Whilst I often make Challah in the bread machine it has a small capacity. Rather than making multiple batches I adapted my recipe to make a larger quantity of dough.
I have tried numerous Challah recipes and always come back to this one; it is easy and tasty. The Challahs are not very sweet, if you like very sweet Challahs, you could increase the sugar by 1/4 of a cup, or for Rosh Hashanah try using a mixture of sugar and honey. I almost always make Cchallah with 70% whole wheat flour, but this recipe works very well with white flour. When baking bread or Challah use flour with a high gluten content.
If you are making these as Purim Challah there are many ways to adapt the basic dough recipe – when you are braiding the Challa, add chocolate chips or raisins to one strand of the braid. Try sprinkling with colored sprinkles rather than sesame seeds for a festive touch. Or make a pull-apart Challah and decorate each section with different seeds or colored sprinkles.
One of the great things about homemade Challah is that you can try all these different adaptations for each Jewish holiday!
2 kilo (16 cups) flour
8-10 oz or 1- 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp salt
3 tbsp instant yeast
750ml (3 3/4 cups) water
1 cup oil
1 egg white
Sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
Sift the flour into a very large bowl and mix in the salt sugar and instant yeast. Pour in the water, eggs and oil. Mix to a dough; if it is too stiff add a little more water, if it's too sticky add a little more flour.
Knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is shiny, smooth and elastic. It should not be sticky.
Return to the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise for about 2 hours. Punch down, and if you have time, allow it to rise again for an hour or more.
Punch down again, and divide into pieces – the dough will make 6 medium Challot, so divide into 6. Take each piece and split it into 3, 4 or 6 strands depending what kind of Challah you want to make. Each of the 6 pieces will make 8-10 small Challah rolls if you prefer.
Braid the Challot and leave to rise for 45minutes to an hour (this step is known as proving).I often do this in the oven set to the lowest setting.
Brush the Challah with egg white, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if you want.
Bake the Challah at 180C (350F). I like my Challah to be just golden, and very soft and I bake them for no more than 15 minutes. If you prefer them to be more golden, bake for longer, but do not over cook them – they should not need more than 20minutes.
If you can't fit all the Challot in your oven in one go, bake them in batches.
You can freeze the dough, or freeze the baked Challah.
If you freeze the dough, defrost at room temperature and allow to rise again.