3 hrs 40 mins
I've been working on perfecting my challah recipe over the last few years, and I think this is it. The secret ingredients are vanilla extract and soy milk (you can use regular milk if it's not an issue for you). I get raves every week with this challah, it's rich and cake-like. Great with sweet butter, not too shabby with some chopped liver, and it makes the most amazing French toast in the world. I usually bake my challahs unbraided in a fluted cake pan with a hole in the middle. It makes a pretty challah, and it's easy to cut individual slices from it as well. There is nothing like a table full of guests ooohing and aaaahing over your challah, and this will do it for you! Prep time includes rise time. If you nuke the kneaded dough in the microwave on high for 10 seconds it will cut your rise time by half!
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- 1In the bowl of your mixer, or in large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla.
- 2Mix it around a bit.
- 3Melt the margarine, or heat the oil a bit in the microwave.
- 4Add it to the stuff in the bowl and start mixing.
- 5Toss in the yeast, keep mixing.
- 6If you are using an electric mixer, go slowly.
- 7If you are kneading by hand, you should get a good workout.
- 8Heat the soy milk until it's warm.
- 9It should not be boiling hot!
- 10Slowly, with the mixer running, add the soy milk a little bit at a time, until the dough has reached the consistency of bread dough.
- 11It shouldn't be cakey and it shouldn't be too sticky.
- 12Knead the dough in the mixer for about 7-8 minutes, or by hand for about 15 minutes.
- 13Place the bowl in a warm spot and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk.
- 14Hint: if you put the bowl of dough in the microwave and nuke it on high for 10 seconds it will speed up the rising process.
- 15You can also let it rise overnight in the fridge, just keep it in a knotted plastic bag so it doesn't"escape".
- 16When the dough has risen and doubled, punch it down.
- 17It's a very satisfying step!
- 18Knead the dough by hand for another minute or so to work out the air bubbles.
- 19Cut into three even pieces.
- 20Each piece is enough for one small loaf of challah.
- 21Cut each piece into three or four, roll into ropes and braid.
- 22The best braids are made by starting in the middle and working your way to the end, then turn it around and braid the other end.
- 23Pinch off the ends.
- 24After you have shaped your loaf (you can also swirl it, or braid and swirl it, or just shape it into a natural loaf shape), place it either in a greased loaf pan, cake pan, or just on a greased cookie sheet.
- 25If you bake your loaf on a sheet it will spread a bit as it rises again.
- 26If you put your braided loaf into a loaf tin, it will just rise upwards.
- 27I have also made round challahs by putting them into bundt pans, or fluted round cake pans.
- 28Let the shaped loaves rise for another half an hour.
- 29You can brush a little beaten egg on the tops for a glaze, I prefer my challahs"naked".
- 30Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (about 350 F).
- 31Bake the loaves for about 30-40 minutes.
- 32Time will vary based on the shape of your loaves and the pans they are in.
- 33If the tops start to brown too soon, just place a sheet of silver foil over them, resting lightly on the tops.
- 34The challah is done when you turn out the loaf, give it a knock-knock on the bottom and it sounds hollow.
- 35Let it cool.
- 36If this recipe makes too much for you, you can either freeze the dough, or the baked challahs.
- 37Best eaten with sweet butter, also makes the most amazing French toast.
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Nutritional Facts for Mirj's Ultra-Rich Sweet Challah
Serving Size: 1 (1542 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 1839.9
- Calories from Fat 330
- Total Fat 36.7 g
- Saturated Fat 7.2 g
- Cholesterol 282.0 mg
- Sodium 637.1 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 327.1 g
- Dietary Fiber 9.0 g
- Sugars 72.5 g
- Protein 43.1 g