Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What's Cooking Wednesday - Challah

Thanks to Lynn for her post yesterday. I have my own mix of writing tunes, and just hearing it start seems to calm and focus me. And don't forget; you can still leave a comment on her post (scroll down) to be entered in her drawing.

As we're in the midst of our holidays, and finding challah around here is nigh-unto-impossible, I've baked my own, and I thought I'd share the recipe. This one makes one loaf, although it's on the large size. It also requires rising time (3 of them, actually), so it's a great recipe for days when you want to sit around and read a book. (OK, so you could clean or do laundry or something else more productive. But why?)

My 'minor' variation: I use my KitchenAid with the dough hook for part of the kneading process, but there's nothing like taking out frustrations on a mass of dough to soothe the soul.

For Rosh Hashanah, the loaf should be round, which symbolizes the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

The recipe is below


1 pkg. yeast (regular, not rapid rise)
2 t sugar
1 1/4 c warm water
4 1/2 c flour
2 t salt
2 eggs
2 T salad oil
1 egg yolk
4 T poppy or sesame seeds (optional)

Combine yeast, sugar and 1/4 c warm water and let stand 5 minutes. Place
flour and salt into a bowl, making a well in center. Drop in eggs, oil,
remaining water and yeast mixture. Work into the flour.

Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place in a bowl and
brush top with a little oil. Cover with towel, set in a warm place, and
let rise 1 hour. Punch down and cover again. Let rise until double in

Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Between lightly floured hands, roll the
dough into 3 strips of equal length. Braid strips together and place in
baking pan. Cover with towel and let rise until double in bulk. Brush
with egg yolk and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake in 350 oven about 50
minutes or until brown.

*** For Rosh Hashana, don't put bread into a pan, but form into a circle
and bake on a cookie sheet. Won't take quite as long. If you want to add
raisins, knead them in at the beginning of the kneading process. You can
also bake the braided loaf, but not rounded, on a cookie sheet as well.

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NoraA said...

Nice recipe, but did you know that having raisins in the Challah is traditional during the Yomim Narayim?

Thankfully, I live in the heart of Brooklyn so I can just run over to my nearest Kosher bakery and pick them up. My daughters though do their own baking. I stopped after they started. LOL

Why should I bother when I can tell them to make extra cakes and cookies and bring me a batch.

G'mar Tov

Terry Odell said...

I normally add raisins no matter when I bake Challah. I miss the food choices living up here, but then I remind myself my daughter in Northern Ireland has it much worse.

Wynter said...

I didn't know about the round part. I've never attempted to make Challah. I screw up most cookies, so that might be beyond my capabilities!

Terry Odell said...

Wynter, glad I could offer you something new. Bread's probably easier than cookies. Fewer ingredients to mess up.

Jeff Rivera said...

That's really yummy.. Thank you for the post.

Lucas Kain said...

Never tried challah! Definitely will, as soon as I get the chance! :)

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