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Sabbath is a day of religious observance by the Jewish people, from Friday evening to Saturday. Traditionally, the celebration begins with the breaking and eating of Challah bread, together with wine and the prayer ritual.
Here is my recipe for Challah bread. Enjoy!
1 envelope active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large eggyolks
1/4 cup vegetable oil (preferably safflower or sunflower)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
4-4-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1. Combine yeast and sugar in a small bowl; add water and swirl – DO NOT MIX WITH A UTENSIL.
2. Cover the yeast mixture with aluminum foil; let rise for 10 to 12 minutes or until it is puffed and foamy.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture, 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, oil, sugar and salt; mix on medium speed with a hand mixer (if using a stand mixer, then mix on medium speed, as well).
4. If using a free-standing bowl, using a wooden spoon, add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough amalgamates.
5. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it – it will absorb remaining flour. The dough should become smooth and elastic.
6. When dough is smooth and elastic, transfer it to an oiled bowl.
7. Cover the dough in bowl with aluminum foil – set aside to rise on a warm surface (wooden board or oven rack with oven turned off) for 1 hour.
8. After one hour, transfer dough to a lightly-floured surface and divide it into 3 equal parts.
9. Working on floured surface, lightly roll & elongate each dough piece until it is about 18 inches long.
10. Transfer the 3 dough cords, one at a time, to a greased and floured 18 X 12-inch baking sheet – make sure the dough cords are centered in baking sheet.
11. Make a braid with the 3 dough cords; set aside to rise in baking sheet, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
12. After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 450°F.
Shape the Challah and Bake:
1. In a small bowl, make egg wash: mix together 1 egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water.
2. Brush the egg wash all over top of braided dough.
3. Place the baking sheet with braided dough on a rack positioned in center of oven.
4. Immediately lower oven temperature to 400°F and bake for 15 minutes.
5. After 15 minutes, lower oven to 375°F and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
6. When Challah bread looks golden brown and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, it is done.
7. Transfer the baking sheet with Challah bread to a counter to cool until it is warm.
8. Serve the Challah warm or cold.
9. TO STORE CHALLAH: Cut the bread in sections large or small enough to fit in gallon-size freezer bags. Store in refrigerator up to 8 days. Alternatively, store the Challah bread in double freezer bags up to 2 months.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real