My signature challah recipe is braided and then formed into a circle. Honey is poured into a hollowed out apple or a small round dish which is placed into the center of the challah for a lovely presentation.
Before you begin, make sure to have a food processor on hand. Line an insulated cookie with parchment paper.
Place yeast in warm water with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sugar, and allow to proof (to bubble up a bit so you know that the yeast are alive) 5 to 10 minutes.
Place flour, 1/4 Cup sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
Beat egg and oil in a small bowl, then add to water/yeast mixture.
Start food processor. Pour in liquids. Combine for about 15 seconds. It should be well combined.
When all combined, process for another 40 seconds. Dough will be more sticky than when you knead by hand.
Remove from food processor, place on a pastry or cutting board sprinkled with flour, knead just a few times, adding a little more flour if necessary to prevent sticking.
Place in bowl which has been lightly greased with oil and allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk. This usually takes 1 ½ to 2 hours. Make sure to cover the dough and leave it in a warm place to rise.
Punch down, divide the dough into thirds, roll out strands of about 16 inches and shape into a 3-stranded braid on an insulated cookie sheet which has been lined with parchment paper. (Insulated cookie sheet will prevent burnt bottom of bread and parchment paper will prevent sticking). Form a circle with the braid and connect the ends as seamlessly as possible. Spray a 3inch round cookie cutter with Pam and place in in the center of the braid, so that there will be a defined circle in the center after the challah is baked.
Cover the dough and allow to rise again for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water and, with a pastry brush, brush the glaze gently on the dough.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Challah should come out burnished to a deep golden brown.
Remove the round cookie cutter. Place a small bowl or a hollowed out apple with honey in the center of the challah.