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Bread Machine Challah III (P, TNT)
Source: "The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook" with some changes
Yield: 2 large plaited loaves (12" to 15" long) or 1 "Oneg" size loaf

11 fluid oz. warm water
1-1/2 lb. white strong bread flour (by weight!)
1 oz. fresh yeast (or 1 tbsp. "instant"/fast rising)
1/4 cup honey
1-1/2 tsp. coarse Kosher salt
3 tbsp. canola oil (any flavorless oil will work)
2 large eggs
Poppy and/or sesame seeds, optional

Beat eggs until yolks and whites are combined well. Reserve 2 tbsp. for glaze.

In bread machine, combine water, oil, remaining eggs and 1/2 lb. of flour. Start mixing. Once flour is incorporated into liquid, add salt and yeast. Mix well.

Once these ingredients are well-mixed, gradually add remaining flour until dough becomes slightly sticky. (You may not use all of the flour or you may need to add 1-2 tbsp depending on the humidity in your area.)

Lightly coat a large non-metallic bowl with oil, place dough in bowl, insuring that a very light coat of oil is on dough to prevent drying out. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, set in warm place and rise until double in size.

Remove dough, punch down and kneed until a texture a smooth as a baby's bottom is achieved. If making 2 loaves, divide dough in half, placing one half back in bowl while you work the other half,

Divide dough into equal proportions for plaits (based on the number of plaits you are doing.) and roll out until strands are between 12"-15" long. Plait dough.

Lightly coat cookie sheet with oil and transfer plaited loaf to one side of cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat step 6, place second loaf on other half of cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap.

Set in warm place to rise until double in size again. Preheat oven to 450°F.

Remove plastic wrap and coat loaves with reserved egg. Sprinkle lightly top of loaves with a pinch of salt (one pinch for both loaves).

Sprinkle top of loaves poppy/sesame seeds as desired.

Reduce oven to 400°f, place loaves in center of oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a rich brown coloring is achieved.

Remove and transfer to cooling rack. To check if loaves are done, tap bottom of loaf, it should sound hollow.

Poster's Notes:
Being as we have had some conversation about challah lately, I thought I would add this to the archives if it's not already there. When my lover and I make our challah every Friday morning, ours comes out a nice rich brown. We have even started making an extra large loaf to take to Temple every week. Our ingredients were originally sourced from "The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook" (Evelyn Rose, 1992, Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., New York), page 462, and the process we have modified significantly because our mixer died. We use our bread machine (dough cycle) to mix the ingredients.

A note on the water: We have our water heater set to about 160°F. When it comes out of the tap it is about 150°F-155°F. and we use that. Also, we don't get the water until we are ready to start mixing the dough.

A note on the honey: The original recipe calls for 2 tbsp. of honey, I have a terrible sweet tooth, so we have made this a little sweeter then what some people might like. If the 1/4 cup is too much reduce it.

Don't forget, as you change the liquid volume, the flour amount will change also. I know that I used to be a little sloppy in my measuring (Thanks to the Navy teaching me how to cook!) and with this recipe you need to be mindful of the quantities.

This is what has worked so well for us. Bear in mind that we have recently started the process of conversion (2 months ago) and this was one way that we felt would help us to start living our Jewish lifestyle. Since we have started taking our Challah to Temple on Friday nights, we have received a ton of compliments on it and feel very confident in this aspect of our "Jewishness" and are immersing our selves more and more into our beliefs every week.

Posted by Jason Titter

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A