- 1 1/ 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/ 4 cup plus 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 11 1/ 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/ 4 cup sunflower oil
- Seeds, (pumpkin, sesame, poppy and sunflower) for garnish
Pour the lukewarm water into a big mixing bowl, add 1 teaspoon caster sugar and dissolve the yeast in the water. Once bubbles start to appear on the surface of the water, pour in about a third of the flour, followed by 2 eggs, the remaining caster sugar, salt and oil. Continue mixing, added flour as you go, until you get a big ball of dough. You will know when the dough is ready to knead because it shouldn’t stick to your hands any more. You may not need all the flour to get to this point so just use what your own dough mixture needs.
Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour, tip your dough out onto it and knead for 5-10 minutes, adding a bit of flour if it gets too sticky again. Drizzle a little bit of sunflower oil around the big mixing bowl, place the dough back inside and cover with plastic wrap. Leave the dough to rise for about 1 ½ hours or until it has doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, give it a little punch to knock the air back out of it. Place it back on the floured work surface and knead it a little bit, with a bit of flour if needed, so that it’s ready to shape.
Roll the dough out thin and flat and cut it into long, thin strips. Place 10 thin strips next to each other on a work surface and then weave 10 strips, one at a time, under and over each strand to make a lattice. Cover and leave to rise again for 45 minutes.
Towards the end of this time, pre-heat your oven to 350ºF and beat the remaining egg for egg wash. Spread the egg generously over the challah with a pastry brush. Decorated with seeds. Bake for 30 minutes at the bottom of the oven. You may need to cover the challah in foil at around 20 minutes if it’s getting a bit too brown and crispy!