halfway. The smell is heavenly and the taste is “mei’ein Olam HaBa”!
Turn into a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise for approximately one hour until doubled. (If I have to leave the house or don’t have time to continue at this point, I put the dough in the fridge and continue later. First, however, I bring it to room temperature before proceeding.) At this point, you can take challah with a brachah. (Click here for more information on taking challah.)
Mix all the ingredients together in the mixer. If you have leftover crumbs, freeze for later use. You can sprinkle them on babka, yeast cake, pound cake, etc. Use your imagination!
Be aware that your oven will get dirty from these crumbs. Somehow they tend to get all over the place when you check your challahs, slide them out of the oven, etc. It’s worth it, though!