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Rosh Hashanah Challah

Samis.Foodisms's picture
A trio of Challah breads for Rosh Hashanah. "The sound of the shofar, the ram's horn that trumpets in the New Year at synagogues everywhere, is the unique sound of Rosh Hashanah. It stirs the soul. A freshly cut wedge of this challah, liberally dipped in new autumn honey, stirs the taste buds.
  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)
  Eggs 4
  Egg yolks 2
  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 -

Recipe Summary

Lacto Ovo Vegetarian
Challah is the most important food in the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. A special bread, it is a rich, golden loaf that originated in Germany, probably in the 15th century, when Jewish housewives tried to copy their gentile neighbors' braided Sunday loaves made for Easter. A rich brioche-like dough is shaped into elaborate braids and sprinkled with poppy seeds to represent the biblical manna from heaven. On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, challah represents the hopes for a sweet and prosperous new year and is studded with raisins. The bread is sliced and dipped in honey before it is eaten. Try this traditional recipe with a modern twist, to bake a trio of Challahs at home this year instead of buying it straight from a bakery.

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: Complete recipe

Calories 6978 Calories from Fat 1601

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 183 g281.1%

Saturated Fat 29.4 g146.9%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 1216.1 mg405.4%

Sodium 7277.5 mg303.2%

Total Carbohydrates 1208 g402.5%

Dietary Fiber 63.5 g253.8%

Sugars 381.4 g

Protein 162 g323.1%

Vitamin A 538% Vitamin C 111%

Calcium 127.1% Iron 372.4%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet


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Rosh Hashanah Challah Recipe