Baking Challah Knots at OXO
We love our traditions here at OXO. From the all-office Thanksgiving lunch to our Halloween party, we love coming together, especially when it involves cooking and more importantly, eating. That’s why we started another tradition: baking challah knots. Every year between Christmas and New Year’s, OXO employees get together in our test kitchen to put our baking tools to use, and make challah.
It’s an event that started three years ago and is spearheaded by Michelle, VP of product development. Since it’s relatively quiet during that time of year and a lot of people take vacation, Michelle started baking challah as a way to bring together the people toughing it out in the office. Join our tradition with the recipe below.
Makes 30 knots
4 Cups Warm Water (105 – 115°F)
6 Envelopes of Dry Yeast
5 lbs. Bread Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 ½ T salt
1 ½ cups vegetable or canola oil
Cinnamon Sugar for Dusting
1. Preheat oven to 300.
2. Combine 4 cups of warm water (105 – 115°F) with 6 envelopes of dry yeast (they come in strips of 3 envelopes) and 1T sugar in an oven safe bowl.
3. Open the oven door and place the bowl on the door. Leave for 10 minutes. Small bubbles should form on the top. (If there are no bubbles, the yeast didn’t proof. Start over.)
4. Meanwhile, put 5 lbs of bread flour in a large bowl. Remove 2 cups of the flour and save for later use.
5. Add 2 cups of sugar and 1 ½ T salt and combine well.
6. Push the flour mixture to the sides of the bowl to leave a well in the middle. Pour 3 eggs and 1 ½ cups vegetable or canola oil into the well. Carefully pour the warm water and yeast mixture into the well.
7. Stir with a wooden spoon until you can’t stir any more. Then knead with your hands until well combined. If the dough is sticky, add some more flour. The dough should be springy, not sticky.
8. Brush a thin coat of oil over the top of the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and then place a dish towel over the bowl. Let rise, preferably not in a cool drafty room, the warmer the better, for 1 ½ hours.
9. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
10. Punch down and knead the dough a bit.
11. Break off a piece of dough and roll it into a “snake.” Flatten the snake. Sprinkle stuff like cinnamon-sugar, chocolate chips, raisins, etc. along the length of the snake. Fold in half lengthwise. Then tie the filled snake into a knot.
12. Place knots on prepared baking sheet, not too close together because they will grow. Maximum 6 rolls per baking sheet.
13. Brush knots with beaten egg. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on each knot.
14. Let rise for 30 minutes.
15. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until golden brown. Knots are done when they sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom.
Good tip: Baked challah knots freeze well.