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Video:How to Make Kosher Round Challah

with Lucia Marano

Kosher challah is an important element of many Jewish holidays. Learn how to make both 6-braided and 4-braided round challah with this video recipe from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Kosher Round Challah

Hi, I'm Lucia Marano for About.com. I'm an actress and owner of Azteca 111 Builders, a design and construction company based in Los Angeles. Today I'll show you how to make a six-braided and a four-braided round challah using ingredients from About.com's Kosher Food website. You will need about three hours in total.

Ingredients for Kosher Round Challah

The ingredients are the following:

For the yeast mixture:

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Dough:

  • 4 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup lukewarm water coating
  • 1 egg yolk
  • sesame seeds (optionally)

Make the Dough for the Kosher Round Challah

First, we'll prepare the yeast mixture. Fill a small bowl with a quarter cup of lukewarm water and add the yeast and the sugar. Stir and let the yeast activate for five to ten minutes until it becomes foamy. In the meantime, take a large bowl and mix in it the flour and the salt. In the middle create a well for the liquids. Pour in the eggs, the oil, the water and the yeast mixture. Mix the ingredients together with your hands. Knead the dough for about 15-20 minutes until its consistency is stiff and smooth. If it's too sticky, add flour. If it's too firm, add water. Now cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it sit in a warm place for the dough to rise.

Bless the Kosher Round Challah

After one hour, punch down the dough and let it rise again for half an hour this time. Flour a clean, smooth surface. Place down the dough and say the following blessing: Baruch Ata A-Do-Nay Elo-haynu Melech HaOlam Asher Kidishanu B'Mitzvotav V'Tziyvanu L'Hafrish Challah. (Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to separate Challah.) Immediately after saying the blessing, pinch off a piece of dough, approximately the size of half an egg, and say: Harai zeh challah (This is challah). Discard the separated piece of dough by placing it in a small bag and throwing it into the trash.

Form the Six-Braid Kosher Round Challah

Now split the dough in two. Leave one piece aside and divide the other one in six parts. Roll out each of them into a long strand about eight inches long. Take the first three and lay them side by side. Now take the fourth strand and place it under, over and under the first three. Then take the fifth strand and lay it over, under and over them. Repeat with the last strand; under, over, under. You now have created the shape of a grid with four sides, tree strands on each side. Braid the strands on every side just like you braid hair. Take the right strand and place it between the other two. Now take the left strand and do the same. Continue with the right strand, then with the left and so forth until you create a nice, fluffy braid. Repeat this on the other three sides. Take the four braids and tuck them under the challah.

Form the Four-Braid Kosher Round Challah

Now we'll use the other piece of dough to create the four-braided round challah. Divide it in four pieces and roll out each of them into a thick strand 8 inches long. Place two of them side by side and use the other two to create the shape of a grid just like the one before, but this time you have two strands on each side, instead of three. Take a strand that is underneath and place it over the strand next to it. Repeat for all four sides moving clockwise. Now do the exact same thing, but counter-clockwise. Then repeat clockwise and so forth. Twist the ends together and tuck them under the challah.

Bake the Kosher Round Challah

Grease well a low pan with olive oil, place your challah in it and let it rise one last time. A great idea is to leave it in the oven with just the interior light on. After one hour or when it doubles in size, take it out and preheat at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat the egg yolk and glaze the challah. You may optionally sprinkle it with sesame seeds for extra flavor. Bake the challah at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake it for 10-20 more minutes, until it turns into a deep honey brown color.

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