In a large
mixing bowl stir together the yeast, water, and pinch of sugar. Let stand
five minutes to allow yeast to swell and dissolve.
Briskly stir in remaining
sugar, honey, and salt. Then add oil, eggs, yolks and about five cups of the
flour. Stir into a shaggy mass. Let stand 10-20 minutes to absorb flour.
Knead, by hand or with a dough hook, adding remaining flour as required to
make a soft and elastic dough (about 10-12 minutes). Dough should leave
sides of the bowl. If it is sticky, add small amounts of flour until dough
is soft but no longer sticks. (Note: if you find dough too bulky for your
mixer, divide in two. Knead one portion at a time).
Let dough rest on a
lightly floured board ten minutes, then flatten and press in raisins as
evenly as possible into the dough, folding dough over raisins to "tuck" them
in. Place dough in a greased bowl and either cover with greased plastic wrap
and a damp tea towel or cover with a damp tea towel and place entire bowl
inside a large plastic bag. Let rise in a draft free place until doubled and
puffy looking, anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.
(If you are doing an
overnight, cool rise, place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and
insert this in a large plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight. If you see the
bread rising too quickly, open the bag, deflate dough, and reseal. Next day,
allow dough to warm up then gently deflate and proceed.)
Divide dough in two. For 'faigele'
or turban-shaped New Year's challah, shape each section into a long rope
(about 12-14 inches long) which is thicker at one end and coil it, starting
with the thicker end first, tucking the end in on top to "lock". Or, you can
divide each dough section into three ropes, around 14 inches long and make a
traditional challah braid.
Place on cornmeal dusted
baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together egg glaze ingredients. Brush
loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let rise until puffy,
around 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake bread 12 minutes
then reduce heat to 350 Degrees F and bake another 25 minutes or until bread
is evenly browned.
Makes one large or two
medium loaves. Can be frozen baked or unbaked. If freezing unbaked, let
bread rise slowly, overnight in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before
one large or two medium loaves
cranberries or sour cherries and make up a batch of miniatures to offer in a
Rosh Hashanah gift basket. Rich bread doughs like this one really put yeast
to the test. Make sure you use a highly tolerant yeast (such as fermipan)
for best results.
Es, es! Eat, eat!
Es gezunterheyt! Eat in health!
Leteavon! For appetite! (Hebrew)