Challah Bread with Raisins
Jewish people usually eat challah during the weekly Sabbath celebration. During Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), we make challah with raisins.
1 2/3 cup of warm water (105°F. to 115°F.)
2 tablespoons dry yeast (packet form)
1 cup of raisins
1/2 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons water
Challah Bread with Raisins Recipe
- Take 1/3 cup warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar and place in a glass measuring cup and mix until the yeast dissolves. Let this mixture stand at room temperature until it starts to get foamy, about 8-10 minutes. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment beat the eggs until well blended. Add the oil, 1/2 cup sugar and salt and whisk until pale yellow and slightly thickened, about 5-6 minutes. Add 1 1/3 cups of warm water, then add the yeast mixture and beat until well blended.
- Replace the whisk with a dough hook. Then add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form smooth looking dough. Beat on medium speed until smooth and elastic which should be about 5-6 minutes, adding flour a little at a time if the mixture becomes too sticky. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and knead 2 minutes on a well-floured surface. Lightly oil a bowl large enough to hold the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Let the dough rise at room temperature until it has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough with your fists and cover again with plastic and a warm towel and let rise 30 more minutes.
- Grease two large baking sheets and cover the bottom with parchment paper.
- Take the dough and place on a lightly floured surface and mix in the raisins by hand until evenly distributed in the challah. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and then divide each portion into 2 equal pieces making sure you have 6 equal portions. Roll each small portion into a nine-inch rope. Then braid 3 ropes together; pinch ends together to seal. Repeat with remaining three pieces of dough forming a two-braided challah. Place each challah on a baking sheet and cover with a clean towel and let the bread rise until it is double in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 360°F.
- Whisk 2 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of water. Then brush the top of the dough with the egg mixture.
- Bake the bread until it is a golden brown color, which should be about 30-35 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a wire rack and let them cool.