Challah

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Makes

2 to 2 servings

This traditional Jewish sabbath bread, also known as egg bread, is so impressive that you could serve an old shoe for dinner and no one would notice. Use this to your advantage.


Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 pkgs quick-rise instant yeast , (4 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot water , (120 to 130°F/50 to 55°C)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs , lightly beaten

Instructions

  • In a very large bowl, stir together 2 cups (500 ml) of the flour and all of the yeast, sugar and salt. Add the hot water, the oil and the eggs, and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the remaining flour, a ½ cup (125 ml) at a time, until the dough becomes too stiff to stir. Knead until smooth, elastic and, yes, earlobe-like.
  • Grease a large bowl with some vegetable oil and place the dough into it, turning it over to grease all sides. Put into a warm place to rise for 30 to 45 minutes, until double in size.
  • Call in the kids, have them punch down the dough and knead it a few times. Now comes the fun part. Divide the lump of dough into two equal pieces and, following the instructions, form two braided loaves. Place both on well-greased cookie sheets and let rise, again, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until almost double in size. Brush with some beaten egg, sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 25 to 35 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Yes, you can take a bow now.