Pour into a large bowl:
6 1/2 cups of warm water
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons of dry yeast
When this has started to bubble, add:
5 lbs. of unbleached white or whole-wheat white flour (I prefer King Arthur)
1/2 cup of vegetable or canola oil
1-2 Tablespoons of salt
Mix the dough and knead until smooth. Grease the bowl with a small quantity of oil and coat both sides of the dough. Cover it with a clean dishtowel and set it to rise away from any drafts.
When the dough has doubled, punch it down, kneading it. This is an auspicious time to pray.
Now we perform the mitzvah of hafrashat challah.
- Say the following blessing: "Baruch Atah Adonoi Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehafrish challah." Blessed are You My L-rd Our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to separate challah.
- Remove a piece of dough larger than a golf ball but smaller than a tennis ball. Lift it up and say, "Harei zu challah." This is the challah.
- Burn this piece on your burners or over-bake in the oven and then discarded. Bake at 350 for 35-50 minutes (depending on the size of your loaves). You may want to rotate the pans halfway through for even baking.