- 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 6 cups flour
- Add the yeast to a small bowl with 1/4 cup warm (105-115 F) water, with 1 tsp sugar dissolved into it. Let proof until foamy (5 minutes).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, oil, and 1 1/3 cups water. Mix until homogenous, then add the proofed yeast mixture. Mix again.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt, then add to the wet mixture and mix to combine before using a dough hook (or kneading by hands) until the mixture is completely smooth. It should not be sticky. In my KitchenAid mixer I let the dough hook work for about 7 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place (I use the oven with the light on) until doubled in size, 1.5-2 hours.
- When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two pieces, and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide each piece into three equal pieces (you’ll have six total now), and form into long ropes about 1″ thick. You’ll be making two loaves, so braid three together, pinching the ends and tucking them under.
- Set on a parchment-lined baking sheet, or lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Let the loaves rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Brush the loaves with the egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp water, and sprinkle with poppy seeds if you want.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Challah should be golden and sound hollow when tapped.