Sunday, August 8, 2010

Auntie Sally’s Challah – the recipe, the whole recipe, and nothing but the recipe

imageThere were originally two parts to this post: a rant and a recipe. But I split it because I want to keep this blog more or less on topic – if only to demonstrate that I really CAN stay on-topic. Really, I can!

Click here for the story behind the recipe or some of the snarky comments may leave you wondering.

Auntie Sally’s Challah Recipe (update: now in metric!)

  • 8 cups of flour = 1120g
  • 1 cup of sugar + 1 tsp for proofing yeast = 200g (+ 1 tsp!)
  • 1 cup of oil = 220g
  • 1 tsp salt = 4.8g
  • 5 eggs, divided: 4 for the challah, 1 white for the challah, 1 yolk reserved for painting the challahs at the end
  • 4 tsp yeast = 24g
  • 2 cup of water, divided: 1 cup (240g) to proof the yeast, 1 more (240g) “if you need it.”
  • Krishkelach = what I generally call streusel; a floury, sugary, oily concoction to sprinkle on top at the end. Or sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are okay. Poppy seeds are WRONG. Bzzzt!

Steps – roughly, as she described them to me:

  1. Mix yeast, 1 cup water, 1 tsp sugar in a bowl and allow to proof for 15 minutes. I may do this step out of sentimentality, even though I’m aware that my yeast – the same one she uses – no longer needs proofing.
  2. Mix – and here, a food processor is WRONG. Mixing by hand is the ONLY way. I assured her my food processor only holds 5-cup recipes or smaller, so her challah will be forever hand mixed. My sister Sara helpfully suggested the folly of hand-mixing when dealing with batches in the realm of hundreds of kilos.
  3. Cover with a towel. Plastic wrap is WRONG. The French word for a bread-covering towel is couche, which also means “diaper” despite certain French-speaking members of my family begging to differ. (couche (f) = n. layer; coat (as of paint); nappy, diaper)
  4. Let rise fully once, then fold down and return to bowl.
  5. Let rise fully a second time, then fold down and return to bowl.
  6. After the second rise, form the challahs, sprinkle with the aforementioned krishkelach (NO POPPY SEEDS!) and bake. What temperature? No clue! I’d assume 350° for however-long. Probably 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the loaves.

Again, to read the rest of the post and get more of a sense of who Auntie Sally is, click here.

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