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Faith Kaplan

Faith's Easiest and Most Delicious Challah Ever [ with Editor's math calculations]

Faith Kaplan, October 6,2012

[Editor's note: I have just realized that this article is mistitled. It really should read Kim's Easiest and Most Delicious Challah  Ever.

Additionally, Faith claims that this recipe serves 22 guests, without a crumb left over.  " I half the recipe for our weekly Shabbat dinners," Faith writes.

I think that halachically Faith is supposed to serve two of the Easiest and Most Delicious Challahs Ever, not one on Shabbat ( The Jewish people get a double portion on Shabbat).

If I am reading Faith's words below correctly, she shouldn't be halfing the recipe at all unless she only has six people at her Shabbat table.

And if she is only having six people, then she has two choices: She should be halving each of the people or doubling her challah recipe to make more so 12 people will be able to eat!

Update to Editor's note : Faith informs me she never suggested that the Challah recipe was hers--she simply wrote "The Eesiest and Most Delicious Challah Recipe Ever", and I mistakenly assumed it was her recipe.

She further informs me that my calculations are not correct since she makes two challahs  not one each Shabbat, and serves 12 people.

My response is that however you slice it, as the new  Branding and Endowment Fundraising Director for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, Faith should not be telling people to half their numbers, but to double them instead!

In other words, if  you double your  CJA pledge, I can only assume that Faith will bake you a challah using the full recipe, not half. ]


 EASIEST AND MOST DELICIOUS CHALLAH EVER                                                                          

This is my pal Kim's recipe, found in the Gray Academy B'Tayavon cookbook. I've added an egg, and fiddled with oven temperature, but otherwise it's Kim's recipe. Forget the bread maker! All you need is a wooden spoon and a bowl, and I guarantee your family will never let you serve bakery bought challah at Shabbat dinner again. On Rosh Hashanah I substitute honey for the sugar and bake it in a round loaf.


2 ½ c warm tap water
¼ c oil
½ c white sugar
2 tsp salt
4 tsp quick rising yeast
2 eggs
Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon in a large bowl. 
7 c unbleached white flour
Add flour 2 cups at a time, stirring after each addition, until the dough forms a fairly solid, sticky ball. Dump the dough onto a floured counter, including stray bits of dough from the sides of the bowl, and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Knead, sprinkling flour over top, until the dough isn’t sticky any more, for 4 or 5 minutes. The dough will be heavy, and soft.
Lightly oil the mixing bowl and put the dough back in. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel, and put in a warm, draught-free location for a couple of hours to rise (I use the oven). If you’re planning a busy day, you can make the dough in the morning before you leave the house, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge until you get home later. If you’re running late, put it in the oven with the heat on the lowest temperature for an hour.
Once the dough has risen to the top of the bowl, it’s ready for you to punch down. Turn the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, turn the dough onto the counter, and cut the dough in half, then each half into 6 equal parts. You will have 12 pieces in total. Roll each piece into a rope, braid three ropes into one challah, pinching the ends together and tucking them under, before placing on the parchment covered cookie sheet. Repeat 3 more times, placing 2 challahs on each cookie sheet. 
Take one egg and break it into a short glass, then beat with a pastry brush. Brush the top of each challah with the beaten egg, and place into the oven. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, then turn the heat up to 350 degrees for 10 more minutes. Remove and cool.

This recipe serves 22 guests, without a crumb left over. I half the recipe for our weekly Shabbat dinners.

[Editor's note: Faith Kaplan is a woman of many talents. When she is not spending her time adding extra eggs (unneccesarily ?) to perfectly fine Challah recipe's and fiddling with her oven she spends her time working as  the Branding and Endowment Fundraising Director for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.  p.s. Have you thought about raising your pledge?]

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