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Seven Ingredient Challah (P)
Yield: 8 medium loaves or 4 large loaves.

1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. salt
3 cups water
4 packages active dry yeast
7 eggs, divided
10 tbsp. olive oil
12 cups flour

Dissolve the sugar and salt in 1-1/2 cups of very hot water. Add the olive oil and 6 beaten eggs. Cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast into 1-1/2 cups of lukewarm water to begin the fermentation process.

Sift the flour into a very large bowl and make a well in the flour.

When all the liquids are lukewarm and the yeast has foamed (approximately 5 minutes), pour liquids into flour and turn with a spoon. Turn the dough on well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if necessary.

Rinse the bowl, dry and grease with oil. Place dough into bowl; cover with a damp cloth and place in warm spot to rise. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk; approximately 2 hours. Turn the dough on floured surface and punch it down. Divide into number of loaves you want to make.

Divide either the 8 or 4 lumps, one at a time into 3 sections and roll into strips. Braid the 3 strips into a challah loaf. Place on greased cooking sheet or baking stone sprinkled with cornmeal. Rise until doubled in bulk, brush with beaten egg glaze, bake in a preheated 325°F oven to golden brown, approximately 30 minutes for medium-sized challah or 45 to 60 minutes for a large challah.

Poster's Notes:
For the flour can use wheat, unbleached, white or a mixture of all.

This recipe has seven ingredients, for the seven days of the week. Each measurement also has a symbolic meaning: one cup of sugar (One God), two tablespoons of salt (for the tablets of the Law), three cups of water (for the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), four packages of yeast (for the matriarchs, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah), seven eggs (six for the challah itself and the seventh for glazing, just as the Shabbat embellishes the six days of Creation), ten tablespoons of olive oil (for the Ten Commandments), and twelve cups of flour (for the twelve tribes of Israel).

Posted by Maxine Wolfson

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A