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Web's Best Recipe Challah

Challah is the festive, egg bread that Jewish people serve on the Sabbath. Traditionally, recipe challah is braided, although modern cooks might opt to serve challah in other shapes.

Trivia: Historically, challah is the name of a biblical tithe. In days past, a portion of dough was donated to a priest. When preparing challah, today's cook breaks off a piece of dough before baking the bread, then throws the bit of dough into the oven while saying the blessing.

And now, two challah recipes.

Recipe Challah (Traditional)

This recipe makes 3 loaves

7 cups flour
1 T salt 1/2 cup sugar
2 pkg yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water

Beat eggs. In a separate bowl, mix oil, sugar and salt. Add boiling water. Stir till dissolved.

Sprinkle yeast into a cup with 1/3 cup warm water. Wait until frothy, then stir.

Add cold water to oil and sugar mixture. Ensure mixture is the right temperature (lukewarm), then add yeast. Add eggs, but hold back a bit to use later for glaze.

Add flour a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Turn recipe challah bread onto floured board and knead until dough springs back after poking with a finger. Add more flour if necessary.

Return recipe challah to bowl, cover, and rise in warm spot until doubled. Expect this to take about 1 hour. Return to floured board and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide dough into 3 equal rolls.

Knead one roll for another minute. Form roll into three long strips for braiding. Pinch the ends at one end together and braid. Pinch bottom ends together when braid is completed. Place in greased loaf pan.

Do the same for the two other rolls. Rise again in warm spot for about three quarters of an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush tops with the bit of egg that you saved. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, watching carefully. Recipe challah should be brown on top but not burnt on the bottom.

Remove from pans, and cool on towels.

Recipe Challah (Bread Machine)

3/4 cup warm water
2 eggs (large)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1-1/2 tsp. salt
3-2/3 cups flour
2 tsp. yeast

Add ingredients to the bread maker in the order that the manufacturer recommends. Use the dough cycle. Knead, rise and shape as above. Make a six-braid and bake for 30 minutes at 375 F.

Alternatively, bake using the regular bread cycle.

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