Rosh Hashanah Challah
|Lukewarm water||1 3⁄4 Cup (28 tbs)|
|Dry yeast||2 Tablespoon|
|Sugar||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
|Light honey||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
|Salt||3 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Oil||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (Vegetable Oil)|
|Unbleached all-purpose flour||7 Cup (112 tbs) (Bread Flour)|
|Baking apples||4 Medium, peeled, quartered, and cored; chop finely into small dices and toss in lemon juice|
|Lemon juice||2 Fluid Ounce (For Tossing Apple)|
|Dark raisins/Yellow raisins||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs), soaked until plumped|
|Coarsely shredded carrot||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Poppy seeds||2 Tablespoon|
|Sesame seeds||2 Tablespoon|
1. Dust 3 baking sheets with cornmeal.
2. Make sure you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F before you put the bread for baking.
3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, water, and pinch of sugar. Let stand five minutes to allow yeast froth.
4. Briskly stir in remaining sugar, honey, and salt. Then add oil, eggs, yolks and about five cups of the flour. Stir into a shaggy mass. Let stand 10-20 minutes to absorb flour.
5. Knead dough by hand or knead with a dough hook about 12 to 15 minutes, adding remaining flour as required to make a soft and elastic dough.
6. Dough should leave sides of the bowl. If it is sticky, add small amounts of flour until dough is soft but no longer sticks. If you find dough too bulky for your mixer, divide in two and knead one portion at a time.
7. Let dough rest on a lightly floured board ten minutes.
8. Weigh and divide the dough into three equal portions.
9. Into one portion, press raisins, kneading them evenly into the dough, folding dough over raisins to "tuck" them in.
10. Similarly knead in apples in second portion and carrots into third.
11. Place doughs in a greased bowls and cover them with greased plastic wrap or damp tea towel.
12. Let rise in a draft free place until doubled and puffy looking, about from 60 to 90 minutes. If you are doing an overnight, cool rise, place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and insert this in a large plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight. If you see the bread rising too quickly, open the bag, deflate dough, and reseal. Next day, allow dough to warm up then gently deflate and proceed.
13. For turban shaped Challahs, shape each portion into a long rope (about 12 inches long) which is thicker at one end and coil it, starting with the thicker end first, tucking the end in on top to "lock". Or, you can divide each dough portion into three ropes, around 12 inches long and make a traditional challah braids.
14. Place dusted baking sheets. Or simply shape into rounds.
15. In a small bowl, whisk together egg glaze ingredients. Brush loaves with egg wash.
16. Sprinkle apple and raising challahs with poppy seeds and carrot challah with sesame.
17. Let them prove again until they rise and puff, around 20-30 minutes.
18. Bake breads for 12 minutes in hot oven.
19. Reduce heat to 350 Degrees F and bake another 25 minutes or until breads are golden.
20. You can freeze the breads either baked or unbaked. If freezing unbaked, let bread rise slowly, overnight in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before baking.
21. When the loaves are done, remove them from the oven, and let them cool on a rack.
22. Slice and serve with honey.
Make sure you use a highly tolerant yeast for best results.
Substitute dried cranberries or sour cherries if you like
Make up a batch of miniatures challahs to include in a Rosh Hashanah gift basket.
Image courtesy - http://cookingjewish.com