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I look forward to kneading with you. We will be in touch soon with the date of the next Challah Bake.
While we were doing them every week for the first four months of the pandemic, we are taking a brief break, planning to return in August. We will send you an email when the date is finalized.
In the meantime, we invite you to bake challah on your own, with family or roommates, or in your own Zoom. You can even follow along with any of the videos from previous bakes.
See you soon on Zoom.
1 cup of hot water (95-105 degrees F)
1 packet of Fleishman’s Fast-Acting Yeast (or 2-1/4 teaspoon)
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of salt
3.5 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of canola oil (I have tried
with olive oil but it never tastes as good)
For Dough to Rise
1 hot towel
The "everything" from an everything bagel,
otherwise known as “Tornado Dust”
Trader Joe's now has it's own brand
or you can create it with a mixture of:
Poppy seeds (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in 1 cup hot water, stir and smell the great smell of the yeast. Let the yeast mixture sit for 20 minutes then add your sugar to activate the yeast (to let the yeast bloom) then the ½ tablespoon of salt.
Then add the 2 cups flour. This is a great time to taste the dough.
In a separate bowl beat one egg and ¼ canola oil. Then mix this into the flour mixture (Now is no longer a good time to taste.) Slowly add the rest of the flour (the remaining 1.5 cups). You can add a little more flour so the dough is not too sticky and can be easily kneaded. Sprinkle some flour on your fingers and on the counter and then dump dough from bowl onto counter. Push, pull, kneed, fold on itself and repeat. The feeling of dough and flour being mixed together on friday mornings is truly one of life’s great pleasures.
Then oil bowl with 2-3 tbsp of canola oil or grapeseed oil, put dough on back in oiled bowl with hot towel. Allow to sit for dough to rise for the rest of the day.
After your Challah has risen (around 5 hours):
Spray a challah pan with olive oil spray so it doesn’t stick (or just put olive oil or parchment paper).
Divide the fluffy risen dough into 3 separate balls. With your hands roll out each of the 3 separate balls into 3 medium length rope-like strands. Put these three strands in your oiled pan. Pinch the top of the three strands. Braid the strands together until you have a braided challah (like you are braiding hair;).
In a separate bowl beat 1 egg. Brush the top of the challah with the egg for a lovely glaze effect. Then add either "Everything topping" (that you can get from Wise Son's Deli, Trader Joe's or you can also just put sesame seeds, poppy seeds and salt on it or just the egg wash.
Then give your challah a "second rise" but letting it rise another 3 hours for extra fluffiness.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Then after the second rise, you will probably need to sprinkle with more "everything" topping.
Then put that sweet/savory braided challah dough into the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 or 30 minutes. Take it out and push the challah--it should give a bit and not be too doughy. You can tap the base of the challah's base to see if it has a hallow sound to see if it's ready.
When it's done, take out of the oven, and we put on a special plate and wrap with a beautiful cloth or napkin and serve with butter.
After we have said the blessing for the bread, we tear off a piece and hand it to someone else to eat.
Best eaten with a good dollop of butter melted into it...Like everything. :)