Monday, January 4, 2010

Challah Bread

This is an authentic recipe from Israel. It tastes just like Challah bread I ate from the Orthodox Bakery in Jerusalem. Well worth the time- even if the risings take a while.

Use a large bowl, mix:
2 cups warm water (110-115*F)
3 packs dry yeast
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
mix and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 min.

In another bowl, mix:
5 cups flour,
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
using pastry blender cut in 2 sticks of margarine until the mixture has the consistency of course meal.

After 30 min.
add 4 beaten eggs to yeast mixture
then add four margarine mixture
Add 2 cups flour
Kneed ~ 10 min. add 2 cups raisins while kneading.
Please in oiled bowl. Cover and put in warm place to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. (I put the bowl in the the sink with hot water up half way and it took 1 hr 15 min.)
knead again for 2 min.

Make into 4 medium round loaves or make 2 rope loaves.
Put on oiled baking sheets, cover wit htowl and let rise 3 hours (I heated the oven to 100- put in loaf and 2 cups boiling water underneath and it took 1 hour)
Brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppyseeds are kosher salt. (I like to beat my egg with 1 TBS of water- it makes for easier brushing)
Bake @ 350 for 45 minutes
or if you're crazy like me and make 1 giant loaf- 1 hour and then watch it if not done.
I know the picture is silly, but I didn't think to take a picture of the loaf by itself:)

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