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Festive Challah

Festive Challah

Pour the water into a kneading bowl and crumble the yeast into the water. Add in this order: the flour, 2 of the eggs, sugar, salt, and oil.

Using a dough hook, mix on low speed to combine the ingredients, 4 minutes. Increase to medium speed and knead until a soft, smooth dough is formed, 5 minutes. Remove the dough to a slightly floured work surface, and roll into a ball.

Place the ball of dough in a lightly floured bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise until almost double in volume, 40 minutes.
Divide the dough using a knife into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into a 10-inch-long cylinder. Place the three challahs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the challahs with a kitchen towel and let rise for about 35 minutes.

With 15 minutes left until the proofing is complete, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Beat the remaining egg.

Once the challahs have doubled in volume, gently brush the tops with the beaten egg and generously sprinkle with sesame and poppy seeds.

Bake until golden brown, 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before serving.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 ½ cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • ½ cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (Optional)

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.

Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together. Grease two baking trays and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.


What Makes Challah Bread Different

The beautiful braiding is what makes Challah so special. Although it looks complicated, even a simple 3 or 4 strand braid provides beautiful results.

Challah bread also has rich cultural significance. The term “challah” derives from a reference in the Torah where Moses is instructed to use a portion of each loaf as an offering. Observant home bakers today still follow this practice by incinerating a piece of dough in the oven first before baking.

Because Challah does not use dairy, it is considered Kosher and included in Jewish rituals. The shape of challah bread can vary depending on the occasion. For example on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, challah loaves are braided in a circular shape instead to represent continuity.

In other parts of the world, Challah can go by different names. In Russia, it is often known as chalka. In Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine it is sometimes called khala.


Uses for Challah Dough

Challah dough is also very versatile. Sprinkle it with any sort of seed. Knead in raisins, or craisins, or dried blueberries. Roll out the dough and spread with cinnamon sugar for a cinnamon babka or cinnamon rolls. Or, if going the savory route, use pesto. Better yet, use it for onion rolls. (That’s foreshadowing: recipe for onion rolls coming soon!) If you roll out the strands really long, you will end up with a long, skinny challah. Want to make your challah look extra fancy? Pull out a small amount of the dough before you divide it into the number of strands to braid. Roll that reserved amount of dough into a rope the length of your braided challah and place it on top. Cut the sides approximately 1/3 of the width of the rope in an alternating pattern. If you want to make just one challah with raisins, knead the raisins in just before dividing into strands for braiding.

Challah is great for all sorts of sandwiches, dunking into soup, French toast, or just good, old fashioned munching. I love it with a shmear of cream cheese. Everything spice blend works great on challah.

Looking for a round Challah or just an ornate challah? Check out my Festive Challah.


What you’ll need to make Challah

The recipe calls for instant or rapid rise yeast, which rises faster than regular active dry yeast. Once opened, yeast will keep in the refrigerator for three to six months. Yeast is sold in jars (as pictured) or individual packets. If you don’t do a lot of bread baking, it’s best to buy the packets just note that the quantity required for this recipe (1 tablespoon) is more than one packet.

Be sure your eggs are room temperature this dough is slow to rise and cold eggs will slow it down even further.


15 Shabbat Dinner Recipes

For Jewish families, Friday night means one thing: Shabbat Dinner. The festive meal welcomes the day of rest, the Sabbath (Shabbat), and separates the work week from the weekend. It always includes special food, plenty of wine, and (depending on tradition) a full night of song, conversation, and no iPhones.

Shabbat's traditional foods, namely challah (braided egg-washed bread) and wine &mdash to sanctify the meal &mdash are few, meaning it's cook's choice for the night! Chicken is always a popular go-to, for its affordability, people-pleasing popularity, and easy ability to feed a crowd. For kosher cooks, dairy and meat can't be mixed, meaning a vegetarian Shabbat can also be preferable for cheese-lovers.

Whatever you're making, Shabbat dinner has the potential to be the most special meal of the week. And yes, it's a feast! Go for courses, fill your table with sides, and always have something waiting for dessert. So try a new recipe, or a few, to learn your Friday night favorites.


Breads Bakery, just off Union Square in NYC, was included in the not-to-miss list of best French bakeries in NYC posted on Eater in July.

But wait! Is Breads Bakery French? Israeli? Danish?

Master baker Uri Scheft was born to Danish parents in Israel, where he grow up. His training and travels took him to Europe where he learned traditional baking techniques and brought them back to Tel Aviv where he had been running LeHamim (bakery and cafe) since 2001. Lucky for New Yorkers, he has been baking sweets at Breads since January of 2013.

Breads immediately gathered a flock of fans who follow the sweet trail down E. 16th St. to enter a pleasure den of irresistible aromas of butter, chocolate, nuts and cheese, oh my!

Chocolate babke oozing with Nutella and dark chocolate chips, fruity and fragrant croissants and magnificent baguettes, 100 % rye breads, fig and walnut loaves, flaky cheese sticks are baked throughout the day where racks of rising dough and industrial size mixers are visible just 50 feet from the counter. Unlike most bakeries, Breads bakes throughout the day, guranteeing the freshest, most delectable treats I’ve tasted in a long, long while.

With a cafe menu that suits vegetarians and healthy eaters, the sandwiches are reasonable priced and include Middle Eastern favorites like Tunisian, Sabich and Baba Ganoush.

Students, residents and tourists wander from the greenmarket and nearby classrooms for their strong coffee fix, salads and treats through out the day.Counters in the front and a smattering of tables encourage noshers to stay a while.

I dare you to not have dessert even if you’ve started off with one of their healthy salads of super fresh greens topped with quinoa, chickpeas or tuna salad.

Baked delicacies shift with the seasons (fruity fillings of apples and pears come from the greenmarket, as do veggies for the buttery quiches) and the holidays (I was BLOWN AWAY by a generous gift of hamantaschen delivered by a friend last Purim).

Naturally, Rosh HaShanah treats include plenty of apples and honey. The challenge is choosing between Apple Galette, Safta Cake (Safta= grandmother in Hebrew) moistened with honey and dotted with cubes of apple, pareve (non-dairy) honey cake or Apple Babke.

Did I mention the chocolate babke?

In case you can’t get to Breads on time for the holiday, consider baking Uri Scheft’s challah. Want some help with braiding instructions ? Click here.

Just be sure to add a stop at Breads next time your in the neighborhood. There is NO WAY you will leave empty handed.

Breads Bakery is at 18 East 16th Street, NYC

Hours: M-F 6:30-9 PM Sat. 6:30-8 PM and Sun. 7:30-8 PM.

Note: Breads Baker is not a kosher bakery. Their menu is vegetarian with some fish items (no shellfish). There are some non-dairy baked goods available. It is the perfect spot for anyone kosher like me.

Breads Bakery offers baking classes although none are scheduled at this time. They will schedule a class for groups upon request.

Anyone want to join me for a baking class at Breads? Leave a comment below and we’ll try to schedule one. Let’s do it!


Classic Challah

This deep-gold, light-textured bread is traditionally served on the Jewish Sabbath and other holidays. The dough is wonderfully smooth and supple, making it an ideal candidate for braiding. The simplest way to go is a three-strand braid but feel free to try the slightly more complex four-strand braid, or even a six-strand braid, which makes a striking presentation. The inspiration for this recipe comes from Lora Brody, cookbook author, photographer, and long-time King Arthur friend.

This recipe has been amended as of 3/16/21 — please see the details in “tips,” below.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (170g) water, lukewarm
  • 6 tablespoons (74g) vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons (63g) honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk (white reserved for the topping)
  • 4 cups (482g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9g) salt
  • 4 teaspoons (12g) instant yeast
  • 1 large egg white (reserved from above), beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • poppy seeds or sesame seeds, for sprinkling optional

Instructions

To make the dough: Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead them, by hand, mixer, or bread machine, until you have a soft, smooth dough.

Allow the dough to rise in a plastic wrap-covered bowl for about 2 hours, or until it's puffy it won't necessarily double in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.

Perfect your technique

Classic Challah Bakealong

Next step: divide the dough into pieces, the number depending on what kind of braid you want to make. You may braid the challah the traditional way, into a three-strand braid for helpful tips watch our video, How to braid a three-strand loaf. For a fancier presentation, make a six-strand braid watch our video, How to braid a six-strand loaf, to see how it's done. To make a four-strand braid, see shaping instructions in our Four-Strand Braided Challah recipe.

Once you've decided which braid you're doing, divide the dough into the appropriate number of pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 20" long. If the dough starts to shrink back as you roll, cover it and let it rest for about 10 minutes, then resume rolling. The short rest gives the gluten a chance to relax.

Braid the loaf. Remember, for three- or six-strand braids, watch the videos linked above. For a four-strand braid, see "tips," below.

Gently pick up the braided loaf, and place it on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until it's very puffy, 60 to 90 minutes. Toward the end of the rising time, place a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.

To make the topping: Whisk together the reserved egg white and water. Brush the mixture over the risen loaf. Sprinkle generously with poppy seeds or sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake the challah on the oven's upper rack for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it's a deep golden brown and a digital thermometer inserted into the center reads 190°F.

Remove the challah from the oven and transfer it to a rack to cool.

Storage information: Store any leftover challah, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days freeze for longer storage. While challah does tend to dry out after a day or so, it's always good toasted, or made into grilled sandwiches or French toast.

Tips from our Bakers

3/16/21: Thanks to suggestions from you, our baking community, we've made some changes to the recipe to streamline and shorten the preparation and baking process. For a softer dough (that'll rise more quickly) and enhanced flavor, we've increased the water and yeast decreased the honey, and added an egg yolk, in the process freeing up an egg white for the egg wash.

Make it whole wheat: While challah made with 100% whole wheat flour will be heavier than that made with all-purpose flour, it will still be soft and delicious. For best flavor, we recommend substituting white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour. For best texture, allow the just-mixed dough to rest for 20 minutes before kneading this gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to handle. If necessary, knead in 1/4 to 1/2 cup additional water, or enough to make a soft, smooth dough.

Join King Arthur baker Martin Philip and his family as they bake Classic Challah together, start to finish. Watch Martin Bakes at Home - Challah now.


In a medium bowl, combine yeast and water and a sprinkling of the sugar or a few drops of honey. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and reserve 3 Tablespoons for the egg wash. Mix in 1 Tablespoon water to make the wash and store it in the refrigerator. Also prepare a clean counter space with a sprinkle of flour for kneading.

When the yeast mixture begins to bubble, add the mixture to the eggs not reserved for the wash, along with the rest of the sugar or honey, salt, and oil. Sprinkle in 2 cups of flour and work it in with a whisk. Continue to add flour, 1-2 cups at a time, and continue to mix. When the dough is too thick to mix with the whisk, turn it out onto the floured counter top and continue adding flour and kneading it in with your hands.

When dough is no longer sticky and forms a firm (but soft) ball, continue to knead for 10 minutes.

Clean the large bowl that you used to mix the dough, or prepare two medium bowls. The bowl space should be large enough that the dough fills it no more than halfway. Oil the sides of the bowl(s). Form the dough into one or two balls. Place the dough in the bowl(s), with the seam side of the ball facing down. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or wax paper and let it sit in a warm place for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in bulk.

Now you are ready to separate challah. If the dough is in two separate bowls, put the pieces of dough side-by-side on the counter so they touch. Pull off the olive-sized scrap of dough and say the blessing. Wrap the small piece of dough in aluminum foil and burn it in the oven or on the stovetop (if using a gas range). Be careful that it doesn&rsquot catch fire! Or wrap the dough in a napkin or paper towel, then discard it.

When this is finished, divide the remaining dough into 6 pieces. Each of these pieces will form one loaf. To shape the challah, try the braiding techniques in this recipe for the classic look. Many bakers use different shapes in honor of various holidays, such as a round challah for Rosh Hashanah, the new calendar year. The Rosh Hashanah challah can be formed by rolling the dough into one long strand and then coiling it into a spiral.

When the loaves are ready, place them on an oiled baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size again.

While the dough completes its second rise, reheat the oven to 350F. Brush the tops of the loaves with the reserved egg wash and sprinkle with seeds, if desired.

Bake loaves for 35-40 minutes, or until a knock on the base of the loaf produces a hollow sound.

To store leftover challah, place cooled loaves in zip-top bags and keep in the refrigerator or freezer. To serve, bring up to room temperature, wrap in aluminum foil, and warm in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes.


22 festive recipes for your Rosh Hashanah feast

Many Jewish holidays are invariably tied to the festive foods eaten to mark their occasion, but Rosh Hashanah may bring out the best menus of them all. Both a joyous celebration to signify the start of the Jewish New Year and an opportunity for deep reflection and intention setting, Rosh Hashanah inspires meals that feel special, abundant and nostalgic — to put it plainly, they just hit different. Maybe it's that first sip of steaming chicken soup after a humid summer, or the influx of fall harvest vegetables. Or maybe it's the lush, pillowy challah that's served in place of the matzah eaten on Passover. Whatever it is, one thing is certain — there will be enough apple-and-honey-scented dishes served to wish you a sweet New Year and then some.

While the specific foods always vary from table to table, and between Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Mizrahi traditions, it's likely that most meals will look a little different in this strange, unprecedented time. Below is a collection of recipes you can pick and choose from to fill out your menu — whatever it may look like this year. They are curated to suit a meat-based meal, and are almost entirely dairy-free, aside from a butter glaze that can be subbed with margarine, a few Parmesan garnishes that can easily be left off, and a couple desserts that make use of cream and butter. There are simplified takes on staples like challah, brisket and gefilte fish, and plenty of nods to symbolic ingredients, like apples, honey, beets, pomegranate and dates. The majority are built to serve between four to eight people, so they're ideal for a pared down feast, but can easily be doubled or halved to suit your celebration's needs. Pair them with a batch of Bubbe's chicken soup and you're all set. Shana Tova!


Breads Bakery, just off Union Square in NYC, was included in the not-to-miss list of best French bakeries in NYC posted on Eater in July.

But wait! Is Breads Bakery French? Israeli? Danish?

Master baker Uri Scheft was born to Danish parents in Israel, where he grow up. His training and travels took him to Europe where he learned traditional baking techniques and brought them back to Tel Aviv where he had been running LeHamim (bakery and cafe) since 2001. Lucky for New Yorkers, he has been baking sweets at Breads since January of 2013.

Breads immediately gathered a flock of fans who follow the sweet trail down E. 16th St. to enter a pleasure den of irresistible aromas of butter, chocolate, nuts and cheese, oh my!

Chocolate babke oozing with Nutella and dark chocolate chips, fruity and fragrant croissants and magnificent baguettes, 100 % rye breads, fig and walnut loaves, flaky cheese sticks are baked throughout the day where racks of rising dough and industrial size mixers are visible just 50 feet from the counter. Unlike most bakeries, Breads bakes throughout the day, guranteeing the freshest, most delectable treats I’ve tasted in a long, long while.

With a cafe menu that suits vegetarians and healthy eaters, the sandwiches are reasonable priced and include Middle Eastern favorites like Tunisian, Sabich and Baba Ganoush.

Students, residents and tourists wander from the greenmarket and nearby classrooms for their strong coffee fix, salads and treats through out the day.Counters in the front and a smattering of tables encourage noshers to stay a while.

I dare you to not have dessert even if you’ve started off with one of their healthy salads of super fresh greens topped with quinoa, chickpeas or tuna salad.

Baked delicacies shift with the seasons (fruity fillings of apples and pears come from the greenmarket, as do veggies for the buttery quiches) and the holidays (I was BLOWN AWAY by a generous gift of hamantaschen delivered by a friend last Purim).

Naturally, Rosh HaShanah treats include plenty of apples and honey. The challenge is choosing between Apple Galette, Safta Cake (Safta= grandmother in Hebrew) moistened with honey and dotted with cubes of apple, pareve (non-dairy) honey cake or Apple Babke.

Did I mention the chocolate babke?

In case you can’t get to Breads on time for the holiday, consider baking Uri Scheft’s challah. Want some help with braiding instructions ? Click here.

Just be sure to add a stop at Breads next time your in the neighborhood. There is NO WAY you will leave empty handed.

Breads Bakery is at 18 East 16th Street, NYC

Hours: M-F 6:30-9 PM Sat. 6:30-8 PM and Sun. 7:30-8 PM.

Note: Breads Baker is not a kosher bakery. Their menu is vegetarian with some fish items (no shellfish). There are some non-dairy baked goods available. It is the perfect spot for anyone kosher like me.

Breads Bakery offers baking classes although none are scheduled at this time. They will schedule a class for groups upon request.

Anyone want to join me for a baking class at Breads? Leave a comment below and we’ll try to schedule one. Let’s do it!


Watch the video: Soft u0026 Glowy Look Με Πορτοκαλί. Κourtney Κardashian Εορταστικό Μακιγιάζ (January 2022).