23 November 2009

Challah at ya girl!

As our contribution to the Local Foods Thanksgiving meal on campus, Chalutzim made over 40 loaves of challah using locally grown whole wheat flour using our special recipe. The challah went over well at the meal, and attendees were asking for the recipe.

Even after that marathon of baking (from 1pm through midnight), I came out still stressed and wanting to bake more. So what did I do?

Make more challah, of course!!!

Here is the fabulous, sought-after Chalutzim "Better than Yo' Mama's" Challah recipe that we enjoy every week:

1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeat
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
1 cup oil
4 eggs plus 1 egg for egg glaze
6-8 cups flour

Mix 1 tbsp sugar with the yeast, and stir in warm water. Allow yeast to proof for 20 minutes. Then add honey, oil, and eggs and mix well. Stir in salt, and then slowly add flour cup by cup. Once dough is thick and not too stick (read: so tough to stir that your muscles hurt), cover with damp cloth and place in a warm area to rise for at least 2 hours. When dough has doubled in size, tip onto lightly floured surface and cut dough in half. Take one half, cut into three or four chunks, roll into ropes, and braid. Tuck ends under and place on a greased cookie sheet or a Silpat. Blend one egg with 1 tbsp water, and brush mixture lightly over the loaf using a pastry brush. Repeat with second half of dough, putting onto another cookie sheet. Bake at 400F until golden brown. Bread is done when tapping on it yields a hollow sound.

Makes 2 loaves.

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