YIELD: Makes 2 loaves
1 cup – water, lukewarm (90-100°F)
3 1/4 tsp. – instant yeast
1/2 cup – canola oil
2 – eggs
6 T – honey
1 tsp. – kosher salt
5 1/4 cup + 3 T – bread flour
Combine yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to activate.
Add canola oil, eggs, honey, bread flour and salt and mix with a dough hook on speed 1 until the dough has started to form.
Increase to speed 2 and mix for 4 to 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl or container and cover. Leave dough in a warm spot for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Turn out dough on an oiled surface and divide in half. Shape each loaf into a three- or four-strand braid. Place on lined sheet pan and cover with plastic or a dishtowel.
Preheat convection oven to 325°F or regular oven to 350°F.
Allow the challah to rise until almost doubled in size. This can take up to an hour depending on the temperature of the room.
Brush the challah with egg wash, sprinkle your favorite seeds on top and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bottom and the exterior feels firm.
Recipe courtesy of Tova du Plessis of Essen Bakery in Philadelphia