Challah Rolls

I guess I should start off by saying, Happy Thanksgiving!  There’s many things I’m thankful for these year (besides these yummy Challah Rolls):

1. Olive.  (AKA, Baby Cat)

2. America.  It’s my first real Thanksgiving back in the States (last year doesn’t count, since I worked on Thanksgiving and we had Thanksgiving dinner on Friday) and I’m super excited to be bringing the Apple Pie!  (recipe to come soon)

3. Wonderful friends who make me laugh and who are always there for me whenever I need it!

4. Working at a job that I just LOVE (with people that I love) and knowing I’m doing something good for the community and the animals here.

5. My family, who has always supported me and I know will love me every day!

– and finally-

6. Good Food!

Challah Rolls

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 16 four ounce rolls

1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon salt
8 to 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Poppy seeds for sprinkling, optional

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast with the sugar and 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.  Stir lightly and let sit for 15 minutes.

After the yeast has had time to develop, whisk in the oil and 4 eggs, adding each egg one at a time.  Then mix in the remaining sugar, salt and add the flour gradually.

Knead for approximately 10 minutes, adding more flour a Tablespoon at a time, if needed.

Wash and grease the bowl.  Place the dough inside, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.  For risings, I like to heat my oven to 200 degrees and then turn it off and let the dough rise in the warm oven.

After one hour, or the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and let it rise one more hour.

After the second rise, you could form the dough into the more traditional braided loaves.  However, for rolls, measure the dough to the desired size.  I used four ounce balls, but I found this to be slightly big.  Probably a 3 or 2 ounce would be better.  It’s important to have all the rolls be the same size so they cook evenly.  A kitchen scale is perfect for this!

Brush the tops of the dough with an egg wash made with the remaining egg and a small splash of water.   Let the dough rise on a parchment-covered sheet pan for 1 more hour.

Brush the rolls with the egg wash one more time and sprinkle poppy seeds on top, if using.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Or, if you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when the rolls hit an internal temperature of 190 degrees.

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