- 4 1/2 - 5 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs, divided
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/ 4 cup sunflower oil, or rapeseed or canola oil
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/ 2 cup lukewarm water
- White sesame seeds, for topping
- Nigella seeds, for topping
- Poppy seeds, for topping
Add flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, then add in salt and yeast on separate sides of the bowl.
Whisk together 2 eggs, egg yolks, oil, honey and water in a separate bowl. Pour into the middle of the flour and knead on low speed for 5-7 minutes, until the dough looks smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It should still be a little tacky but not sticky.
Lightly grease a large bowl with oil and place the dough inside. Cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes until it’s nearly doubled in size. (If your kitchen is cold, this rise may take longer.)
Once risen, punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts. You can make either one large six strand loaf or two smaller 3 strand loaves.
Roll each portion of dough into a long sausage and taper the top and bottom so it’s slightly thinner at both ends. If the dough resists and springs back too much, let it rest for 10 minutes before trying to roll again. Braid the dough as desired and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise again for 30-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375ºF while challah is rising. When ready, brush challah with beaten egg and sprinkle on a mixture of white sesame seeds, nigella seeds and poppy seeds. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the challah is a deep golden brown. The challah is done when the base sounds hollow once tapped.
Let cool completely before slicing and serving.