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Semolina Challah (P, TNT)
Source: "Homemade in the Kitchen," by Barry Bluestein and Ken Morrissey
Yield: 1 15" loaf

1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 oz. (1 packet) quick-rise yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3 to 3-1/2 tablespoons cold water
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Combine the lukewarm water and the sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and set side for 5 to 6 minutes to proof, until bubbly.

Put the flour, 1 cup of the semolina and the salt into the bowl of a food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape in all the yeast mixture, add the vegetable oil and the whole eggs. Turn the machine on and process for 1 minute. While the machine is still running, add 1 to 1-1/2 Tablespoons of the cold water through the feed tube, until the dough forms a ball. Continue to process for 2 more minutes, then turn off the machine and let the dough sit for another 2 minutes.

Lightly grease a ceramic bowl with vegetable oil (other than what the recipe calls for). Transfer the dough to a bowl with a damp towel and put it in a warm, draft-free spot for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size and does not spring back when pressed with a finger. Punch the dough down and fold the edges toward the center. Re-cover with the damp towel and return the bowl to a draft-free spot for 45 minutes to let the dough rise a second time. Punch the dough down again, fold it over, and press down.

Remove the dough to a work surface, form it into a 15"x9" rectangle, and cut it lengthwise into 3 strips. Roll each strip into an evenly shaped 15" rope and about 1" thick. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with vegetable oil (again more than the recipe calls for) and dust with the 2 teaspoons of semolina.

Place the dough strips on the cookie sheet about 1/2" apart. Crimp the ropes together at one end, braid them together, and crimp at the other end. Cover the cookie sheet with a dry towel and place it in the draft-free spot for 45 minutes to rise for a third time.

After about 30 minutes, preheat the oven to about 350°F.

Mix the egg yolk and the remaining 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl and paint the bread. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool. The Semolina Challah has a shelf life of 3 to 5 days; wrap the bread loosely in aluminum foil to store.

Poster's Notes:
This is the Challah that I plan on making for Thanksgiving. It makes a beautiful golden colored bread. By the way, semolina flour spoils quickly--if you buy it remember to store it airtight in the freezer.

Posted by Susan Greene

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A