Adapted from a recipe shared by Rebbetzin Lori Palatnik, JRWP
Raisins and brown sugar add a sweet twist to this Shabbos challah
3 Tablespoons yeast (or 3 pkgs.)
1 small soup bowl of warm water (1 cup)
2 1/4 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
Raisins- about 2 handfuls,(1 cup) white raisins preferred
4 eggs, slightly beaten
7 cups white flour
7 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
Dissolve yeast in soup bowl of warm water with 1 Tablespoon brown sugar. Set aside to "bubble-up."
In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, brown sugar, about a tablespoon of salt, a couple of handfuls of raisins (white raisins work best). Add the yeast/warm water mixture that has started to "bubble-up" and all of the warm water. Stir together.
Add flour, alternating a couple of cups of white, then whole wheat. Use your hands to mix and gradually, keep adding flour (you may need a little more), until the dough doesn't stick to your hands. Remove the dough and knead just a couple of minutes.
Add some oil to the bowl and place dough mixture back in, turning it over so that all sides are coated with oil. Take a towel dampened with warm water and cover the container. Let rise at least 1 hour or until doubled. Punch down.
Separate challah with a bracha, roll, and braid. Brush with egg wash (using 1 whole egg slightly beaten) and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until challahs are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
Makes about 6 loaves.