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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 04/23/2011 08:02 AM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 04/23/2011 01:52 PM
Expires: 01/01/2016 12:00 AM
:



"Challah Bread"~by Lunch Lady Catering

Once upon a time, many years ago, I cooked in a very good restaurant in Oakland called The Autumn Moon Cafe. Sadly, The Autumn Moon is no longer there, but the lessons I learned while there have really stuck with me. I worked under the great Chef Kerry Heffernan who taught me so much about both cooking and life. She was the kind of Chef who was tough and commanding in the kitchen, but would nurture ideas and experiments to help her young chefs grow and develop their style. I am forever indebted to this woman, she was instrumental in my growth as a Chef and person. But I ....



Click Above to Visit the Lovely Lunch Lady Caterer!

digress, at this restaurant, we specialized in some Jewish foods as well. We made fluffy matzoh balls in clear broth with carrots, parsley, and noodles every day, prepared Passover Seder dinner annually, and always had challah bread on hand. All these things were made according to the taste buds of the co-owner Wendy Levy. The recipes were based on the flavors her mother had created for Wendy when she was growing up in New York. When I left this wonderful place with wonderful food and wonderful people, those flavors truly stuck with me. I began to search out recipes of my own for those marvelous flavors. My most desired recipe was the perfect loaf of challah bread. I love it. It is a rich, eggy bread that is wonderful with just about anything. My search for this perfect bread led me to a book called "Love and Knishes: An Irrepressible Guide to Jewish Cooking" by Sara Kasdan. This book is one of those cookbooks which comes with anecdotes and I must say that though dated, is quite charming and my copy is worn and dogeared. When I made the challah recipe listed in the book, I knew my search was over. Over the years I have made some minor adjustments to suit my tastes, but never strayed far from the original recipe. I have used this bread for the best french toast in the world, sandwiches, with poached egg, bread pudding, or just by itself with a bit of butter. No matter how I prepare it, it takes me right back to that small kitchen in Oakland and that feeling of family. I hope you try this recipe, and the book! I highly recommend both!

Challah
(Sabbath Bread)

1 pkg yeast
1/4 cup warm water
5 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 egg, beaten
warm water

Glaze: 1 egg yolk diluted with 1 teaspoon water, poppy seed or sesame seed optional

Soften yeast in 1/4 cup warm water
Sift together dry ingredients
Add oil
Add softened yeast and beaten egg
Mix thoroughly, adding just enough water for a smooth kneading. Knead well
Place in a large bowl and cover with a towel allowing to sit until air pockets form at the top
Knead again, then cover and let rise until doubled in size
Divide dough into three equal parts, and roll each part into a strip
Braid the strips together and place on a baking sheet until doubled in size
Brush with diluted egg yolk, and sprinkle with seeds
Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour or until golden brown
Enjoy with friends!
--
Have a Delicious Day!
Kris Fichtner
Lunch Lady Catering
P.O. Box 225
Avery CA
95224
www.lunchladycatering.com
209-768-1044
Find us on Facebook!
www.facebook.com/LunchLadyCatering





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