Kathy Wise’s Sweet Vanilla Challah
Copied from the St. Paul Talmud Torah’s CHILDREN’S FAVORITES RECIPE BOOK - 1985
Makes 4 large double braided loaves
4 pkgs dry yeast
½ cup warm water
½ tsp sugar
Dissolve together. Set aside until foamy
12 cups (approx.) unbleached flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp. salt
2 cups warm water
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar
Put flour into a LARGE bowl. Make a well in the center; add foamy yeast mixture. Cover with a clean towel, set in a warm place while you mix together in a bowl the eggs, the cup of sugar, the cup of oil, the vanilla and the salt.
Add to the flour/yeast mixture. Add the 2 cups of warm water. Mix it all together.
Turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Place in a very large oiled bowl. Cover and set in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours.
Cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Once the dough is divided, from each 4th, cut about 1/3 to ½ of the dough for the smaller top braid. Cut the cut into 3 pieces, roll, then braid together. Set aside.
Cut each of larger remaining pieces into three pieces. Roll into strands then pull the strands into a braid. Place the smaller braid on top of the bigger one.
Place two challot on a greased baking sheet, and two on another greased baking sheet. Thoroughly whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and sugar. Brush each challah with the glaze.
(Note: Kathy does not mention a second rise, but there must be one. Use your judgment.)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden on top. (Note: use your own doneness test.)
Cool completely on a wire rack.