Watch the video: It’s a challah celebration

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Can you believe it’s been one year since we released the first episode of “Baking with Lisa”? I’ve weathered through some, well, weather (do you know how difficult it is to walk through heavy winds while balancing mandelbrot in one hand?). I’ve learned what it takes to produce and film a quality baking show. I’ve tested and baked more than 20 recipes between filming and practice bakes.

Thank you to our readers and viewers for embracing our baking journey and giving us the feedback to keep us going.

For this episode, I wanted to give you a little behind-the-scenes tour of our space and process, since most of you have been surprised to learn that we film the series in the staff break room at the Dwares Jewish Community Center in Providence! We don’t have a large enough kitchen space, so we use the various rooms within the JCC building. Between remodeling rooms, taste testing, a little movie magic and some editing, our team creates the 4-minute clip that’s eventually uploaded to JewishRhody.org. I hope you have enjoyed watching these videos as much as I have enjoyed making them. This time we give you a peek at the behind-the-scenes process so be sure to check out the video.

If you have been following this series, you know I explore the rich and tasty confections of the Jewish Diaspora. Nothing is more traditional and symbolic than challah, which is why I chose this recipe to celebrate our anniversary. Challah contains a few ingredients that you likely have in your pantry already, and it can be made without any special equipment. Varieties of challah often involve creating different shapes or adding different flavorings. Sometimes I use this recipe to make smaller rolls. I just divide the dough and knot it to make the perfect snack-size challah. Also, this challah doesn’t contain eggs, so it’s ideal for those with allergies or dietary restrictions. I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy your fresh bread! And check out all my baking videos, at Jewishrhody.org/baking-with-lisa.

LISA MAYBRUCH'S occasional series, “Baking with Lisa,” appears in Jewish Rhode Island and online at Jewishrhody.org/baking-with-lisa.

Challah

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 packet active dry)

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup + 2 tablespoons water, lukewarm

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)

3 1/2 to 4 cups flour

Optional allergy friendly toppings: cinnamon, honey, or maple syrup. Or use egg wash

DIRECTIONS

Place lukewarm water (no warmer than 110 degrees) in mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast, mixing gently. Let yeast proof for about 10 minutes (yeast should be foamy).

Add oil and the rest of the sugar to the yeast mixture and combine.

Add 1 cup of flour to the mixture and combine with a spatula or electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt.

Continue to add flour, one cup at a time, and mix. Once mixture comes together, knead dough by hand or with an electric mixture.

If the dough is very sticky, add more flour, a few tablespoons at a time. (Try to limit this; add only if necessary.)

Once the mixture turns into a ball, place it on a floured work surface and knead for about 7 minutes or until smooth.

Place in greased/oiled bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, around 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

After the dough has doubled in size, punch down the ball in the bowl to remove any air bubbles. Divide the dough into equal strands and braid using your preferred method. You can also divide dough into 12 equal strands and knot to make rolls.

Place dough on prepared baking sheet and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
If desired, sprinkle challah with cinnamon, or lightly brush with honey or maple syrup. If an egg allergy is not a prob-lem, combine one egg with 1 teaspoon water and brush with egg wash.

Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool, and enjoy!

Makes one loaf or 12 rolls.