Thursday, February 26, 2009

Challah Recipe

This is a repost from back in May of 2008. I thought some of you who are new to 50s Housewife might like this recipe, plus I'm lazy today and can't come up with anything good. :) It's our last Spring like day before another cold front comes through so Mike is firing up the grill and we are going for a walk after supper. We want to enjoy the warmth while we can.

This recipe is for challah, a traditional Jewish bread. It calls for margarine or vegetable shortening to keep it kosher, but you could use butter. It is customary in Jewish homes to begin the three meals eaten during Shabbat with blessings over two loaves of challah. It is a very pretty bread and so much fun to make. This recipe makes one loaf.

1. Stir together 2 cups of flour and 1 Tablespoon yeast in a mixing bowl (or in my case, the bowl of my Kitchenaid) and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir together 1 1/4 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 3 Tablespoons of margarine, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt just until warm (120 to 130 degrees) and margarine almost melts.

2. Add water mixture and two beaten eggs to dry mixture.

Beat on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, then on high for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Stir in an additional 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 cups of flour and knead using dough hook. You can, of course, also turn the bread out onto a floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about an hour).

4. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into thirds. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Shape each third into an 18 inch long rope. Braid ropes and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush top of braided loaf with a beaten egg white.

6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when you tap it. If necessary cover loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over browning. Immediately remove bread from baking sheet. Cool on a wire rack.


gigi said...

Wow, that is a great looking bread and recipe. I'd love to try that one sometime.

Susan said...

Love the recipe. I will give it a try!

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

What a beautiful rope of dough!

Jen said...

It's really a pretty bread. I like making homemade breads...thanks for this recipe.
Hope the walk went well....our temps have been warmer...but going cold again.

momstheword said...

You are right, it is pretty. I don't think my braid would be as pretty as yours though, lol! I used to sometimes braid my hair when it was very long but it didn't look as good as your bread, lol!

Marisa Le'rin Salas said...

my mouth literally waters when I see that loaf of bread!
Once I get me some yeast i so want to make that!

Grits said...

Thanks for posting! I love challa bread and have a hard time finding it in stores in the south sometimes. It makes the best overnight french toast! :-)

Erin said...

I'm so excited to try this is on the schedule for next week!

Shabbywears said...

I am going to try this for Sunday lunch...hope mine turns out as pretty as yours....Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes!
Love Julie