: Continued from Part 1
* Challah (pronounced "hallah") is a type of braided egg bread traditionally eaten on the Jewish Sabbath. It is eaten by tearing off hunks rather than by cutting with a knife.
I got this recipe from a housemate a couple of years ago; I don't know its origins before that, but it has become one of my favorite recipes, and one with which I have experimented a good deal. I've tried several other challah recipes, but find I like this one the best. Yield: 2 Large loaves.
* The variation in oil makes quite a difference in the moisture of the bread: If you use the larger quantity, the bread comes out very nice and moist, but when it cools it becomes somewhat oily.
The amounts of sugar and oil may sound high, but try it this way once before cutting back. I have tried other recipes that use less, and they don't taste nearly as good.
* Here's the fun part --> variations. Because this dough is so workable, you can form it many different ways, limited only by your imagination; I once made a whole collection of different shapes and sizes, for a festive dinner party.
Some of the variations I have tried include: : o Adding extra ingredients, such as raisins and/or nuts : o Forming the braided loaf into a wreath-like loop (joining the ends) : o Braiding 5 ways instead of 3 : o Baking a small loaf on top of a larger loaf (traditional) : o Braiding 3 braided loaves into a recursive loaf (didn't turn out well; it ended up looking knotty, rather than intricate, and being somewhat tough)
: o Varying the loaf sizes. One time I made individual-sized loaves, so that everyone could have their own loaf at dinner. Another time, I divided the dough into 2 halves, set one aside, and made a loaf out of the other half. Then, I divided the remaining piece into 2 halves, and continued the process until I had an array of loaves, each half the size of the previous.
I managed to get 9 loaves by doing this, the smallest of which was about ¼ inch by about 2 inches.
: o Varying the length-to-width proportions; traditionally, challah loaves are quite wide relative to their length. I find that shorter, wider loaves are doughier (and thus tastier), but longer loaves look more elegant.
: Difficulty: moderate.
: Time: 30 minutes dough preparation, 1½ hours first rising, 1 hour loaf forming, 1 hour second rising, 30 minutes baking. Total: 4 ½ hours.
: Precision: Approximate measurement OK.
: Mike Schwartz
: University of Washington, Computer Science, Seattle, Washington, USA : ihnp4!uw-beaver!schwartz schwartz@...
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