By Reyna Simnegar. Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride
I like using dry active yeast because it is very easy to find and store. I keep it in the freezer to make it last longer. Also, there is one gadget that I could not do without when making challah: my beloved Bosch mixer. It can handle huge amounts of dough and, while I agree that making challah by hand can be therapeutic, I find that keeping my sanity can be therapeutic too.
3 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (3/4 cup boiling water mixed with 3/4 cup cold water)
For the dough
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil, plus additional for spraying on the dough
3 cups warm water, divided
1 (5lb.) bag flour (approximately 15 to 15 1/4 cups flour)
For the glaze
1 egg, beaten
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the yeast mixture. Set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a large mixer, place the sugar, oil, salt, 2 cups water, and 7 cups flour. Mix until a smooth paste forms.
Add the yeast mixture, which should be bubbling, to the dough. Then, add the remaining 1 cup water and 8 cups flour until a consistency like that of play dough is reached.
Spray the dough with canola oil and cover with plastic wrap.
Let dough rise 1 hour and then punch down. Then shape the challah. You can make braids or just big balls of dough. Several small balls of dough placed together in a round baking pan that has been sprayed with oil make a pretty pull-apart challah. Remember that challah grows; so dont make the balls too big. I shape 12 balls the size of limes and place them next to each other in a 9-inch baking pan. Spray the dough with canola oil and cover with plastic wrap. Mix the egg and the oil and paint challot with the glaze. Let it rise another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Place into oven preheated to 350 °F for approximately 25 to 45 minutes, depending on the size. The challot should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Wait until the challot cool before putting into plastic bags. At this point you can use them, freeze them, or give them away. You can also wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven right before Hamotzi.
Enjoy Reynas videos on challah making in her beloved Bosch.
Part 1 Making the dough
Part 2 Challah braiding
Recipes: Bread, Challah, Parve, Kosher
by Tina Wasserman, Cooking & More
I developed this recipe based on the old country recipe but using modern science to avoid the usual pitfalls of either having the dough be underdone or the honey mixture being hard as a rock when it cools down. Instead of "cooking" the dough in the boiling syrup, I bake the dough in advance and then boil the syrup for the right amount of time to create a soft honey coating for the Teiglach tower.
3 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons water
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pound wildflower honey (any honey is O.K. but wildflower is the best)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 piece of orange zest 2-inches long 1/2 inch wide
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup candied cherries or raisins
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a small bowl combine the eggs, oil, water, and vanilla and beat with a fork or whisk until light and combined. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, ginger, and baking powder.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until well combined. Knead with your hands for a few minutes until dough is smooth and shiny. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out small balls of dough into long 1/2-inch wide snakes and cut into 1/3 inch pieces. Roll dough pieces briefly in your hands to make balls and place them on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely or freeze until later use.
When you are ready to complete recipe, combine the honey, sugar, orange zest and ginger in a heavy 3-quart saucepan and bring slowly to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the teiglach balls, nuts and cherries or raisins to the honey mixture and stir to coat well. Place in a pie plate or individual tart tins mounded to form a pyramid.
Recipes: Desserts, Holiday, Parve, Kosher
photo – courtesy of Bitayavon Magazine
A KosherEye Signature Recipe. Featured in the summer 2011 issue of Bitayavon Magazine.
Adapted for the kosher kitchen from an iconic southern destination restaurant - one renowned for the best fried chicken in Georgia, almost identical to Mattie’s pan fried chicken.
3 chickens cut in 8, rinsed, cleaned and dried
2 cups parve buttermilk substitute: 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) and enough parve rice milk to equal two cups
2 cups flour mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon paprika
Vegetable oil to half-fill a deep cast iron or stainless steel skillet (enough to nearly cover the chicken while frying)
Whisk together parve buttermilk substitute mixture. Let stand 6 minutes.
Pour mixture over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove each piece, drain thoroughly.
Whisk flour mixture until combined. Dip each piece of chicken into mixture, using enough flour to coat well. Shake off excess.
Heat oil to 375 degrees.*
Place chicken in hot oil allowing space between pieces and pan fry until golden brown, turning once with fork or tongs.
Drain and serve immediately, or set aside and reheat, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven.
Yield: Serves 10-12
*A frying thermometer is an excellent investment for today’s kitchen. A meat/poultry thermometer ensures that poultry and meat are cooked to the right temperature.
Recipes: Poultry, Fried Chicken, Kosher
From a family recipe of Eli Evans, author of The Provincials
After he moved to New York, and missed North Carolina Jewish “home cookin”, Eli Evans prepared Atlanta Coca Cola Brisket, consulting with his childhood family cooks, Zola Hargrave and Roady Adams. This recipe is adapted from "The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook," edited by Sara Roahen and John T. Edge.
1 3-pound brisket
5 cups Coca-Cola, divided (four cups for marinade plus one additional cup for cooking liquid, if desired)
Rub: 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 packet onion soup mix
1 cup ketchup (optional)
2 onions, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
Place brisket in a dish; cover with four cups of the Coca-Cola and marinate in refrigerator, tightly covered, overnight.
Remove brisket from marinating liquid and drain. Rub meat all over with spice mix. Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a deep, heavy skillet or casserole, and brown brisket on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
In a small bowl, combine the onion soup mix, remaining cup of Coca-Cola (if using), 1 cup of ketchup* and 1 cup of water. (If omitting Coca-Cola and ketchup, substitute 3 cups of water). Stir until mixed well. Pour over brisket.
Pour mixture over brisket; surround brisket with sliced onions and bay leaves. Cover casserole with lid, and cook on low for about two hours, checking often. Add some additional boiling water if necessary, to keep the meat from drying out or sticking, and to make the gravy. Simmer until fork tender about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. When cool, slice against the grain. Or, refrigerate overnight, and then slice.
*Some versions of this popular vintage recipe use bottled chili sauce (such as Heinz) instead of ketchup.
Yield: Serves about 8
Recipes: Meat, Brisket, Kosher
From A Blessing of Bread: Recipes and Rituals, Memories and Mitzvahs by Maggie Glezer
This recipe for a classic European challah (pronounces "chern-o-vitzer") comes from the late Lotte Langmann. It is not terribly sweet or eggy, but it is generously enriched with oil. The Austrians* traditionally use a four-stranded braid, but this dough holds its shape so beautifully during baking that it is a great choice for showing off any fancy shape. This has become one of my favorite recipes.
1 envelope or 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams/ 0.3 oz) instant yeast
(a.k.a. Bread Machine Perfect Rise, QuickRise, or RapidRise yeast)
About 3 3/4 cups (500 grams/17.7 oz) unbleached bread flour, divided
3/4 cup (170 grams/6 oz) warm water
1 3/4 teaspoons (10 grams/0.4 oz) table salt
1/2 cup (100 grams/3.6 oz) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, plus one egg for glazing
1/2 cup (110 grams/3.8 oz) vegetable oil
MIXING THE DOUGH: In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast and 3/4 cups (100 g, 3 oz) of the flour, then whisk in the warm water until the yeast slurry is smooth.
Let the yeast slurry ferment uncovered for 10?20 minutes, or until it begins to ferment and puff up slightly. As the slurry is hydrating and starting to ferment, add on top, WITHOUT MIXING IN, the salt, sugar, eggs, and oil.
When the slurry bubbles up and over the salt, sugar, eggs and oil, the dough is ready to be mixed. Whisk in the ingredients, and when the mixture is smooth, stir in the remaining 3 cups (400 g, 14.7 oz) flour all at once, with your hands or a wooden spoon. Mix the dough just until all the flour is incorporated, there is really no need to knead it. If the dough is too firm, add a tablespoon or two of water to the dough; or, if the dough seems too wet, add a few tablespoons of flour.
This dough should feel smooth and slightly sticky.
FERMENTING THE DOUGH: Place the dough in the mixing bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. (If desired, the dough can be refrigerated just after kneading and removed from the refrigerator and finished fermenting up to 24 hours later.) Let the dough ferment until it has at least doubled in bulk, about 2 hours, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. (If refrigerated, the dough will take an extra 30-60 minutes of fermentation).
SHAPING AND PROOFING THE DOUGH: Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or oil it. Divide the dough in half for 2 medium loaves, braid or shape them as desired, position them on the prepared sheets, and cover them well with plastic wrap. (This is another point at which the loaves can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
Let the loaves proof until tripled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. (Add another hour if the loaves were refrigerated).
Thirty minutes before baking, arrange an oven rack in the upper third position,remove any racks above it, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C, gas mark 4). Beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt to glaze the breads.
BAKING THE LOAVES: When the loaves have tripled and do not push back when gently pressed with your finger but remain indented, brush them with the egg glaze.
Optionally sprinkle the loaves with the poppy or sesame seeds. Bake the 2 one-pound loaves for 35-40 minutes. After 20 minutes of baking, switch the breads from front to back so that they brown evenly. If the large loaves are browning too quickly, tent them with foil. When the loaves are very well browned, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a rack.
Yield: Two 1-pouund challahs, one 1 1/2-pound challah plus three rolls, or sixteen 2-ounce rolls.
*Vienna of the Eastern Europe. In the late nineteenth century, the city of Czernowitz, known as the Vienna of Eastern Europe, was famous throughout Austria-Hungary for its tolerance, civic beauty, culture, and learning. Frequently renationalized over the last millennium, Czernowitz has passed through Romanian, Ottoman, and Austrian control and is now a Ukrainian city called Chernivtsi. At its cultural peak at the turn of the twentieth century, it was populated and governed by Jews from Poland, Russia, Austria, and Romania - it even hosted the first-ever Yiddish-language conference in 1908. Of course, World War II destroyed this idyll, and most of the city's Jews were deported to Auschwitz.