Every Friday, almost weekly for about two years, I wake up in the morning and walk, bleary eyed, to the cupboard. I take out the yeast, the sugar, the flour and the eggs. I make myself a cup of coffee, put on an apron, and begin the challa baking process.
To me there is nothing that says Shabbat more than the aroma of freshly baked challot, and there is no more intensely satisfying bread-baking experience.
I'm submitting them to this weeks yeastspotting.
Well, onto the recipe I suppose!
- 5 c flour
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 1/2 c warm water (95-105degrees)
- 2 eggs
- 4 T margarine, melted
- 1 egg yolk + 2 tsp water for egg wash
- Mix together flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Form a well. Mix together water, 2 eggs and margarine. Place in the well. Mix thoroughly. Knead until dough is smooth, not sticky.
- Allow to rise for thirty minutes. Punch down. Let dough rise again. Punch down and form into two large challas. Brush with egg wash. Place on sprayed/lined coookie sheet. Bake in 325 oven for 45-50 minutes.
Notes: I've found that my challa dough is always way stickier in Israel than in Canada- must be a gluten thing. Resist the urge to add too much flour or your challahs will be dry. I like to add a bit less yeast and let the dough rise longer- I think it gets more flavour that way. Also, sometimes I double the recipe so that I can make four large challot- there's no need to use twelve teaspoons of yeast- i would use a lot less than that. I'm sure it will still turn out. Also- I use a mixture of ketsach seeds (nigella/black cumin) and sesame seeds on top. A little unconventional, but makes for pretty challas :)