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Kitchen Aid Challah (P, TNT)
Source: Adapted from Sarah Steibe
Yield: 2 Large or 3 medium loaves, or 12 rolls

2 packages dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup hot water
2 large or 3 medium eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening or margarine
2 cups hot water
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
7-1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 beaten egg
Poppy or sesame seeds

Total preparation and baking time = 3 hours.

Dissolve yeast with 2 teaspoons sugar in 1/4 cup hot water and set aside to proof the yeast.

While you are waiting for the yeast, mix 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and margarine in a 4-quart bowl. Pour 2 cups hot water over all and stir to dissolve sugar and soften margarine, which does not have to melt completely. Cool to lukewarm and add the eggs.

When the yeast mixture is puffy, beat it a little and then add it to the margarine mixture.

If kneading by hand:
Slowly beat in the first 7 cups of flour (both types), 1 cup at a time until all is absorbed and dough is too stiff to beat. Turn out onto a board with one other of the cups of flour and start to knead the dough. Add the last cup of flour while you are kneading. Knead for a total of 8 to 10 minutes, constantly turning dough until it is smooth and elastic.

If kneading using dough hooks on mix master:
Add the whole wheat flour and 1-1/2 cups of the bread flour to the mixture. Set mix master on highest speed and knead for 3 minutes. Add 4 more cups of bread flour and knead for 3 more minutes. Add the last 2 cups of bread flour and knead for 3 more minutes until the dough is stiff.

Put 1 tablespoon of oil into a clean, dry 4-quart bowl and wipe it around to thoroughly grease the bowl. Place ball of dough in bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise. I usually pre-heat my oven to 200°F while I am mixing and kneading then turn it off as I put the bowl of dough in there to rise. The dough should rise until double in bulk and light to the touch (indentation made by a finger will remain). This usually takes 1/2 hour. If you do not have enough time to do the whole process at once, you can cover the dough with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator overnight to rise. This does seem strange, but it works. When dough is ready to work, punch it down and turn onto a floured board. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and shaping.

While the dough is resting, is a good time to grease and flour the two 10-1/2"x5-1/4" or three 8-1/2"x4-3/4" loaf pans, or 2 large cookie sheets. While shaping loaves, set the oven to 200°F again. Shape loaves by braiding with 3, 4 or 6 strands each. Put them into the pans, cover them with a towel, put them into the oven and turn the oven off again. Let the loaves rise in the pans or on the cookie sheets until double in size, but for no longer than 1/2 hour. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes, raise heat to 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes more, until loaves are as brown as you like.

If you leave off the egg or mix it with 1 teaspoon water, the loaves will not brown as much. If you add 1/8 teaspoon sugar to the wash, the loaves will brown more. Makes 2 large or 3 medium loaves or 12 challah rolls. For Rosh Hashanah, 1 cup of yellow raisins may be kneaded into the dough while shaping into a circular shape.

Posted by Avril Adelman

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A