A round treat for the High Holidays
On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the High Holidays, it's traditional to eat a round challah. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, and the roundness of the challah represents the cycle of the year, and life. It's actually quite easy to make your challah round. And we think it's even better for pulling apart with your hands this way.
¾ cup sugar
2 cups lukewarm water
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 T salt
4 small eggs
3 envelopes yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
8-10 cups flour
1. Combine sugar, 2 cups water, oil, and salt. Add eggs.
2. In a separate bowl, mix yeast in ¼ cup warm water. Add the yeast mixture to the sugar mixture.
3. Add 4 or 5 cups of flour and mix well. Gradually add 4 or 5 more cups of flour, until it reaches a workable consistency.
4. Knead 10 minutes.
5. Lightly coat a bowl with vegetable oil and put dough into this bowl. Lay a piece of wax paper over the bowl and then a dishtowel on top of that.
6.Let dough rise for one hour, until it has roughly doubled in size.
7. Punch down dough and knead again for a few minutes. Cover with wax paper and towel and let rise for another 30 minutes.
8. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
9. Divide the dough into two. Working each half separately, roll into a long snake. (If you like, raisins can be added here by pressing them into the dough.)
10. Starting at one end, roll the snake into a circle that gets wider and wider as the dough wraps around itself, like a rag-rug. Tuck the end in.
11. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
12. Drizzle honey onto the loaves.
13. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes. Enjoy!