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Bread Machine Challah, Mama Hinda's (P, TNT)
Source: "Melting Pot Memories," by Judy Bart Kancigor
Yield: 1 loaf

3 cups + 5 tbsp. bread flour
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 cup minus 2 tbsp. water
1-1/2 tsp. yeast
Poppy seeds (optional)

Program machine for Dough mode.

Divide dough into 3 pieces, roll into strands and braid. If you start braiding in the middle and work out to both ends, you will get a more even loaf.

Place in a lightly greased or sprayed loaf baking pan so that dough will rise up and not spread out too much or it will be flat. (To make a round challah for Rosh Hashana, form dough into a long rope and swing dough around in a circle in a round pan. I use a springform.) Preheat oven to 200°F and turn off. Cover challah and let rise in oven for approximately 45 minutes.

Brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds (if desired). Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

Poster's Notes:
No food reminds me more of Mama than her challah, and no "Jewish" food is more wrought with symbolism. The traditional braiding signifies the inextricable link between God and man. The poppy seeds symbolize the manna which fell from heaven, feeding the Israelites as they wandered in the desert.

In the early days, during summer, when it was too hot to light the stove, Mama would bring the dough to the local bakery to be baked. This recipe is as dictated to her daughter, Lil Bart, during Mama's final hospital stay in intensive care. (She also, during the same hospitalization, asked the cleaning lady for the name of the product she was using to polish the metal bed!)

Here is my grandmother's challah recipe that I worked out for the bread machine. I own a Panasonic. Some machines require more yeast, but the Panasonic has a dispenser that drops the yeast after kneading. Other machines without a dispenser have you add the yeast in the beginning and require more yeast. Check the recipe book that comes with your machine.

Posted by Judy Bart Kancigor

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A