1 c Lukewarm water; (110 to 115 3 Egg
; degrees (F) 1/4 c Vegetable shortening
3 pk Active dry yeast 1 ts Vegetable shortening
4 ts Sugar 1 Egg yolk; combined with 2
6 c All purpose flour ;tablespoons of water
2 ts Salt
Pour 1/2 cup of the luke warm water into a small, shallow bowl and
sprinkle it with the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let the
mixture stand for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast
completely. Set the bowl in a warm, draft free place (such as a
turned off oven) for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture almost
doubles in volume.
In a deep mixing bowl, combine 4 cups of the flour, the remaining 3
teaspoons of sugar and the salt. Make a well in the center, pour in
the yeast and the remaining 1/2 cup of lukewarm water, and add the
eggs and 1/4 cup of the vegetable shortening.
Gently stir the center ingredients together with a large spoon,
then beat vigorously until all the flour is absorbed. Add up to 2
cups more flour, beating it in 1/4 cup at a time and using as much as
necessary to form a dough that can be gathered into a soft ball. If
the dough becomes difficult to stir, work in the flour with your
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead by pressing
it down, pushing it forward several times with the heel of your hand
and folding it back on itself. Repeat for about 15 minutes, or until
the dough is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle it from time to time with
a little flour to prevent it from sticking to the board.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl.
Drape loosely with a kitchen towel and set aside in the warm, draft
free place for 45 minutes, or until the dough doubles in bulk. Punch
the dough down with a single blow of your fist and knead it again for
a few minutes. Set the dough aside to rest for 10 minutes.
With a pastry brush, coat a large baking sheet with the remaining
teaspoon of vegetable shortening. Divide the dough into 4 equal
pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rope
about 22 inches long. The ropes should be about 2 inches in diameter
at the center and taper to about 1/2 inch at both ends. Interweave
the ropes into a four part braid. Carefully place the challah on the
baking sheet and let it rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the top of the loaf with
the egg yolk and water mixture and bake in the middle of the oven for
15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 and continue baking for 45
minutes longer, or until the challah is golden brown and crusty. Cool
on a cake rack.
27 of 116
1 14″ loaf