Friday, April 11, 2008

Frugal Friday: Making Challah


As we are preparing for the week of Passover (begins on April 19), we must start using up all leavened products and products containing flour. A good way to do this is to bake some challah, which is the most delightful bread in the world!

Every Friday night after the candles are lit and the wine has been blessed, we enjoy it's delectable texture and taste. There are so many different ways of making it and so many various recipes, some savory and some sweet, but I've never had a bite of challah that I didn't like!

Here's my favorite challah recipe (courtesy of Rebbetzin Carole Edwards):

SEPHARDIC CHALLAH BREAD*
Makes 3 loaves (6 braided)

Into a large (aluminum) bowl add:
4 tbs sugar, granulated white/raw, Domino 8 pkg
yeast, Fleishman Rapid, 7grm/1/4 oz1 ½ c
water, warm/ 120-130 degrees
Mix w/fork and set aside this YEAST bowl until needed.

Into a medium (aluminum) bowl add:
1 c grape seed oil, Tuscan Sun (purple tin from health food store)
1 c honey, clover
½ c of coconut mixture (17 oz can of Conchita grated coconut and a 15 oz
can of Goya cream of coconut_ store in refrigerated jar)
21/2 tbs packed pumpkin pie mix (kosher), Libby
2 tbs vanilla extract, McCormic
1 tsp Coconut extract, McCormick
Mix w/whisk and set aside this WET bowl until needed.

Into a small (aluminum) bowl add:
1 c sugar, granulated
1/8 tsp powdered cinnamon, McCormick
1 ½ tbs table salt, Morton
Mix w/whisk and set aside this DRY bowl until needed.

Using electric /kitchen aid mixer, beat in a bowl:
8 jumbo eggs, free-range if possible
Beat for 5-8 min. until stiff, white, and frothy, and set aside this EGG
bowl until needed.

Sprinkle a 36x36” plexi-glass board with flour.
Pre-heat oven for 385 degrees.
Into a large (aluminum) bowl wiped with Pam-spray or grape seed oil,
add:
7 c sifted flour, King Arthur’s unbleached Bread Flour_ 5 lb bag = 13 cups½
of the DRY bowl mixture.
½ bag Coconut flakes, Baker’s 17 oz bag

Mix with clean hands, add:
6 c sifted flour, King Arthur’s unbleached Bread Flour OR Whole wheat
flour
½ remainder of the DRY bowl mixture
½ bag remainder of the bag of Baker’s coconut flakes

Mix with clean hands, and to this FLOUR bowl add:
DRY bowl
WET bowl
EGG bowl
YEAST bowl (that had an additional 1 ½ cups of warm/? degrees water added
to it)

Mix with clean hands, add:
Flour, and add remaing warm water as needed to mix all ingredients
sprinkled from a 1 ½ cup container, for desired consistency.
(lump should be about the size of a volley ball).

Then:Place lump on floured surface and knead:50x
Cut, roll in flour, knead3-5x
Slam onto the surface to get out air bubbles
And then:Place lump back into the FLOUR bowl.
Cover with tea towel moistened with warm water.
Place bowl on top of warm stove for 27 minutes to rise.
Again:
Place lump on floured surface and knead:50x
Cut, roll in flour, knead3-5x
Slam onto the surface to get out air bubbles
And then:Place lump back into the FLOUR bowl.
Cover with tea towel moistened with warm water.
Place bowl on top of warm stove for 27 minutes to rise.

CHALLAH BREAD
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare Egg Wash for top of loaves:1 egg½ tsp water1/16 tsp vanillaWhisk
and set aside until needed.
Punch down the lump of dough for the last time.

Say blessing: "Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has
sanctified us with salvation and His commandments, and given us the blessing of the tradition to separate challah
":
BA-RUCH A-TAH A-DO-NAI ELO-HAI-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM A-SHER KID-SHA-NU
B'YESHUA B’MITZ-VO-TAV NATAN LANU
..separate Challah small ball of dough and say the remaining baruch……
…...L’HAF-RISH CHAL-LAH.
Remove a one ounce piece/size of a nickel (to be burned separately in a
piece of foil).
This is a mitzva given especially to women. (Awesome time to pray for your
family).
Say: This is challah. HARAI ZEH CHALLAH.

Squeeze off 6 lumps (the size of your fist) from the lump of dough
Roll them into balls and keep floured so they will not become sticky
Roll/form each of 6 balls into 12” strands/cords (to be used for the
braiding).
Lay strands out like this: l l l l l l
Braid the six strands following the video directions.
Place two loaves diagonally on one lined cookie sheet.
Brush each loaf with egg-wash.
Then sprinkle with:
Poppy Seeds McCormick
Sesame Seeds McCormick
Bake for 30 minutes at 385 degrees, (don’t open the door to check).

*I know this one includes a lot of extra steps and a lot of extra ingredients, but it is so yummy! If this looks a little daunting to you (or you don't have all the ingredients on hand), try a traditional recipe as found here, here and here. Check out rest of Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.
Have any questions about challah-making or good ideas? What do you put in yours? Let me know! My favorite part is the kneading where I feel so wrapped up in prayer for my family. Try it...it's great!

3 comments:

FLCATXOK said...

Wow I have never seen challah with pumpkin and coconut milk but it sounds good and I cannot wait to try it. I will have to wait until after Passover though as I have dough made up for today and next Friday already.

I never know what my health will be like on Fridays plus my Dear Husband has Fridays off so I make a month's worth of challah dough at one time and put in the freezer. Friday mornings all I have to do is thaw, shape and bake! Less clean up on a busy day for me.

wendymom said...

I didn't know that Carol's recipe had so many steps, but I have tasted and know it is well worth the effort. BTW, is that a pic of your challah or is it clip art?

Jenny M said...

wendymom...I actually like your challah the best, but you haven't given me your recipe. If you e-mail it, I will post yours!