Sunday, January 12, 2014

Recipe: Challah

Finally got around to doing this, me and my friend Emily had been chatting about this for ages! Emily Rose is a Jewish Comedian, who's  going to be touring America soon (also I have seen her shows and she's absolutely side-splittingly hilarious!). She also has a blog, "Belle of the Bimahs", which you can visit here:
Challah is a type of traditional Jewish plaited bread, often eaten on the Sabbath or on religious holidays. It is also utterly delicious, and once you've got the hang of it, really easy to make. Suppose it's easier when you have a proper Hebrew by your side to teach you! This is originally a recipe from "Norene Gellitz.". When it says "cup" in this recipe, it means a mug really, like a small coffee mug.
Challah (makes 2 braided loaves)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 pkg. yeast
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3 1/2 to 4 cups plain flour (plus extra for kneading/ rolling)
Poppy, sesame seeds or whichever seeds you fancy! (garnish)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water

1. Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl which has first been rinsed with hot water. Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Stir to dissolve. Combine with the oil, warm water, ¼ cup of sugar, salt, eggs and half of the flour, and beat this mixture well. Stir in the remaining flour- the dough should be fairly sticky. Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Turn out onto a floured board/surface, and knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. Round up into a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1 ½- 2 hours).
4. Knead dough a little bit more, cover, and let rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes. Separate sections of dough into 8 pieces, roll into long “strands”, and braid each 4 strands into a challah. You connect them at the top, bring over the one from the left across sharply to the right, and then bring the far right strand to the other side, then cross the middle ones, and then repeat this process.
5. Preheat oven to 200C. Cover challahs with a damp cloth and let rise for about 30 minutes. Brush with the beaten egg/water mixture, and top with seeds. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve!

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