So we wandered around the supermarket trying to figure an alternative. In the frozen aisle we found frozen Italian bread dough -- in packages of three, no less! So we got it, went back to the resort, braided the dough, and baked our first challah together.
When we came home, I was determined to learn to make challah right. The first few tries I messed up the yeast -- the water temperature must be within a very narrow range for the yeast to puff up properly. With time, however, the results got more and more pleasing, and well worth the effort. When my second child was in second grade, I made a demonstration of making the challah in her class, and I prepared the recipe for everyone to take home. I have had some requests for this recipe, so here it is:
You will need:
A measuring cup
A small bowl
A large bowl
A baking dish (oil it first!)
Ingredients for one challah:
4 cups FLOUR
¼ cup OIL
¼ cup HONEY
1 tablespoon SALT
1 teaspoon SUGAR
1 package ACTIVE DRY YEAST
1 cup WATER
1. Heat the WATER in the microwave for 18 seconds on HIGH.
2. Mix the WATER, SUGAR and YEAST in a small bowl.
3. Let the yeast mixture PUFF UP for 30 MINUTES or more.
4. In a big bowl, MIX 3 cups FLOUR with ONE EGG, OIL, HONEY, SALT and puffed up YEAST mixture. Add more flour a bit at a time so it’s not too sticky.
5. KNEAD the dough for 10 MINUTES or more.
6. WRAP the dough with PLASTIC WRAP
7. Let the dough RISE for 2-3 HOURS.
8. BRAID the dough into a Challah
9. COVER the dough with PLASTIC WRAP
10. Let the dough rise for 1 HOUR
11. Preheat oven to 375 DEGREES
12. Beat the YOLK (yellow part) of the second egg together with some water and SPREAD it on top of the Challah
13. BAKE the Challah for 30 MINUTES, or until the top is golden brown
14. ENJOY your Challah!