May 20, 2024
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We ‘Challah’ for Crumby Challah on Sukkot

This a modified version of my focaccia challah recipe, and also has considerably less sugar and oil than many egg challah recipes. To make up for this perceived lack of richness, I add a yummy crumby topping (crumb recipe courtesy of Rivka Zauderer) and either chocolate chips or a cinnamon/sugar combo… or both. Feel free to experiment with this fantastic recipe: you really can’t lose. This recipe makes four family-sized loaves.

Ingredients:

  • 4 and a half cups water
  • 4 packages dry yeast
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 12 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • Crumb topping:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil or margarine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Procedure:

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees then turn the oven off.

In a separate bowl, combine and mix the flour with the salt.

In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine contents of both bowls slowly. If you have a 4 or 5 quart mixer, you may want to divide both mixtures into two so your dough is uniform and well mixed. This dough does not require extended kneading, just run the machine until the dough is fully formed.

Place in an oiled bow and cover the bowl with foil or plastic wrap sprayed with oil. To proof, I often place this in a warm oven that has been turned off. Wait until the dough has almost doubled in size. In a warm place, this takes approximately an hour but you can set it on the counter as well if you have more time.

Get ready to shape the loaves. I coil together round loaves for the Yom Tovim, and braids for the rest of the year. You may add an egg wash here if you like. Combine the crumb topping and add ingredients only until you’ve reached a nice crumbly consistency. Sprinkle crumbs on top as well as chocolate chips or cinnamon (I like to create nooks and crannies in the dough, especially for chocolate chips and crumbs). Note: Margarine rather than oil makes for a softer crumb, if that is what you are looking for. Crumbs made with oil are harder and more crunchy-cookie-like.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. The challah is done when the tops are nicely browned. Chag Samayach!

By Elizabeth Kratz

 

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