(cross-posted at Jewcy)
This challah recipe is spiced bread more than anything else. There’s no egg in it, which is what makes challah challah in my opinion, but we do braid it, so I call it faux-challah. The dough is pretty sweet so we added lots of salt to make it a savory loaf, but it’s just as easy to make sweet by adding cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and raisins.
There are two sets of directions below – one from a Chabad rebbetzin, and one for those of you who might like something slightly more step-by-step.
16 c. of flour (more than 5 lb bag)= substance and parnassa
2 Tb. salt=tochacha or rebuke or something that makes you sad
1 heaping c. of sugar=emuna and sweetness of life
spices to taste=spice of life
1 T of dry yeast=keeps us growing
5 to 6 c. of warm water=Torah and wisdom
1 c. of olive oil=wealth in life and extra comforts
Here’s the rebbetzin’s take:
1. Clear your space and your mind.
2. Give tezdakah.
3. Knead with hands.
4. Add love and prayers.
5. Say the bracha, take the “challah,” and say “zeh yehay challah al kol ha eesa”
6. Then either burn or double bag “challah.”
7. Let rise at least 2 hours in a warm place, punch down, rise again like the rise and fall of Jews.
8. Braid or knot the challah.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minues or so.
10. Wash, say hamotzi lechem min haaretz, and enjoy!
Here’s my take:
1. Combine warm water and yeast in a bowl and let sit.
2. Meanwhile combine all the rest of the dry ingredients. For spices try parsley, basil, italian spices, oregano, garlic, rosemary, sage and plenty of salt. If you want something sweet rather than savory then go for cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice plus raisins.
3. Add the water and yeast to the dry ingredients, check to see that the yeast has proofed, and then add the olive oil.
4. Let sit in a warm place covered with a towel for about two hours.
5. Beat down once, let sit for another half hour, and then braid. Half a recipe makes two big loaves.
6. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.
Yield: 4 loaves