Challah

September 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

Traditionally, Challah is a free form braided loaf; but I find making one recipe into two smaller loaves and baking them in smaller than normal pans, allows the slices to fit into a toaster. And by making two loaves, one can be frozen for later enjoyment, without much effort.

1 cup water, warm
1 package yeast
3-4 cups all purpose flour, approximately
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil, melted butter or margarine
3 eggs, 1 separated reserving the yolk for later use to coat the loaves before baking
poppy seeds or sesame seeds (optional)

In a large bowl, add water, yeast, and sugar, stir and allow the yeast to proof. I use a free standing mixer, but it can all be done by hand
add salt, oil, and eggs, mixing well
add flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough is sticky to the touch, but doesn’t feel wet
scrape dough onto floured counter and knead for approximately 10 minutes, adding flour to the counter, as needed, so the dough won’t stick
the dough will literally feel like a baby’s bottom when ready
place dough in a greased bowl, coating the dough as well to avoid a crust forming
place in a warm spot, covered with a kitchen towel. I place the bowl in a cold oven or under my down comforter
let rise for approximately 1 hour, or until doubled in size, or when two fingers are pressed into the dough and it doesn’t spring back

Preheat oven to 400°

Scrape the raised dough onto floured counter and knead just a little bit
cut dough into 6 equal portions
roll the dough into snakes and braid three at a time
place the braids into greased loaf pans
cover and allow the dough to rise one more time, this time it should only take 20 to 30 minutes

brush loaves with egg wash, sprinkle with seeds if you wish
bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown

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Entry filed under: Breads, Jewish, Popular Ethnic Dishes. Tags: , .

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