Put a twist in your challah
Challah from heaven
Rebbetzin Chanie Wolff from Central Synagogue in Sydney, has been kind enough to share her mother-in-law Sonia’s muchloved recipe. Chanie says: “Baking your own challah on a Friday is a special mitzvah (spiritual good deed) for Jewish women.”
Makes: 2 challahs
1 kg plain flour, plus 75 g extra 500 ml warm water 6 tsp dried yeast 170 g caster sugar 1½ tbsp salt 2 eggs, beaten 125 ml vegetable oil 1 egg, beaten, for glazing Poppy or sesame seeds
Put 1 kg of the flour in a large bowl. Make a large well in it and add the warm water. Add the yeast and 100g of the sugar, stirring the yeast and water in the well until combined. Set aside for 15 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy.
Mix in the salt and remaining sugar. Wait another 5–10 minutes for the mixture to foam again.
Add the eggs and oil to the well and mix with a wooden spoon. Gradually incorporate the flour in the bowl into the egg mixture in the well.
Once combined, tip onto a floured surface and knead. If the dough is too sticky, slowly add the extra flour. Knead for 10 minutes until you have smooth, slightly sticky dough, adding a little more flour if needed.
Place in a large oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Set aside in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in bulk (2–3 hours).
When the dough has risen, divide it into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a plaited loaf.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the loaves on a lined baking tray and allow them to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Brush with the egg and sprinkle with seeds. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the tray and cool.
Recipe adapted from Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood, Harper Collins