Whether you’re celebrating the holiday or simply wish to break some bread” with friends or family, we encourage you to try this lovely challah recipe used by Ama Waterways chefs on board their amazing river cruises!
Poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
9 1/4 cups (1 1/3 kg) flour
4 eggs, beaten, plus 2 yolks or 1 whole egg for glazing
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 1/4 cups (500 ml) lukewarm water
2 Tablespoons dry yeast
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
Dissolve yeast in water with 1 tsp of sugar.
Beat well and leave 10 mins until frothy.
In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs.
Add salt, sugar, oil and beat again.
Add the yeast mixture and beat well.
Gradually add flour to make a soft dough that holds together.
Mix well using a large spoon.
Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (add flour if it’s too sticky).
Pour a little oil in the bowl to grease the entire dough.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap, put in a warm place to rise for 2 3 hrs., or until doubled in bulk.
Punch the dough down and knead again, then divide into four pieces to make 4 loaves.
To make round challah: Take 1 piece of dough, roll it between palms, and stretch into a long fat rope about 18” long and 2” thick – a little fatter at one end. Take the fatter end and put it in the middle of an oiled baking sheet, then coil the rest of the rope around like a snail. Continue with remaining pieces.
To make braided challah with 3 strands: Divide 1 piece of the dough into 3. Roll each piece between palms and pull into long thin ropes about 18” long and 1 ¼” wide. Pinch 1 end of all the strands together and plait them: bring the right rope over the middle one, then bring the left rope over it and continue. Pinch the ends together and tuck under the loaf. Continue with the remaining 3 pieces.
Place the loaves on well oiled baking sheets, leave room for them to expand, then leave to rise for 1 hr., or until doubled in bulk.
Gently brush with beaten egg yolks then sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 40 mins or until the loaves are golden-brown.
Learn more about fascinating Jewish traditions when adding the Israel land program to Ama Waterways’ new Secrets of Egypt & the Nile river cruise.
If you’d like to see Ama Waterways’ original recipe, click here to see it!