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Challah II

Challah II

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Dough

5 pounds sifted all-purpose flour
2 ounces fresh yeast
2 tablespoons coarse salt
4 1/4 cups warm water (add an additional 1/4 cup for softer dough)
3/4 cup oil
1 1/3 cups sugar

5 egg yolks

Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of warm water and add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir. When bubbles rise, the yeast has activated. In your mixer, combine the salt, 2/3 of the flour, oil, sugar, yolks, water and the activated yeast last. Set the machine on medium for 12 minutes. When you see the dough begin to form, add the remaining flour into the mixer and continue mixing.

Transfer the dough to a very large well-greased bowl, cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm spot for 2 to 3 hours or until double in bulk. (Optional: punch dough down after 1 hour and let rise again)

Separate the challah and make a blessing. Form the dough into a braid or whatever shape your family has traditionally used.

Six-Braided Challah Divide the dough into 4 parts to make 3 large challahs and 6 small challah rolls. To make a six-braided challah, divide one large part into 6 small sections. Roll each section out to a 12 inch strand. Connect the strands on top and place two strands to the right, two to the center and two to the left. Pull the center left strand up and the center right remains down. Grab the inner center right strand and the inner left strand and pull the outer left strand under. Pull the center left strand up and the center right strand down and then grab the center right strand and the inner right and pull the outer right strand under. Pull the center left strand down and the center right strand up and grab the inner center left and the inner left and pull the outer left strand under. Repeat "down and up and under" til you reach the end. Then take your six strands and tuck them neatly under the challah.

Three-Braided Challah Divide a large piece of dough into 4 parts. From 3 parts roll out three 12 inch strands. Divide the fourth part into 3 and roll out three small strands. Braid the large strands as if braiding hair until you form your challah. Then braid the smaller strands into a mini challah. Place the mini on top of the larger challah.

After you have formed your challahs allow them to rise for 20 minutes in greased baking dishes. Paint the challahs with beaten egg yolks and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for the first 15 minutes then, reduce to 350 degrees for another 30 to 45 minutes.

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Anonymous North Carolina February 1, 2016

Is it 4 1/4 cups of water plus another cup of water for proofing, for a total of 5 1/4 cups of water, or is it 4 1/4 cups in total, including the cup of water for proofing?

Thank you! Reply

hadassah March 22, 2015

How many cups of flour would it be and I have yeast in a pkt so how many packets? Is this a lovely sweet challah? Tx! Reply

Ruth Ashland, Ohio November 23, 2013

What if you don't have a mixer with a hook attachment? All I have is a regular one. Reply

Debra Chester-le-Street, UK October 13, 2013

Loretta, in the UK you would use plain flour, it is the same thing as all purpose flour. Reply

Ruchama October 7, 2013

I'm not sure what you mean by "watery." The newer methods we've been using create a wet sloppy dough at the first stage. When the dough is punched down and then formed into loaves, you are knead in more flour during the process. Are you certain you have your proportions correct? I think you might have been confused since she is going from pounds of flour to cups of everything else. Five pounds of flour is a whole bag. And this would make way more than most people can use right away.My advice is to look at a few recipes and try alternatives. Once you find out how the dough needs to look and feel, you will be able to make your own adjustments. An excellent source for a delicious and simple vegan Challah is in Nava Atlas's Vegan Holiday Cookbook. You can also check out the recipes in Spirit and Spice. Molly Katzen's Still Life with Menu has a simple traditional recipe using egg. Or Google for more options. Reply

Anonymous New york October 6, 2013

When I made it. The dough was partially watery. But it looked like dough. I am very confused? Reply

Ruchama Berkeley September 30, 2013

Yes, you can make the dough in advance. Women have done this for centuries. Many people think a slow rise in the refrigerator makes a superior bread. My own feeling is that the dough should rise once before you refrigerate it to give it a good start. Or you can just leave it out covered all night in a large bowl. We often do this.
if you do refrigerate, you'll need to divide the dough into portions and put the portions into the largest zip locks you can find (we use the 2 gallon). Otherwise, you may open your refrigerator door and find the dough has escaped its bag and spread around the fridge. (We learned about this the hard way). For the last hag we made a huge batch using almost an entire bag of flour and the last day's bread was the softest and lightest. I like to take it from the fridge, punch it down and let it reach room temp then punch again and form. Best test for when it's ready to bake is when your finger leaves a dent when you poke the risen loaf Reply

Rachel F. new york September 29, 2013

I sometimes make dough in advance. You can let it rise in the fridge overnight or separate and freeze in gallon ziploc bags. Reply

Anonymous September 27, 2013

Can you make the dough a day in advance and then bake it the following day? Reply

Miimsie GB May 16, 2013

Re the query on all purpose flour...the British term for this is Plain flour Reply

Ruchama May 14, 2013

What you want is a white (preferably unbleached) baking flour as opposed to a pastry or cake flour. If you want to use partially whole wheat, that will work but the bread is heavier. Probably a basic UK written cook book or even a website would be able to give you a more precise designation. The point is you want a wheat flour that is coarser than pastry or cake flour. Reply

Loretta Meredin Derbyshire, United Kingdom via chabadwestorange.com May 14, 2013

In the UK we do not have all-purpose flour could you please let me know which flour to use here Reply

Ruchama Berkeley, CA September 19, 2012

My handy reference book by David Joachim,The Substitution Bible (highly recommended) states that one package of yeast is 21/4 tsp (11 mL) which is equivalent to one 0.6 oz (17g) of cake compressed fresh.
This book has never led me astray. Reply

Debra Drew Chester-le-Street, UK September 18, 2012

I have trouble finding fresh yeast in the town where I live in England, but have access to the dried. Can you tell me what the equivalent is? Thanks. Reply

Ruchama Berkeley, CA September 12, 2012

Like most breads, classic challah freezes just fine. In fact, you can find it baked and frozen in many supermarkets. You can thaw at room temperature or in the oven at 350. I'm not sure exactly how long in the oven. Probably someone else can post a response or you can Google "defrosting loaf of bread." Reply

raizl New York, New York September 12, 2012

Could I partially bake the classic (egg) challah and freeze it? Thaw and finish baking? Anyone tried it? Reply

Prinsea Levittown, NY September 5, 2012

How about making the FULL recipe & giving some of the challahs away ....I bet people would really appreciate them & will never forget your generosity ( it's a mitzva too!). Reply

Anonymous May 25, 2012

We have made ours with 4 apples, diced and put into the bread little by little as we also add more flour! It is delicious and my children love the taste! Also, subbiing 3Tbs.of Honey brings the taste of the bread to it's ultimate flavor! The apples ferment the taste of the Challah and gives it an appeal like non other!! Try. You will be amazed! Reply

Ruchama Burrell Berkeley, CA March 21, 2012

Here's one that is actually one of the first posts on the page. If this doesn't work for you, post again. We make vegan Challah every week by substituting a flax meal and water mixture in an Artisan Bread recipe.
Challah with Water
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. almond flavoring
Place above ingredients in canister then add:
4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup Terbinado Sugar or any sugar
2 tsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
Set on dough setting, let rise.
Place dough in a lg. bowl with 1 cup flour
in bottom of bowl to make handling of dough easier. I make two loaves of three
braids each.
Let braids rise more than double, Paint
challahs with beaten egg or egg yolk sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds.
Bake at 335" for 20 min. Place a shallow
pan of water on lower shelf under the bread while baking.
Let cool for 15 min. and place in plastic
bag and tie end. Bread has a wonderful
taste and texture.
Posted By Anonymous, Springfield, Mo. U Reply

renate s.i, new york March 18, 2012

looking for water challah recipe. Reply

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