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Nothing defines a holiday more than a table set with a beautiful braided loaf of Challa.

The pride of the Jewish holiday table.



Makes 2 loaves • 1 1/2 packages active dry yeast • 1/4 cup vegetable oil • 3 tablespoons honey • 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour(3 1/2 to 4 cups) • 2 cups whole wheat flour • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt • 2 eggs, beaten • egg white, for glazing • poppy seeds or sesame seeds for topping 
 1. Combine the yeast with 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until dissolved Stir in the oil, honey and another 11/2 cups of warm water. 2. Combine the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet mixture and the beaten eggs. Work together, first with a wooden spoon, then with hands. Add additional flour until the dough loses its stickiness. 3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a floured bowl, cover with a tea towel and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and divide into two parts. Divide each part into three parts. Make long strands, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, from each part. Attach three strands at one end by pinching together. Braid the strands and pinch together at the bottom. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet and let rise until doubled in bulk again, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 4. Brush the tops of the braids with egg white and sprinkle with poppy (or Sesame) seeds. Bake 45 minutes or until the tops are golden and the loaves feel hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack.

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