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According to our family's Sephardi custom, we cannot make 'HaMotzi' on anything that contains more than a minimal amount of sugar or any eggs. (Although you may use an egg wash or honey or other sweet additions on the outside). When I have to bake Challah this is what I do. For Rosh Hashannah our tradition is use anise seeds instead of extra sugar or raisins and shape the dough in discs with a grid on top.
- Proof yeast by taking 3 cups of luke warm (should feel pleasantly warm on wrist and be about 105-110F; if too hot it will kill the yeast) in a 4 or more cup measuring cup and add 4 Tbs. of instant yeast and 2 Tbs. of sugar. Mix a little. When it reaches the top of the 4 cup mark it is done.
- Meanwhile mix bread flour and salt. [For Rosh Hashannah I add the anise seeds.] Add oil and proofed yeast and water. Knead until smooth, adding flour if dough is too sticky or warm water if too stiff.
- Oil a large mixing bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning once to coat. Cover loosely with a damp towel and allow to rise until doubled (time depends upon warmth of house but with this much yeast maybe as little as 30 minutes to 1 hour).
- When doubled punch down, knead gently folding over. [Now is a good time to separate the challah for the bracha.] Divide into halves, quarters, or eighths depending on size of loaf or smaller for rolls. Shape in braids, discs, rounds, etc. as preferred. Place on greased cookie sheets or whatever shape pan preferred. Cover loosely with towel and allow to rise another hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush each loaf with beaten egg if desired. [If using discs for Rosh Hashannah: use a sharp blade to cut a tic-tac-toe grid on each disc.] Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired.
- Bake 30 minutes or until golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove and cool on racks.
Easy and great tasting.
It was delicious! Thank you! My family love it! This is our new Shabbat recipe! 3>