Updated: Dec 29, 2020
Ingredients 11/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 2/3 cups warm water 1/2 cup sugar or honey ( or a combination of the two) 1/3 cup oil (not olive oil) 1 tablespoon salt
2 eggs plus one yolk
7 cups flour (if it's a humid day, you might need up to 71/2 cups)
Poppy seeds sesame seeds or sugar mixed with cinnamon
Instructions In a large bowl, pour water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for a few minutes until it foams. Add the oil, honey, salt and eggs and whisk. Start adding the flour 1 cup at a time mixing with a spoon in between. After adding the last cup start using your hands to mix in the flour just until it’s all incorporated. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then knead dough for 5-7 minutes. You may also do all the mixing with a free-standing mixer using the dough attachment, in which case you will put all ingredients in the bowl and let mix for 5-10 minutes. It’s important to stop every 1-2 minutes and scrape the bowl, as well as let the mixer rest so the engine won’t break down. Shape into a ball and place back in the bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for an hour or more until dough has doubled its volume. If it’s a cold day consider letting rise next to a pot cooking on the stove. Shape the dough in 2 braids or smaller rolls. Let rise for an hour to an hour and a half.
Preheat oven to 380 degrees.
Whisk remaining egg white and brush tops of challahs. Sprinkle seeds or cinnamon sugar. Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes until golden. Smaller rolls need 15-20 minutes. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving.