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.
No time to make Challah dough, no problem!
To purchase click here: Zojirushi Bread Maker (Amazon).
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.
*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.