Breads,  Buns and Rolls,  Can be prepared in advance,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Kosher,  Parve,  Vegetarian

Lightly-Sweet Challah Buns

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The source of this recipe is a colleague who claimed it was the best Challah recipe in the world. He was right. As I tend to do, I made some changes and improvements, and here we are.

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Dough Ingredients

1 kg. flour
200 gr. sugar (for really sweet buns, add 50-100 gr. sugar, to taste)
20 gr. dry yeast
100 gr. vegetable oil
2 eggs
2¼ cups warm water
30 gr. olive oil
10 gr. salt
Some more  flour for kneading/rolling

Glaze Ingredients

For dark buns:
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. water

For lighter-colored buns:
1 XL egg
1 tsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. water

Preparation

In a small bowl, mix the yeast with 1 tsp. of the sugar and some of the warm water, and leave for 5 minutes until it ferments and bubbles.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, fermented yeast and remaining sugar.
Add the vegetable oil, eggs and water and knead until you get a unified, smooth and slightly watery-feeling dough.
Add the olive oil and knead well.
Add the salt and knead until you get a smooth dough (approx. 10-15 minutes).
Cover bowl in plastic wrap, and let rise until dough doubles in size.

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Using your hands, form balls out of the dough – 100 gr. for buns, 300 gr. for small Challahs (I weigh each ball to get same-sized buns).
Flour your work surface well.
Knead each ball, adding  flour until you receive a firm and un-sticky ball which can be rolled.
Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a long strip (about 3 inches/7cm wide), and roll into a thin cylinder.
Using your hands, gently roll each cylinder into a long tube.
Braid into desired shape (the internet is packed with photo and video braiding tutorials, I found a nice video, slowly showing a few types of braiding).

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Place buns/challahs on a baking tin lined with baking paper, and cover with a towel.
Let rise until buns increase in size by 20-30%.
Preheat your oven to 170C/340F
Mix the glaze ingredients well. Thoroughly brush each bun, and sprinkle with sesame/poppy seeds.

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Bake until the bottom of the buns/challahs is a nice golden-brown.