Yom Tov Challah
2 pkg. yeast, 4½ tsp.
1½ c. warm water
½ c. sugar or honey
6 – 6½ c. bread flour
2 tsp. salt
½ c. oil
3 eggs + 1 for egg wash
(For Rosh Hashanah – use honey in place of sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, place the water and sprinkle with the yeast. Mix gently until dissolved. Add the oil, eggs, sugar (vanilla, if using) and about half of the flour. Blend on low until well combined. Add the salt and continue slowly adding flour to the dough until it begins to pull away from the sides and form a ball. Knead the dough in the mixer or by hand for another 5-10 minutes adding any remaining flour, if needed. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours. Alternatively, the dough can be placed in a large container with a cover and placed in the fridge overnight. To form the loaves, divide the dough into 2-3 pieces. Roll the lengths into long ropes (about 18" long). Holding one end, wrap the rope around in a spiral. tucking the end under the loaf. Place loaves on lined baking sheet. Brush with egg and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds or with a streusel topping*(see below). Allow to rise a second time for about 20 - 30 minutes. Preheat the oven. Bake for 40- 45 minutes at 350˚F. Allow the loaves to cool on a rack.
If adding raisins, flatten out the lengths of dough before shaping in to ropes, add the raisins and roll back into ropes. Also, chopped apple can be added in the same way.
Mix equal parts Sugar, brown sugar, flour, a good sprinkle of cinnamon and just enough oil to make a crumbly topping.
Makes 2 large loaves. Can make 3 smaller loaves, only bake 35-40 minutes.