1. In the small bowl, pour warm water and add yeast and the sugar. Allow a few minutes for ‘frothing.’ Set aside.
2. In the large bowl, pour boiling water, add salt and the rest of the liquids (oil, honey and vanilla)
4. Add the eggs into the liquids mixture last, when the water has cooled down a bit. Whisk to combine.
5. Dump in the yeast mixture from the small bowl. It should be foamy.
6. Add in 6 cups of flour and stir.
7. Gradually add in the last 7-9 cups of flour beginning to knead when the dough is too stiff to mix with a spoon.
8. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes after the first 5 minutes of kneading. This will relax the dough and allow for an easier finish to your kneading, as whole wheat is very dense and harder to work with.
9. Knead until dough springs back when lightly touched.
10. Pour, or spray, a little oil in the large bowl, turn the ball of dough in the oil, coating the outer layer of the dough.
11. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or a warm, damp dishcloth. Put in a warm spot to rise.
12. Allow to rise for at least 3 hours, and even as much as 4 hours or more. Whole wheat challah requires a little extra rising time, which helps to lighten the dough.
13. Separate the dough with a blessing.
14. Preheat the oven to 350° F
15. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, and begin shaping or braiding.
16. Brush each challah with the egg glaze immediately after braiding.
17. Allow to rise for another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.
18. Glaze again, drizzle some honey on top and sprinkle on topping of choice. A sprinkling of oats on the top give the loaf a nice rustic touch, and add a bit of crunch as well.
19. Bake at 350°f for 30-40 minutes for medium sized challah. (Whole wheat challahs may require a bit of extra oven time)
20. Remove when top is nicely browned, and bottom is crisp and sounds hollow when tapped. Place on rack to cool.
Reprinted with permission from "Rising" Copyright 2017 by Rochie Pinson published by Feldheim Publishers. To find our more about the book and purchase it click here.