Challah from CookingManager.com. Makes 4 loaves. Recipe may be halved or doubled.
2 tablespoons instant yeast, or 50 grams fresh compressed yeast, or three envelopes.
35 oz. or 1 liter of water.
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup oil
9 cups flour for the sponge and another 4 to 6 cups for later. Use white, whole wheat, or a mixture.
Instant yeast can be mixed right in, but fresh or compressed yeast needs to be “proofed” with a quarter cup of warm water (measure the full amount, then pour off the quarter cup) and a pinch of sugar.
Stir all of the ingredients including 9 cups of the flour. Let the sponge rise on the counter, or in the refrigerator overnight. The sponge is ready when it’s bubbly. On a hot and humid day the dough can be ready within an hour. On a cool day it will take up to two hours. Longer is fine too.
Stir the batter and add about 4 cups of flour. Now rest 20-30 minutes before kneading.
Stretch and rest method:
After kneading or stretching, you can put it into the refrigerator or shape it right away.
Or roll out part of the dough with a rolling pin, spread with a thin layer of oil, sprinkle sugar, cinnamon and nuts, then roll it up into a cake.
Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds on top.
I like to bake braids into loaf pans, because moist dough spreads out in a flat pan.
Bake at 180 C. or 350 F. The challah is done when the bottom is medium brown; when you tap it you should hear a hollow sound. Remove from pan and cool on a baking rack.