Shira, I use bread flour and barley malt syrup, this recipe isn't mine it's from "The Bread Bible" the only variation I've done so far is putting in less pepper. If you or anyone is interested I can pass along the recipe.
The conversion program starts next week, now I'm looking for a good challah recipe.
Here's my husband's challah recipe and very detailed instructions. It's an excerpt from the Minyan cookbook that I formatted and edited for my minyan's 25th anniversary celebration. That's why I have the pdf's of the pages and why it also includes the "bonus" recipe for croutons.
My husband can usually work from home on Fridays, and he loves making challah, so we usually have fresh-baked challah for Shabbat. Best is when we can eat it right out of the oven when it is almost too hot to hold for Hamotzi! ;D I imagine as I write this email from work that there is bread rising in our oven at this very moment.
But I made him stop using his boiling water method because it was causing some parts of our oven to rust and it was not necessary since we have a fancy oven that even has a "bread rising" setting.
Here is the bagel recipe this should make around 5 bagels. Dough starter: minimum 1 hour/max 24 hours.
min. rising time: 1 hour
oven temp: 500 F then 450 F.
Baking time 5 minutes at 500 F, then 20 minutes at 450 F.
yeast 1/2 t
1 cup plus 2 T of water (70-90 degree F)
1 1/2 cups bread flour.
Make the starter whisk about 2 minutes until VERY smooth, scrape down the sides, cover with plastic wrap or a lid.
unsalted butter (optional) 1 1/2 T
bread flour: 1 cup plus 3 T (hold the 3 T if mixing it by hand)
yeast 1/2 t
Malt powder or barley malt syrup or Molasses 1/2 T
sugar 1/2 T
salt 1/2 T (I leave this out)
black pepper 1/2 t.
combine the flour, yeast, barley malt syrup, sugar and black pepper, and sprinkle the mixture across the dough starter, DO NOT STIR, and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 4 hours, for best flavor let stand at room temperature for 1 hour and then refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. The starter will bubble through the mixture and that is okay
If the starter/flour mixture was refrigerated and you are working with this with your hands, remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before. If you are going to add the butter make sure it is softened.
IF MIXING WITH YOUR HANDS:
Add the butter (if using) and with a wooden spoon or your clean hands stir the mixture together until it becomes to stiff to mix. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, then scrape it onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, scrape the dough together (the dough will be sticky). Cover with an inverted bowl and let sit for 20 minutes.
Knead the dough for another 10 to 15 minutes or until it becomes smooth and shiny. To make it a little less tacky you can add the 3 T but it will make the bagels a little chewier.
Add the butter, if using, and 1 Tablespoon of flour (reserving the remaining 2 tablespoons) mix the dough with a dough hook on low speed, until all the flour is moistened, about 1 minute. Raise the speed to medium and knead for 5-7 minutes. If the dough does not pull away from the bowl add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. It should be elastic and smooth and should jump back when pressed with a fingertip.
place the dough in a 4 or 2 quart bowl that has been lightly greased with cooking spray or oil, lightly spray the top of the dough. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled.
Deflat the dough by pressing down firmly. Give it an envelope turn (folding it in from all sides) spray the top again, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for most flavor. Let the dough stand at room temperature for atleast 30 minutes before shaping.
On a sheet pan place a clean towel that has been sprinkled with flour, and cut the dough in half and place one half in the bowl back in the refrigerator. Take the other half and cut it into 5 pieces and place on the floured towel, then cover with a clean nonfloured towel. for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes take a piece of dough and on a nonfloured surface fold up the corners (into a ball like shape), putting the pinched side down and then with a clean finger push a hole into the center and then using your fingers gently pull and shape the bagel, the hole in the center should be around 2.5 inches. When finished place back on the floured towel and let sit for 15 minutes. Then work on the other half of the dough.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees 30 minutes before baking, have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone or a baking sheet on it before preheating.
In a large pan (9 x 4 inches) add water and bring to a boil and to the water add:
2 T of either molasses or 1/4 cup of sugar
1 t of baking soda.
On another clean baking sheet, place the unfloured towel and place a few bagels into the water and let boil on each side 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The longer they boil the thicker the crust. Then with a Slotted spoon remove from the pan, shake off the water and place on the clean towel for a length no longer than 30 seconds.
Take a clean oiled baking sheet and place the boiled bagel.
Prior to baking the tops can be brushed with a mixture that contains 2 egg whites and a 1 t of water.
Then place in the oven for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 450 and bake for 20 minutes. After baking, turn the oven off and open the door slightly and let the bagels sit for 5 minutes before removing.
Having removed from oven, place the bagels on a cooling rack until completely cool.
The bagels can be stored for about a day in a brown paper bag or they can be wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in plastic freezer bags, and frozen for up to 1 month.
This recipe comes from The Bread Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2011 15:21:06 GMT -5 by Michael
I copied it from an email I sent to my phone (I couldn't access the board on the computer). I'm sorry the funny symbols show up(I didn't put them there) I will be sure to proof a pasted message next time ETA: I found out how to edit the post on an iPhone. The 'As' have been removed. ETA 2: after baking when cooling in the oven for 5 minutes the recipe says the door should be opened. I have failed to do this on the other batches and I have not noticed a difference.
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2011 15:20:02 GMT -5 by Michael
This is a link through Facebook, and I don't know if other people will be able to see it even if they have their own Facebook accounts. www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=336897019772573&set=vb.100003568348672&type=2&theater It is an amazing video showing a woman in Israel demonstrating all different ways of braiding challah. Even if you don't understand the Hebrew, you can hear the frequent "Banot, bevakasha" (I would translate that to "Girls, please [pay attention]"). This video reminds me of my visits to our Yemenite friends---the tone of the banter is very similar.
Not sure if anyone else needs/wants another challah (but its def good for me to post it here because I tend to lose all my favorite recipes, lol)
This came from the William Sonama website and it is delish! It was HUGE and it's only the two of us...so I definitely did horrid at weight watchers that week!
The dough used for making the cakelike challah can be formed into a variety of shapes, including braids, rolls and knots. The ingredients go together easily, and the bread looks beautiful when served. For the dinner table, you can form the dough into a pair of small braids or into a single large, spectacular one.
Ingredients: 2 packages (5 tsp.) active dry yeast 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°F) 1/2 cup sugar 3 eggs, plus 1 egg, beaten, for glaze 5 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp. salt 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 Tbs. poppy seeds or sesame seeds (optional) Directions: To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar, 3 eggs, 4 1/2 cups of the flour, the salt and butter until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, working in the remaining flour as necessary to keep the dough from being too sticky, until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not be tempted to add too much flour. The dough should stay soft and will become less sticky with kneading.
To make the dough with a stand mixer, in the 5-quart bowl of a mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, 3 eggs, 4 1/2 cups of the flour, the salt and butter. Place the bowl on the mixer, attach the dough hook and knead on low speed, working in the remaining flour as necessary to keep the dough from being too sticky, until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not be tempted to add too much flour. The dough should stay soft and will become less sticky with kneading. Remove the dough from the bowl.
Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk, about 2 hours.
Line a half-sheet pan or rimless baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down the dough. Using a plastic pastry scraper, scrape the dough out onto a clean work surface. To make a 4-strand braid, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces with a sharp knife or a bench scraper. Using your palms, and starting in the center and working outward, elongate 1 piece by rolling it gently against the work surface with even pressure until you have formed a rope as long as the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining 3 pieces.
Line up the 4 strands in front of you horizontally. Cross the strand farthest from you across the other 3 strands so that it is nearest you. Cross the strand that is now next to it across the other 2 strands away from you. Position the outside strands so that they are away from the center ones, and position the center 2 strands perfectly horizontal. Bring the strand nearest you down between the 2 horizontal strands. Bring the strand farthest from you up and across to the opposite side. Again, bring the strand farthest from you down between the 2 straight strands. Bring the strand nearest you up and across to the opposite side. Starting from the strand nearest you, repeat the braiding until you reach the ends of the ropes. Pinch them together at the top and at the bottom, and tuck the strands under at the ends.
Place the braided loaf on the prepared pan, cover with a dry kitchen towel, and let rise again in a warm, draft-free spot until the loaf doubles in size and is spongy to the touch, 45 to 60 minutes.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F.
Brush the braid gently with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the seeds. Bake the braid until it is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Makes 1 large braided loaf.
Below is the first time I made this recipe and my first time doing a 6 strand braid.
You can tell that this recipe was probably not created by an observant Jew because it is "dairy" and it is traditional among non-vegetarian Jews to have meat for Shabbat. That's why all the commercially made kosher challahs are always pareve. (At least I've never seen a kosher dairy challah from a bakery.)
But you can substitute pareve margarine for the butter. Note that most margarines in the US are not pareve due to having some milk-derivatives, so you have to look for the "pareve" next to the hechsher. My husband made some dairy challah back before we made the kitchen strictly kosher and now have only a pareve-designated dough hook for our Kitchenaid mixer. We didn't find that there is much difference in taste between challah made with unsalted butter and Mother's brand unsalted pareve margarine.
Taliah, your 6-strand braid is nice. My husband usually does a 4-strand braid. Either of those is nicer than the 3-strand which is too flat IMHO. I'm surprised that you didn't make two loaves since two are required for Shabbat. Your one big one expanded right over the edge of the pan! I find that half-sized loaves look only about 1/4 smaller because loaves that are half the volume have more than half the length. A tip is that challah freezes really well, so if you don't have a big family or a lot of guests, you can make more small loaves (my husband used to make 4 small loaves at a time) and freeze the extra to heat up for another Shabbat. I put frozen loaves in the oven for 8 minutes at 350 convection (maybe 10 min for non-convection?).
Last Edit: Nov 20, 2013 0:31:34 GMT -5 by Debbie B.
This was my first time making it, so it was a test run. I was off randomly in the middle of the week, so I decided to just make one big ol one just to see if I can braid it. We enjoyed it so much it was done by the next morning...and it's only two of us...I thought I copied the whole thing, there was a note to swap butter for margarine if need be. To be honest the bf and I aren't keeping kosher as well as we should be, so I made it with butter. But I wouldn't think there's much of a taste difference if you were to use the margarine.
I have determined over time that converting to Judaism does not suddenly make a person like gefilte fish or chopped liver, so don't feel obliged. And even if the challah is flat, it still tastes just fine.
We never have any left over past Shabbat - any left over from dinner Friday is gone by Saturday night.
We usually have leftover challah if we don't have guests because a couple of large loaves is a lot for a small family---now down to only three people since my daughter is off at college. But challah makes excellent French toast which is one of my son's favorites for Sunday brunch. Also it is perfect for bread pudding. We attended a dairy potluck Shabbat dinner for this past Shabbat, and I used a couple week's worth of leftover challah that I had saved in the freezer to made a Kale and Cheddar Strata which is basically a savory bread pudding. Here is the recipe I used:
I put it together Thursday night and left it in the refrigerator overnight. Then Friday afternoon I had my husband take it out to let it warm to room temperature since he was working from home, and then it just had to be baked in the oven.
I used a big bag of pre-cut and washed kale which is probably more than the recipe intends, so the top layer was solid kale and onion. I think the photo shows the strata being mixed all together rather than layered as the recipe directs. I worried that the kale would dry out too much when I left it in a warm oven after cooking before bringing it over to our friends' house since candle-lighting time is only about 4pm and we weren't starting Kabbalat Shabbat until 6pm. (Although since our hosts had their oven on for warming food, it would have warmed back up while we were doing Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv if we had let it cool.) So, since I had bought pre-grated cheese to make it easy and picked up two packages, I added another 8 oz of grated cheese over the top before putting it into the oven which made a nice toasted cheese layer which kept the rest from drying out. Oh, and one other tip about the recipe: I found that the mustard did not mix well into the milk and was all at the bottom of the bowl, so I had to try to spread it over the top of the strata. Next time, I will try to mix the mustard into the beaten eggs before mixing in the milk.