· 4 Tbsp active dry yeast
· 5 cups warm water
· 2 Tbsp sugar
· 5 lbs high gluten flour bread flour, PLUS 1-2 cups more as needed
· 3/4 cup sugar
· 2 Tbsp salt
· 4 eggs
· 1/3 cup honey
· 1¼ cup avocado oil
1. Combine dry yeast, warm water and 3 Tbsp sugar in a glass bowl, cover with a towel and set aside to proof 10 minutes
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the flour with 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp salt. Add the eggs, honey and oil. Mix well.
3. Add the proofed yeast to the flour mixture and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.Transfer dough to working surface and knead until smooth and elastic, or use a mixer. Knead until smooth, add more flour a little bit at a time if dough is too sticky to handle.
4. Return the dough to the large bowl sprayed, cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Set aside to rise for 1 hr to 2 hours in a warm, draft-free spot, such as the microwave.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
6. Braid your challahs. Allow to rise 15 minutes then egg wash, sprinkle toppings and bake about 45-60 minutes. Should be golden on top and bottom.
7. For holidays, make 5-6 equal sized balls- rolls and place in a circle in a round cake pan, place a ramekin in center or a ball of foil. Brush top of dough with egg wash, each ball gets a different topping, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame, fennel seed, poppy etc., use as a table wow factor. Put honey or favorite dip in the bowl, if baking with a foil ball in the center , remove it and place a small bowl.
8.Allow to cool completely before storing. To freeze wrap in double foil wrap so that no part of the bread is exposed , then put into a plastic market bag and freeze.
9.To warm up , let challah come to room temp , still wrapped in foil, for a few hours on the counter, place in 350 oven uncovered for 15 minutes