I can’t believe I haven’t posted in two weeks. I really didn’t mean for the time to get away from me, but with life and the Jewish Holy days, the blog unfortunately fell into the background. But I have been cooking a bit and canning a little, so I have been trying to keep up with life in general. I had a craving for some challah, and since the New Year was on us, I thought I’d take a stab at it. My first try wasn’t a complete failure, but I think between using both whole wheat flour and a flax egg, there was way too much graininess going on. The challah didn’t have the light and airy flair to it that it should. This recipe uses Ener-G egg replacer in it, and I think the results were SO much better. I could actually knead the dough without it falling apart. Awesome. My recipe is a kind of piecing together of two different recipes found here and here.
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (I used rapid rise) plus 2/3 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tsp divided honey
- 1/3 cup neutral oil (I used canola) plus more to coat bowl
- 4.5 tsp Ener-G egg replacer plus 5 TBSP water (or 2 large eggs and one egg yolk)
- 1.5 tsp salt (I used Kosher)
- 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 medium apples (I prefer a tart apple, but sweet would also be fine) diced
- 1/2 cup currants soaked in spiced rum and a cinnamon stick overnight
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
Add warm water to yeast and 1 tsp honey and set aside. You are waiting for the mixture to get foamy.
Dissolve the Ener-G egg replacer in the water (if you use slightly warm water, the powder will dissolve a bit better). Add the egg replacer, honey, and oil to the yeast and mix well. Add flour and salt to the mixture all at once and stir until the dough is mixed but uneven.
Add the cinnamon and turn out dough on a lightly floured surface to knead. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes. You want the dough well worked, but not so much that it becomes tough. Lightly oil the bowl and add the dough back to the bowl. Let the dough rise for an hour covered.
After an hour punch down the dough and cut the dough into quarters. Take one of the quarters and flatten it out into an oblong shape. Add 1/4 of the apples and currants to the flattened dough. Roll up the dough so that it stays long and pinch the ends to close the rope. Do this with the other three-quarters and keep the finished ropes covered to help retain moisture. Next, take two of your ropes and place them parallel to each
other and right next to each other. Take a third rope and weave it over and under the two ropes, but perpendicular. Take the fourth rope and weave it so that all ropes form an over under with the others. The ropes are going to be crossed over the rope closest to it in a counter-clockwise
fashion, then in a clockwise pattern. Look at The Shiksa Blog’sinstructions for how to do this. She has some great pictures. Place the loaf on a baking sheet with parchment paper covering it and let the dough rise again for 20ish minutes (more is fine). Right before placing the loaf in the oven, mix the last teaspoon of honey with a teaspoon or two of water and brush the tops of the loaf. This will give the loaf a nice coloring to it.
Bake the loaf at 375 F for 45 minutes. Check the loaf half way through to make sure it’s baking evenly. When finished, the challah will be nice and brown. Allow the challah to cool, then enjoy! The challah can definitely be made the day before (and maybe two days) it’s needed.
- Raisin Challah (andreasgardencooking.com)
- challah fatta in casa / homemade challah (briciole.typepad.com)
- Six Strand Braided Challah (cutoutandkeep.net)
- Challah french toast with apples, honey, cinnamon and raisins (charlotte.news14.com)