Yield: 4-5 large challahs
2 1/4 cups warm water
3 T. active dry yeast
7-8 cups whole spelt flour
3 cups oat flour (or oats ground in the food processor)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
3 tsp. salt
additional egg for glazing challah
sesame seeds, optional
Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a bowl. Leave for 10 min. Stir and leave for another five minutes. The yeast should be foamy. Mix flours in a large bowl, add yeast mixture and remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Start with 7 cups of spelt flour and add more as necessary until the dough begins to come together. The dough should be soft, but kneadable. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it is a smooth cohesive dough. (About 10-15 min.)
Return dough to bowl, cover and let rise for about 1 1/2-2 hours until doubled in size. Punch down the dough and braid into loaves. Cover with a towel and allow to rise again until doubled. About another 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 20-25 min. until lightly golden.
* You can freeze the dough after you punch it down. Allow to thaw and reach room temperature, shape, and continue with the recipe.
** If desired, you can place the dough in the refrigerator overnight after kneading it. In the morning it should have risen to double the size. Punch down, shape and allow to rise the second time. It will take longer to rise the second time b/c it will be cold.