Challot for everyone
Guestwriter Ariel “de’Dude” is giving us the honour of sharing this recipe with us. Ladies and Gents: Ze Challah!
Challah is a traditional Jewish bread. True, you can find it in many cultures, but i saw this one naked – Trust me, it’s Jewish. I could tell you all about the role it plays in the Jewish tradition, but that is something you can check yourselves. I’m here to teach you how to make it.
So if you want your place to be filled with freshly-baked-bread-smell that highly impresses everyone (and will most probably get you lucky as well), or you just want to create a little piece of heaven, that’s what you should do:
First – Put on some music and roll up your sleeves.
Now take a big bowl (and I mean BIG) – and put 2 tablespoons of salt in it (that’s 20g of salt). On top of that pour 1kg of flour (I’m using white flour, sue me), 20g of dry yeast, and 50g of sugar. Give it all a good stir and go get 2 eggs from the fridge. Break those puppies and add to the bowl (or stir them in a glass before you spill ‘em in).
Now add 100g oil and 460g water. Funny if you think about it: liquids in gram…
Remember I told you to roll up your sleeves? Good. now it’s time to stick your hands into that mess and work it like a polaroid picture. Knead it for 5-10 minutes (depends on how strong you are) until you get smooth, non-sticky dough. If the stickiness doesn’t go away, sprinkle a bit of flour on it and knead it some more.
Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes and knead it for one more minute. That rest will make the dough more flexible, and you’ll thank me for it later on.
Now cover the bowl with a plastic bag (not foil) and let it raise for 45-60 minutes. It’s suppose to become 125%-150% of what it was before. It raises best when it’s a bit warm, so if consider placing it next to your radiator if you think it’s needed.
After you spend an hour on facebook, peeping into the bowl every 5 minutes to see if it grew yet – Sprinkle some flour on your counter (that you’ve just cleaned, right?) and place the dough on it.
What you need to do now it cut the dough in half, then take each half and divide it in two again – And then slice each quarter in half. Now you have 8 pieces of dough.
Using a rolling pin, flatten each piece to a long rectangle, and then: Starting from the longer side of it, role it into a long “sausage”. Role it back and forth and bit to tighten it.
Now take each two sausages and braid them into a Challah as shown in the little video here.
Scramble 1 egg in a glass and brush the Challah with it. You can sprinkle some poppy seeds or sesame seeds on it if you want.
Now you have 4 Challot. Cover them with a plastic bag and let them raise again for 45-60 minutes. While you wait for them to raise you can already heat your oven to 200 degrees.
Place a little bowl with boiling water at the bottom of the stove (that will help the Challot raise better) and put the Challot in the oven. At this point your girlfriend might tell you “Ha, they are not that big”. Just ignore her. Bake the Challot for 20-25 minutes until they turn golden. You can stick a toothpick in it and if it comes out dry – it means it’s ready.
Now you are done. You can take out the Challot, proudly look at them and tell your girlfriend: “My Challa isn’t big ha? Look at that size, look at it! it’s huge!” (ok ok, I may be mixing irrelevant issues here).
Hope you enjoy it, take care.
– Ariel “de’Dude”