Special new year's challah

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 cup Raisins
1 cup Boiling water
1 cup Cool water for machine making (for conventional method (use 100-105 degree water)
1⅜ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 \N Whole eggs
2 \N Egg yolks; beaten
¼ cup Honey
¼ cup Vegetable oil
3 teaspoons Instant or rapid-rise Or quick-rise yeast
3½ \N All (to 4 c) purpose flour
1 teaspoon Oil for coating refrigerator
2 teaspoons Corn flour
1 \N Egg
1 \N Egg yolk
2 tablespoons Sesame seeds; if desired


Recipe by: Kim Clegg

Place raisins in medium bowl & pour boiling water over. Let plump 2 min.

Drain, blot dry & allow to cool.

MACHINE METHOD: Place cool water, salt, sugar, eggs, yolks, honey, oil, yeast & 3 c flour into the machine's pan, or in order stipulated by manufacturer. Put on dough mode or program. Dust in additional flour as dough forms a ball & seems wet enough to call for remaining flour. (Holding some flour back, as the dough matures through kneading, results in a better dough. On humid days, it is normal for the recipe to take a larger amount of flour.) Before the second knead, add raisins. They should be added once the dough is formed, but with some kneading time left to incorporate them.

If your machine will not allow you to do this, let it complete its dough cycle. Remove to a floured board & simply press the raisins in. Proceed to directions for forming loaves. see note 2 CONVENTIONAL METHOD: In large bowl, mix together warm water, salt, sugar & honey, and sprinkle with instant, rapid rise or quick-rise yeast. Beat in eggs, yolks & vegetable oil. Beat in 3 c of flour. If using an electric mixer, attach dough hook & knead with mixer or by hand for 8 - 10 minutes till dough is soft and elastic and leaves the side of the bowl. If dough is sticky, add small amounts of flour till dough is soft and no longer sticks.

Sprinkle work surface with remaining ¼ c flour. Let dough rest for 10 min on surface. Knead or press in raisins as evenly as possible, folding dough over raisins to tuck them in. Cover the dough with a damp clean towel. Let dough rest 20 minutes. Or, if allowing to finish rising overnight, place in large, oiled plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. If you see the bread rising, open bag, deflate dough & reseal. Next day punch down the bread & proceed as follows. TO FORM LOAVES: Work on baking sheet covered with foil or parchment & sprinkled with corn flour. For a traditional braid, divide dough into 3 15" long logs; for wreath, 3 18" logs; for turban, 2 18" logs 20% thicker at one end than at the other. For a braid, braid the 3 logs, pinch ends together & tuck under. For round wreath, braid & shape in a circle. Pinch ends together & tuck inside the round so they don't show. For turbans, starting at thicker end, coil bread into a round. At the end, pinch the tip & tuck under. In small bowl, mix together egg & yolk for egg wash. Generously brush bread with egg wash. Allow to rise 30-40 minutes.

Brush again & sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. BAKING: 15 minutes before baking, preheat to 375. Bake 30-35 min, till crust is nicely browned & sounds hollow when tapped. Makes 16 slices. Kim Cleg Posted to JEWISH-FOOD digest V97 #238 by Nancy Berry <nlberry@...> on Aug 24, 1997

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