Challah

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Title: Challah
Yield: 1 Servings
Categories: Bread, Internation

Ingredients:

3 pk Yeast
2 c Warm water
3 c Flour
1 c Sugar
H
5 c Flour
1/2 c Sugar
1 1/2 ts Salt
2 Sticks margarine
H
4 Egg
Flour
1 c Raisins; optional


AH.STEIN [Alan]

Here's my challah recipe, which is a variation of one found in the Jewish
Catalog. This is the winter version, when the temperature in my home gets
down to 55-60 overnight. Times will vary at other seasons.

This recipe makes four loaves.

About 6pm, add three pkg yeast to two cups of lukewarm water. Mix in three
cups of flour and one cup of sugar and stir with a fork. Let sit until it
roughly doubles in bulk. (The original recipe said a half hour. I usually
wind up waiting an hour or two.)

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix together five cups of flour, a half cup
of sugar and 1 1/2 tsp of salt. (You may wish to use less salt, especially
if you use salted margarine.) Blend in two sticks of margarine, using a
pastry blender or knife or fork.

When the yeast mixture has doubled, mix four eggs into it. Then blend it
together with the flour and margarine mixture and knead, adding flour as
necessary. (I usually wind up adding another two cups or so while
kneading.) If you're in the mood, you may want to mix in a cup or so of
raisins, especially if it's for Rosh Hashanah. Put in a greased bowl,
greasing the top of the dough as well, put into a draft-free spot (I
generally use the oven), wash your hands and log onto GEnie, and wait for
it to double in size.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and separate into four
roughly equal size parts. Then divide each part into three or four pieces
and braid into gorgeous loaves, placing them onto greased cookie sheets. (I
generally fit two to a sheet.)

Now, get a good, but short, night's sleep. (I usually get to sleep about
11:30 while baking challah, and wake up about 6:00. In the summer, it's a
whole different ballgame and I sometimes put the loaves in the refrigerator
overnight.)

When you wake up in the morning, the loaves should have risen nicely. If
they haven't, be flexible and give them more time. If they've risen too
much, they'll look funny but should taste okay--but not great--anyway.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together a little water and an egg and spread it on the loaves with a
pastry brush. (The Jewish Catalog recipe just says egg, but I sometimes
ran out of egg before I finished so I started adding a little bit of water
to extend it.) Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake until they're done. For me, the median time seems to be about 35
minutes, although they've gotten done in as little as 25 minutes (last week
when I was visiting a friend in the hot and humid Virgin Islands) or as
much as 50 minutes. You can tell they're done when you tap the bottom of a
loaf and it sounds hollow.

From the recipe files of suzy@gannett.infi.net
From: Bread-Bakers Archives: ftp.best.com/pub/reggie/archives/bread/recipe