Adapted from King Arthur Flour
This bright-golden challah, stuffed with raisins and sweetened with honey, is baked in a spiral shape, traditional at Rosh Hashanah.
1/2 cup lukewarm water
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cups golden raisins, packed
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar, optional
To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients except the raisins, and mix and knead them, by hand, mixer, or bread machine, until you have a soft, fairly smooth dough.
Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 2 hours, or until it's puffy though probably not doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate the dough, and knead in the raisins.
Lightly grease a 9–inch round cake pan.
Roll the dough into a 30" to 36" rope. If it shrinks back, walk away and leave it alone for 10 minutes, then resume rolling. The longer the rope the more distinct the spiral, but if it isn't exactly 36" long, don't stress; just get as close as you can.
Coil the rope into the prepared pan, starting in the center.
Cover the challah gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise for about 60 to 90 minutes, until it's puffy and pretty much fills the pan.
Near the end of the bread's rise, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Whisk together the egg and water. Brush the risen dough with the egg mixture. Sprinkle with coarse white sugar, if desired.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes, tent it with foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until it's a deep, golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F.
Remove the bread from the oven, and after a minute or so carefully transfer it to a rack. Cool the bread to lukewarm before cutting it.
Yield: One 9" round challah, 16 servings
Tips from our bakers:
- The pretty spiral shape this loaf takes is supposed to symbolize the continuity of life. It's a lovely bread to serve at Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
- The suggested glaze, made with a whole egg and water, makes the bread's crust deep-brown and shiny. for a lighter brown (but still shiny) crust, use a glaze made of egg white and water. For a lighter-brown, matte crust, dispense with the glaze altogether.
Recipes: Bread, Challah, Raisin, Parve, Kosher
No time to make Challah dough, no problem!
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Selecting a Breadmaker can be confusing.
Especially if one has not previously owned a bread machine. So many choices - one paddle or two? vertical loaves or horizontal loaves? A machine that makes a 1 lb. loaf or a 2 lb. loaf? Size of the actual machine? Ease of use? Settings? Decisions... decisions... decisions!
So let's talk! We have recently tested the newest model, of the Zojirushi (pronounced zo-jih-ROO-shee) bread maker, the Virtuoso BB-PAC 20. In fact, since we have grown so attached to it, let's use its nickname, the Zo. It has moved to a position front and center in our kitchen, right up there with our stand mixer, Vitamix, Coffee Maker, and food processor. Not only are we busily making whole wheat bread for weekday sandwiches, challah for Shabbos, and cinnamon rolls (yumm) much too often, but we have also made jam. strawberry jam to be exact. So simple! Making jam was so easy, that we plan to progress to blueberry and peach jam later this summer.
Yes, the Zo is an investment ($275), but if you have the counter or pantry space available, and if you love fresh bread and preserves, we think that it is well worth the price. If you use it often, studies have indicated that over time, homemade bread costs substantially less than store-bought bread, and is, of course, healthier, (We guess that depends on your ingredient choices.)
Why did we select Zojirushi? – We compared many popular bread machines, some less costly, but liked the features on the Zo. The Home Bakery Virtuoso® Breadmaker (BBBAC20). If you plan to become a regular breadmaker...these features are important.
The Virtuoso bakes a traditional, horizontal-shaped 1 ½ - 2-lb. loaf, has dual kneading blades, 13-hour delay timer, easy to read clock, and many varied menus settings-including basic bread, wheat bread, gluten-free bread, sourdough starter, dough, jam, cake, quick bread and 3 homemade settings for custom recipes. Trust me, we are not techies, but the accompanying recipe book offers easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for each setting. Additionally, the Virtuoso has an exclusive lid heater, which makes even baking and proper browning possible. The dual paddles ensure thorough mixing and kneading and result in a higher rise. The bread pan includes easy-lift handles, ensuring quick and safe loaf removal of the loaves. And there is a large window to watch what's happening.
And, we must share one of our favorite features..the 13-hour delay timer – which allows us to go to bed and wake up to fresh homemade bread in the morning. Sounds so good, doesn't it? Yes, it's truly amazing. We also especially like the dough cycle, which is perfect for mixing up a batch of cinnamon buns, challah, and rolls.
We find the 2 lb. size loaf convenient, some to slice, some to store and even some to freeze. For Shabbos challah, the Zo delivers fresh challah in a hurry on a Friday morning. One 90-minute cycle provides enough dough to make two 1 lb. loaves. We shape them, place them in loaf pans or on our Silpat mat, let them rise for 1 hour, and bake for 30 minutes. Done! By the way, for those readers who are gluten-free, the Zo even offers a setting for you. So, dear readers, if you are in the market for a breadmaker, do consider the ZO, and share your thoughts (and recipes) with us.
To purchase click here: Zojirushi Bread Maker (Amazon).
*This is not a sponsored post. All recommended products are Koshereye tested. We hope to only provide you with amazing Kosher products and recipes. Koshereye may make a small commission if you purchase a product through our Amazon links.