A good friend had Shabbos meal at my parents' house a few weeks ago. He fell in love in my Dad's Challah and wanted the recipe. Dad finally wrote it up the other day. He said to tell Daniel to "enjoy it gezunterhait."
There are two rises. Once in the bowl. And once after it's shaped.
The recipe is for 2 challahs and you can bake it with or without raisins.
Add ingredients in this order
470 grams water - 2 cups
100 grams oil - 1/2 cup
155 grams sugar - 3/4 cup
20 grams salt - 1 Tablespoon
1000 grams flour - 8 cups
10 grams yeast or 2 packets of yeast on the top.
DO NOT MIX. Just let everything sit for 20 -25 minutes.
Then mix and knead. Raisins (if you want) get added after the dough rises.
It's a wet dough so don't keep adding flour or you'll wind up with a bowling ball.
Use some plastic wrap to spread a tablespoon or so of oil around the bowl. This is to prevent the dough from sticking.
Shape the dough into a ball and place into the oiled bowl.
The dough goes into the bowl with the seam down.
Then cover the bowl with plastic. There should be enough room in the bowl for the dough to rise. The plastic should not be touching the dough.
After about 1 and 1/2 hours it should be risen. You know it's ready when you poke it, the indent stays. Dad said to not rush the rise.
Divide into 2.
Now you add in the raisins that have been lightly covered with flour. About 4 handfuls per loaf.
Then divide each half into 6 strands.You should lightly sprinkle the strands with flour when braiding.
Before going into the oven paint with a beaten egg that has been mixed with a little water (egg wash). If you want top with sesame seeds.
Then put on cookie sheet that has been covered with Parchment Paper.
Lightly cover the loaf with plastic. Let rise for another 1/2 hour or so.
Then place in preheated oven at 350. Of course, the plastic does NOT go into the oven. (Thanks, Dad for that tip. Wouldn't have figured that one out.)
After 15 minutes, turn the tray so the bread bakes even.
Without raisins, it should be done in about 25 minutes. Don't overbake it.
If baking with raisins, the bread should be done between 35 - 45 minutes. You'll know when you stick a knife in the bread and it pulls out dry.
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