Friday, October 12, 2007


Feeling nostalgia for home and its saturation of Jewish cuisine, I felt a craving for some challah. Sadly, here in Australia, I have never seen challah and would probably have to find some Jewish people and a synagogue in order to find one. So my solution was to make it. I got the recipe off the ever-proliferative AskMeFi, and would like to thank flakypastry for the post. This was not as difficult as I thought and amazingly delicious. Seriously, it was one of the nicest things I've made. This makes one big loaf.
-2 egg yolks (save the whites for later) and 1 egg, beaten together
-2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
-1 cup warm water
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
-4 cups bread flour (plus more for later)
-2 tsp salt
-Some sesame/poppy seeds, if you like them
-In a large bowl dissolve yeast into 1 cup of warm water, wait till you see bubbles
-At this point, add the beaten egg mixture, oil, sugar, salt, and flour and mix until you can remove the dough from the bowl-Knead on a floured surface/board, adding more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough is not sticking to your hands, but still sticking together (you'll be able to tell)-Transfer dough to an oiled bowl (I sprayed with canola oil), and turn it a couple times till it's covered. Cover with a towel and leave somewhere warm for about an hour. It should have at least doubled in size and an indent made with your finger should stay in place-Knead dough for about 5 more minutes and then divide into 3 balls
-Roll out balls until they make 3 snakes, about a foot long or so-Press together 1 end of the three snakes, and proceed to braid them together
-At this point, get the egg white from previously and crack another egg in there, and beat it. Now, brush the surface of the challah with the egg wash, and then sprinkle sesame/poppy seeds on top-Place on a flat baking tray with baking paper
-After you've seeded the challah, turn on oven to 350F/175C and wait for the oven to get warm while the challah rises a bit longer
-Bake for 30-35 minutes (mine took exactly 35), until it's starting to get golden. If you remove from the pan, knock the bottom - it should sound hollow

-If you like/want a sweeter challah, you can up the sugar a bit and add raisins after the first rise. If you do this, you'll want to lower to the temperature to about 340/350 and bake for 40 minutes
-Keep the rest of the egg after the egg wash and fry it up into a little scrambled egg to eat with the fresh challah
-Enjoy with some hummus!

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