Friday, February 24, 2006

Kosher Recipe of the Day: Challah

Makes about 6 loaves

Ingredients:

13-14 cups flour
4 packages dry yeast
or
2 ounces fresh yeast
1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons salt
1 cup oil
4 cups warm water
2 eggs, beaten

Dissolve yeast in water. Water temperature should be 80°-90° F (27° - 32° C) when using fresh yeast, 95°-105° F (35° - 40.5° C) when using dry yeast.

When dissolved, add sugar, salt, and half the flour. Mix well.

Add eggs and oil, then slowly stir in most of the remaining flour. Dough will become quite thick.

When the dough pulls away from sides of the bowl, turn onto floured board and knead for approximately 10 minutes. Add only enough additional flour to make dough manageable. Knead until dough has acquired a "life of its own"; it should be smooth and elastic, springing back when pressed lightly with fingertip.

Place dough into a large, oiled bowl. Turn it over so that the fop will be oiled as well. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for two hours, punching down in four or five places every 20 minutes.

Then, separate challah.* Shape loaves and place into well-greased bread pans or onto greased cookie sheet. Allow to rise again until doubled in bulk. Brush tops with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake at 375° F for approximately 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.

*How to separate challah:

"Separate the first portion of your kneading as a dough offering. . .In future generations, give the first of your kneading as an elevated gift to G-d." (Numbers 15:30-21)

When the Jewish people first inhabited the Land of Israel, one of the many gifts they were commanded to give to the priestly tribe, (Kohanim) who served in the Beis Hamikdash, was a portion of their dough -- "the first and the best." This gift of food is known as challah, from which the name of our Shabbat loaves is derived. Since the destruction of the Holy Temple, the Beis Hamikdash, we may not give this dough to the Kohanim of today. However, in remembrance of this gift and in anticipation of the future Redemption and the rebuilding of the third Beis Hamikdash, we still observe the mitzvah of separating the challah portion. -The Separation of Challah

Grab a handful of challah dough (about the size of an egg). If you have made more than 5lbs of dough, you will recite the blessing, if you have made between 2 1/2 lbs and 5 lbs you will not recite the blessing. If you have made less than 2 1/2 lbs, you do not separate challah.

With the challah dough in your hand, still connected to the dough in the bowl, recite the following blessing: Boruch Atoh Ado-nay Elo-heinu Melech Ha'Olam Asher Kidshanu B'mitzvosav V'tzivanu L'hafrish Challah. Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to separate challah.

Then wrap the ball of dough in aluminum foil and burn it on the stovetop (if you have a gas range) or in the oven (but not while your challah is baking).

3 Comments:

Blogger Jake said...

Thanks a lot for the post. I love to read articles which are about medicine or health related topics. They keep me up to date with the current issues. I hope to read more from you!

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12:30 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

Thanks a lot for the post. I love to read articles which are about medicine or health related topics. They keep me up to date with the current issues. I hope to read more from you!

Kosher Vitamins

12:31 AM  
Blogger Mac said...

Traditional diets of Jewish people consists of Kosher foods. Are people other than Jewish people allowed to enjoy Kosher foods? Of course anyone can. Kosher food is not limited to a certain race. Kosher food is not limited to people who are of Jewish descent but is also appropriate for those who are on a specific diet.


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9:39 AM  

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