Mom’s Challah Bread

Challah

I thought I would share one on my Mom’s favorite recipes today. I miss her everyday. She was such a wonderful mother. She taught me how to bake and cook. She taught me how to make a dollar stretch and not to be wasteful. She taught me how to have compassion for others. She taught me to never go to bed mad. She also taught me to stand up for myself.

I remember a story she told me of her and my dad. They were dating and he was acting jealous, because she was talking to a friend at a party. She walked out. She left the party and he ran after her. She told him that he needed to respect her, or she would not stay with him. She would not take any sort of crap from him. Good lesson for us all.

I have wonderful memories of my mother making this bread. Whenever I make it, I think of her. It is a simple egg bread, in many ways, but the braiding makes it look so pretty. You can bake the bread in loaf pans, or on baking sheets. Both look great.

This is one of my favorite sandwich breads, but I also like it for French toast. Challah is a nice option for bread in your holiday stuffing (or dressing) and it makes great bread pudding.

I had a bread class last night, and we made dinner rolls with the dough, instead of the traditional loaves. It gave everyone in the class a chance to play around with the dough. They got about 30 dinner rolls!! If you do choose to make rolls, bake 15-20 minutes.

 

Challah

2 c. hot water

1 T. each sugar, salt and oil

1 package active dry yeast

¼ c. warm water

About 8 cups flour

2 beaten eggs

Poppy or sesame seeds, optional

In large bowl combine hot water, salt, sugar and oil. Dissolve yeast in warm water in small bowl and add to oil/water mix. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and eggs, reserving 2 tablespoons of the eggs for later. Gradually stir in enough of the flour to make soft dough. When dough pulls away from sides of bowl remove to floured surface. Knead dough, adding flour as necessary about 8-10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top, cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll three of the pieces into 12- inch ropes. Place in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Take one of the remaining pieces of dough and divide into thirds. Roll the pieces into 3-nine inch ropes and place on top of the braid already in the pan. Repeat with remaining dough and cover. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush loaves with reserved eggs and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired. Bake 40-45 minutes. When done loaves will be nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped. Makes 2 loaves.

Note: Bread dough can also be placed on greased baking sheets instead of in loaf pans. The result will be longer and flatter, but very pretty.

Challah Bread, baked on a baking sheet, instead on in loaf pans

Challah Bread, baked on a baking sheet, instead on in loaf pans

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