Challah No. 1 (Dairy)

Makes 4 small-medium loaves
or 2 large loaves

From The First Jewish Catalog

“The Sharon Strassfeld adaptation of the Kathy Green adaptation of the Terri Sokol challah recipe."

Note: This recipe uses butter instead of oil.
Challah Bread, Shavuot, Lauren Monaco Illustration

2 cups lukewarm water
3 packages of yeast
8 cups of flour
1  1/2 cups sugar
1  1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter (1/2 pound)
4 eggs, beaten
1 egg for glaze, beaten
Sesame or poppy seeds, for garnish

Challah Bread, Lauren Monaco Illustration
Mix water and yeast in a superhuge bowl. Add 3 cups flour and 1 cup sugar. Stir with a fork and let rise half an hour in a warm place.

Meanwhile, in another bowl measure 5 cups of flour, salt, and half a cup of sugar. Add butter and cut in with a knife or pastry blender until mixture resembles course meal. At the end of half an hour, add 4 beaten eggs to yeast mixture and stir well. (Mixture will decrease in volume). Add flour-butter mixture to yeast mixture and work in bowl. If sticky, add up to 2 more cups of flour. Knead well on floured board until smooth and elastic. Put in oiled bowl and cover with towel. Put in a warm place and let rise 2 hours (or until doubled). Punch down. Knead lightly for a minute or two.

Divide dough into parts (depending on how many loaves you want). (This recipes makes 4 small-medium loaves, or 2 large loaves).

Braid the loaves. Place in oiled loaf pans. Cover and let rise in warm place (preferably 3-5 hours). The longer you let it rise (being careful not to kill the yeast), the lighter your loaves will be. When done rising, brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 350ºF. For 4 small-medium loaves, bake for around 30 minutes. For 2 large loaves, bake for 40-45 minutes.

Note: You can freeze the dough after you braid the loaves. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and another layer of foil. The day you want to eat the challah, let it fully defrost for several hours on your countertop loosely covered.
RoshHashanah, Shabbat

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