I got this recipe from A.E. Flinn. I’d say this is for a family of 10-12! Next time I would half the recipe. But the taste and texture is terrific!
I followed her recipe almost to the letter, except for the yeast mixture wherein I used a bit more sugar, and a bit less yeast.
For the yeast mixture:
¼ cup warm water (body temperature)
1 tsp sugar (I found out that Demerara sugar works best)
1 tsp yeast (I don’t use more than this as they proliferate in no time anyway)
For the dough:
1 cup whole milk (I only had semi-skimmed, but it worked fine)
1/3 cup honey
2 ½ tsp salt (I only used two, as I was a bit worried it would kill the yeast)
4 large eggs (beaten)
6 – 7 ½ plain flour
1 tbsp whole milk (I used whipping cream)
- Prepare the yeast by warming ¼ cup of water in the microwave—only up to body temperature! Dissolve the sugar in the water, then sprinkle the yeast and dissolve. Leave in a warm environment until it froths (I warmed more water in a bowl and let the cup with mixture sit in it).
- Melt the butter with the milk (I did it on the stovetop).
- Add the honey and salt.
- Allow the mixture to cool.
- When the yeast mixture has frothed, add it to the cooled butter-milk mixture.
- Beat the eggs and then add to the combined mixture.
- Slowly add the flour to the liquid mixture, mixing until the dough starts to come clean off the bowl.
- Take off the bowl, knead on a floured surface until the dough becomes elastic.
- Transfer the dough ball into a greased bowl, leave in a warm place and let rise until double in size. (I boil some water in the kettle, transfer it to a saucepan, put the saucepan in the oven making sure the oven is off, and leaving the dough in the oven with the steaming saucepan!)
- After the first rising, knock out the air and knead again. Divide into two dough balls. Divide each into 3 or 4 strands (16”) and plait.
- When doubled in size, preheat the oven to 190C (I should do it lower next time as I have a fan oven).
- Prepare the glaze mixture by whisking the egg and mixing in the cream/milk. Brush the tops and sides of the challah loaves. Reserve some for use during baking (when the loaves expand it will expose some of the inner dough).
- Sprinkle coarse salt over the challah.
- Bake for 20 minutes. By this time the loaves would have expanded and exposed some of the inner dough—brush with the reserved glaze. Bake for another 10 minutes (Ashley suggests another 15-20, but my oven is different—yours might be too, so keep an eye on it!).
- To test, take the loaves out of the oven, turn upside down and thump the bottom—if it sounds hollow, it’s done!