Great Recipe For Foolproof Challah
Good Shabbos, Everyone!
This is going to be too late for this week, but here is my fave recipe-I make challah for my congregation every chance I get. I've done this over a hundred times, so I know it works...
Challah21/2 T. Red Star Yeast3/4 C. Sucanat, Florida Crystals or brown sugar
, divided31/2 C. Very warm water
(100-115 degrees Farenheit)6 large eggs
, checked for bloodspots1 C. high-quality oil
, such as olive-canola11/2 T. Sea salt12-14 C. high-quality flour
: I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat in combination with King Arthur or Stone Buhr unbleached white flour 50-50, I
have a good mix of flours. Sometimes, I use a small amount of other flours with the whole wheat portion. Too much of other flours takes away from the gluten's ability to stretch and provide structure.
1. Proof the yeast, 11/2 C. warm water, and 1/4 C. of the sugar
in a glass bowl until foamy
2.Beat the oil, eggs, salt and remaining water in a large bowl. Set aside.
3.When yeast mixture is foamy, add to egg mixture.
4. Gradually beat in flour to the liquid mixture, until too stiff to use a spoon. Use your hands, mixing until the dough forms a ball,and turn out onto a table even if it is still sticky and you have not worked all the flour in yet. Keep kneading it, and sprinkling flour on the table and working it in-I do this in 2 tablespoon increments as it gets less sticky. The dough will let you know when you have added enough flour; it becomes smooth, and will not stick totally to your index finger when you poke into it up to your second knuckle of your index finger. This will take patience=about 20 minutes of solid kneading. You want it to be slightly sticky. Moisture in the dough is very important-it allows for expansion of flour particles, and gas bubbles from the yeast. Oil the bowl, and put the dough ball in the bowl, rolling it over once or twice to coat with oil. Take challah and say the bracha,
and let rise in a warm place: a preheated oven that has been allowed to cool to about 120 degrees F. is ideal. Let rise until double; punch down and form braids. This recipe makes a lot: 5 or 6 good size challot. I let them rise on large 1/2 professional baking sheet pans with parchment paper under them. Brush with eggwash, sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion seeds or a mixture, or leave them plain.
Proof until doubled, and bake at 375
degrees F. for approximately 35-40
minutes, until they are brown and sound hollow when tapped on the side.
This challah recipe is so good-I got it from the Spice and Spirit cookbook and it has never failed me when I follow it, and take challah.
I believe that it comes out so wonderfully because of the mitzvah of taking challah when I bake it, and the fact that I never use a machine to do the work for me. Good luck, enjoy the process and happy baking!!!
Good Shabbos, everyone.Yafa