Baking a challah is like doing magic. It brings all the family together and makes everyone happier and more relaxed. Here's an easy way of making a kosher challah, without dairy ingredients and with lots of comforting fragrances.
The use of durum flour, alongside the regular unbleached bread flour, gives the challah a buttery feel. Before baking, you can sprinkle the challah with sesame seeds, poppy seeds and even pumpkin seeds.
2 tbsp sugar
1 ¼ cups water
2 egg yolks
2 ½ tbsp honey
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cups durum flour
1 ½ cups unbleached bread flour
2 tbsp yeast
2.5 tbsp salt
Sesame, poppy or pumpkin seeds (to sprinkled)
1. Put the sugar, water, eggs, egg yolks, honey and olive oil into a mixing bowl and mix to blend.
2. Add the two kinds of flour. Knead with a dough hook at a low speed for about 3 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes in the mixer bowl. Add the yeast and knead at low speed for 1 minute. Add the salt. Knead at medium speed for about 4 minutes until the dough is silky and elastic and gluten develops. Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a towel.
3. Wait for a ½ hour, punch down the dough then let it rise for another ½ hour.
4. Divide the dough into balls (we made 3-½-ounce balls, but yours can be bigger). Let them rest for a few moments, and roll each ball out into a coil. If a dough ball resists rolling, put it aside for a few moments and try again.
5. Braid the coils, and glaze the dough with egg. Let it rise for 20-30 minutes. Brush another layer of egg over the braided dough and sprinkle sesame seeds.
6. Bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes, or until the Challah turns golden brown.