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HOLIDAY CHALLAH Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 eggs (Large)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (may be more or less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons salad oil
Directions
In a large bow, combine yeast, 3/4 c. warm water and honey; let stand 5 minutes to soften yeast.

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

To yeast mixture, add balance of egg, 1 1/2 c. flour, salt and oil; beat with a spoon or mixer until batter is stretchy. Add 2 c. 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 1- 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 - 8 minutes. If dough clings to bowl or is sticky to touch, mix in flour 1 T. 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" long and tapered at 1 end. If dough is so elastic it shrinks back, let rest a few minutes then continue.

In a 9 - 10" 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 - 30 minutes. Uncover and gently brush dough with reserved beaten egg.

Bake bread in 325° oven on rack about 1/3 from bottom until a dark golden brown, 30 - 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. Store at room temperature.

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