Submitted by Samantha Clague
As a young child, I was unaware that I was Jewish. I was introduced to Judaism in 5th grade and was completely enamored. Since my family was entirely unaffiliated and knew nothing about Judaic observance, I was completely thrilled to find out that the family challah recipe was passed down to my aunt. She then shared the “secret” recipe. Now I have passed down the recipe to my daughter and we both bake challah for Shabbos. It is a beautiful and sweet reminder that my family is connected to the Torah and the prior generations through the enduring mitzvah of challah.
- 1 pgk yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cup very warm water (not boiling)
- 2 eggs
- 4-5 cups flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup soft margarine/oil
- 1 egg for glaze
- Combine yeast, 1 ½ cup flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix well and then add hot water and beat until smooth.
- Mix in butter and eggs (look for bubbles to ensure yeast is good).
- Gradually add remaining flour to make soft dough (slightly sticky).
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place in a greased bowl and butter on top of dough. Cover with cloth and let rise for 1-1 ½ hours.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Divide into 3 equal portions.
- Take one portion of dough and divide into 4 strands and braid (pick up the strand on the far left and put over the second, under the third and over the forth (like a weave). Repeat process from left to right).
- Cover and let rise for 1-1 ½ hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Paint blended egg for glaze over challos and bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes (until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped with a spoon).