I am often asked to describe my country and somehow I’ve never had a good answer to that request. Maybe because when I think about Poland I think about food that I miss, flavors I grew up with that got lost without notice, between changing countries and continents. It is difficult to explain, but for me it feels like losing part of my heritage. That is why I try to recreate some of the tastes in my kitchen. Challah is one of them. This sweet, egg bread was my favorite breakfast food. It is also Jewish traditional bread eaten on Sabbath and Holidays.
I still need to work on my braiding technique but it was fun to bake it and even more to eat it 🙂
- 1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4tsp)
- 1/2 plus 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 large yolks, lightly beaten
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/4tsp salt
- Mix water with yeast, wait 5min., until yeast dissolves.
- Add to the mixture: 1/2 cup bread flour, eggs, yolks, oil, sugar, and salt. Mix until well blended.
- Gradually mix in the remaining flour and knead for about 8 minutes, until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky.
- Cover the dough and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2hr.
- Knead again for about 3 minutes, transfer the dough to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 12hrs, until almost doubled in volume.
- After refrigeration, divide the dough into 3 parts, roll into bowls and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll each bowl into a 13-inch rope.
- Put the ropes side by side, pinch the top ends together and braid until you reach the ends. Tuck the ends underneath the loaf.
- Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined up with parchment paper.
- Brush the loaf with beaten egg, cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Yield: ~15 slices
Nutritional Info (1 slice 50g/1.7oz): Cal 141, Prot 4g, Carb 22g, Fat 4g, Fiber 1g
This recipe may be found in Joy of Cooking, 75th Ed.