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A delicate twist on classic challah.

This golden crown has honey and raisins

FAT, ROUND, AND coiled to symbolize wholeness--this is the shape challah takes in honor of the Jewish high holidays, including Rosh Hashana, the day on which kings were crowned.

There are many recipes for challah, but this golden egg bread, from Lorraine Shapiro's recipe, is exceptionally tender and fine textured. Offer it with butter and honey for Rosh Hashana, or bake it throughout the year, as a coil or in the form of a braid.

You can mix and knead the dough by hand, or use a dough hook.

The bread freezes well if you want to bake ahead.

Holiday Challah

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup golden raisins

2 large eggs

About 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons salad oil

In a large bowl, combine yeast, 3/4 cup warm (110 |degrees~) water, and honey; let stand 5 minutes to soften yeast.

In a small bowl, pour 1 cup hot water over raisins; set aside. In another small bowl, beat eggs to blend; spoon out 1 tablespoon and chill, covered.

To yeast mixture, add balance of egg, 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and oil; beat with a spoon or mixer until batter is stretchy. Add 2 cups flour and drained raisins; stir with spoon until dough is well moistened.

To knead by hand. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes; add flour to prevent sticking. Rinse, dry, and oil bowl; turn dough over in bowl to oil top.

To knead with a dough hook. Beat on high speed until dough pulls from bowl sides, 5 to 8 minutes. If dough clings to bowl or is sticky to touch, mix in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Cover dough (kneaded by either method) with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Knead on a lightly floured board by hand or with dough hook to expel air. On the floured board, shape dough into a rope 32 inches long and tapered at 1 end. If dough is so elastic it shrinks back, let rest a few minutes, then continue.

In a 9- to 10-inch oiled cheesecake pan with removable rim, place thick end of dough in center, then form a coil to pan rim, and tuck any extra under the loaf. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until puffy, 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and gently brush dough with reserved beaten egg.

Bake bread in a 325 |degrees~ oven, on rack about 1/3 from bottom, until a dark golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Check at 20 minutes; if top is dark, drape with foil and continue to bake until loaf is evenly colored. Let cool in pan about 10 minutes, then remove rim. Serve warm or cool. If making ahead, wrap airtight when cool. Store at room temperature up to 1 day; freeze to store longer (thaw wrapped). To reheat (thaw, if frozen), set on a sheet of foil in a 300 |degrees~ oven until warm in center, 25 to 35 minutes. Makes 1 loaf, about 1 3/4 pounds.

Lorraine Shapiro, Los Angeles

Per ounce: 86 cal. (16 percent from fat); 2.2 g protein; 1.5 g fat (0.3 g sat.); 16 g carbo.; 44 mg sodium; 15 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipe
Author:Lipman, Karyn I.
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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