Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Malka's Mom's Challah

Living in New York, I eat a lot of challah ( a lot). So last week when my friend Miriam offered to teach me how to make it, I jumped at the opportunity to have fresh challah, straight out of the oven. Aside from possessing important socio-historical and religious significance, challah is also an extremely versatile and tasty bread. Although it involves a lot of rising time, it was surprisingly not that difficult to make.


· 3 packets of yeast

· 3 cups lukewarm water

· 2 eggs

· ½ cup sugar

· ½ cup Vegetable oil

· ½ tbsp Salt

· ½ cup Honey(or a little more)

· 12 cups of flour

(makes 6 loaves)

Pour water into yeast and wait about 3 minutes. Mix sugar into the liquid, then oil honey and salt. Slightly whip the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the liquid mixture. Add 3 cups of flour at a time, knead as you add the last few cups. Bring the dough ball to the table and knead, until according to Malka's mother the dough is, "as soft as a baby's bottom." Let sit for 5 minutes, then cover dough with a slightly damp and oiled cloth. Let rise for 3-5 hours.

Smash down this ball of dough and separate into smaller balls, rolling them out into thin ropes.

As I have learned, everyone has their own method of braiding,challah. The person who taught me has an unorthodox(no pun intended) method that involves crossing 2 strands of dough and "braiding up."

Make an egg wash and brush over the braided loaves. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fanagle a bagel...or five

There is a bagel place in my home town that is as famous for its delicious bagels as its surly saleswomen. The store looks like a hole in the wall, but like most holes in most walls, it has the best bagels in New Jersey. This place is so set in its ways that it refuses to toast its bagels because they don't want to ruin the perfected texture. They swear by the boil, then bake method that leaves the inside of the bagel moist and the outside crisp and golden brown. When I found this boil-n-bake recipe on 17 and baking I had to test it out.

2 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1/2 tsp salt

Mix yeast and sugar into 1/2 cup of water, leave for 5 minutes then stir to dissolve. In a separate bowl mix flour and salt together, then pour in dissolved yeast mixture.

Pour half of the water into flour mix than stir in remaining water as needed. Put dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth. Gradually work in some extra flour until it forms a stiff dough. Put dough ball in an oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it. Cover with a towel and let rise for an hour, until it about doubles in size. Punch down and then let rise for another 10 minutes (i don't know how necessary this step is, but its a great stress reliever).

Divide dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, pressing out air bubbles as you shape it. Take one flour coated finger and push it through each ball to form a ring. Slowly stretch the hole(I didn't make the hole large enough and some of the bagels expanded to become rolls while baking). Put bagels on oiled baking sheet and cover with damp paper towels, let sit for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 425.

Bring a large pan of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Carefully put bagels in the water, boil for a minute or so until they rise, turn over and boil for another minute.

Remove and put on baking sheet. Bake bagels for 20 minutes or until they reach desired crispness. Eat instantly, although you may burn your mouth, this is the best way to enjoy homemade bagels.