You know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that? --Ratatouille (Pixar, 2007)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hurricane cHallah

On my 6th day in a row off from school, I'm still thanking Hurricane Sandy for bringing me sleep and extra time to do fun cook!
The other day I decided I'd cook up something tasty...and easy because I was exhausted from doing so much nothing during the hurricane. So--I baked up two loaves of my grandpa's famous challah.
For those of you who don't know, challah is basically the Jewish bread of choice. Served at all Shabbat dinners and most holidays (excluding Passover of course) challah can usually be seen on any Jewish dinner table. Needless to say...every Jewish grandpa or grandma thinks THEIR challah is the BEST challah. However, I (of course) insist MY grandpa's challah is the best.
To make my grandpa's challah--you'll either need a bread machine (like I have) or a lot more time, and a lot more kneading. Some bread is better by hand, but challah isn't really one. My grandpa always used a machine, so I do too.

In bread machine:
Liquids in first:
2 eggs
1 cup Water
A little less than 1/3 Cup oil

Mix 3 tsp. yeast into ¼ cup water, when bubbly, combine that in with the liquids.

¼ cup sugar in as first dry after all liquids are in.
Tsp Salt.
Lastly—4.5 cups AP flour.

Turn on Bread Machine, let go for 1.5 hrs. 

When you pull it out, knead it (or it won't rise! mine couldve used a little more kneading..) and add a little bit of flour on the side just to ensure its not too sticky to handle. Then let the dough sit in a cool, damp (maybe cover--but not constrictingly--with a wet towel), place for a little while (approx 1-2 hours) before continuing, in order to let the bread rise further.

When it’s finished rising, split into 2-3 parts. Split those 2-3 into 3 more per each, and braid in challah formation. Basically, line the three parts up in three snakes of dough parallel to each other. Bind at one end, and then put the right most snake into the middle, then the leftmost into the middle. Repeat that until you get to the other end and then bind your dough again. If you're a real pro, cover your challah again like before and let it rise a second time.
Finally,  brush with eggwash (one egg and 1/4(ish) cup water)
Bake in oven at 350 Degrees for 25-40 minutes (just check the oven. when it's brown/golden it should be nearly done).

 Woooo challah! More kneading next time and it'll rise a little more...I could've used a little bit taller! But still tasted great! (And those are little challah rolls with the extra dough after 2 loaves).