Poconos Ramah Challah Recipe


3 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup luke warm water
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar or 1/2 cup honey
4 eggs
1 Tbs salt
6 - 8 cups flour
1 cup warm water
1 beaten egg

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water.

Mix oil, sugar (or honey) eggs, salt and yeast together in a large bowl.

Mix while adding flour (I use bread flour but all-purpose works fine), one cup at a time. If dough is still sticky after 6 cups, continue to add flour.

Add additional warm water as needed -up to 1 cup.

Knead dough for 10 minutes, adding flour if necessary, until dough is smooth and elastic, not sticky.
(if using a food processor - you do not need to knead for the full 10 minutes! But you do need a LARGE food processor with a very strong motor!)

Let dough rise in a lightly greased bowl (covered with a cloth and in a warm place) for at least 3 hours.

Punch down and divide into 2, 3 or 4 pieces for 2, 3 or 4 loaves.

Divide each piece into 3 and braid dough (or for Rosh HaShana - make it into a long snake and then coil it up to make a round challah).

You can let the dough rise again for a lighter bread, or you can bake without the second rising.

Brush with beaten egg (you can sprinkle with poppy or sesame seed if desired) and bake at 350 until done - 45 minutes for 2 loaves, 37 minutes for 3, or 30 minutes for 4.

You can also prepare this dough in the evening and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Mixing in the flour is the hardest part – you can use a food processor with a dough blade or a mixer with a dough hook. Or you can put it all in a bread machine and take it out after it has risen.