PURIM RECIPE: Vanilla and Honey Challah
An oldie but a goody as they say. In the spirit of Purim this week, here is a recipe from chabad.org for a traditional, soft and fluffy challah - perfect for the festival, or just your regular Shabbat dinner!
Cooking Time: Preparation time 3 hrs, cooking time 45 mins
Yields: 1 loaf, fairly easy
2¼ tsp of dry yeast (0.25 oz/7 g)
1 tsp of sugar
1 cup of warm water
¼ cup of honey
3 tbsps of oil
1 tsp of salt
Approximately 4 ½ cups of flour (as always, add the flour slowly towards the end and feel if the dough needs more or less)
For the egg wash:
2 tbsps of honey
1 tbsp of vanilla
Equipment Needed: 2 x medium-sized bowls, mixer, wet towel, lightly greased pan, whisk
Dissolve yeast and sugar in ¼ cup of warm water in a medium-sized bowl. Let sit about 15 minutes until thick and frothy.
Add the egg, honey, oil, salt, remaining ¾ cup of water, and 3 cups of the flour. Mix until a loose batter forms. Add the rest of the flour slowly. You may not need it all, so go slowly towards the end. Alternatively, you may need slightly more. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Once the dough has enough flour, knead it for a couple of minutes. You can do this recipe by hand or with a mixer.
Cover the dough with a wet towel or clingfilm and put it in a warm place to rise for about 1-1½ hours. Dough should double in size.
Punch the dough down and let it rest for 10 minutes. Braid according to pictures and directions above. Place loaf on a lightly greased pan and let rise for another 30-40 minutes.
Beat the egg with the honey and vanilla and gently brush over the loaves. Bake at 375° F for approximately 35-45 minutes. Loaf should be golden on top, and firm on the bottom.