Challah

February 26, 2010

This is actually my mother’s Challah recipe. For those of you who are not as familiar with traditional Jewish food, this is a “celebratory” braided bread consumed at Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner. Blessings are said over it and junk, but I just like eating it. It’s great for french toast (see my French Toast recipe) or even bread pudding (recipe to come, hopefully).

Admittedly, this is more for me to reference when I want to make it, but you guys are welcome to give it a shot. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 cup boiling water plus 1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 package active dry yeast
2 room temp eggs (leave a little to brush on braided challot)
4 cups unbleached flour

Mix together all dry ingredients in a bowl. Slowly add the liquid. You may not need all the water. Add until the dough is rubbery and not too sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.

Knead till the dough is smooth. Put back in bowl and cover with a dry kitchen towel. Let rise 2 times for 45 minutes each.  Punch down and knead after each rise.

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

Knead on the table the 3rd time. Break into six equally sized balls and form into 6 “snakes”.  Braid in 6 strands.  Brush with egg yolk.  Sprinkle with sesame, poppy or sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until ready.

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