Irwin Lebow Rosemary Challah | MIT Technology Review
In 1992, Irwin Lebow ’48, PhD ’51, submitted this recipe to Moment-Magazine Ultimate Hala Contest. The judges named it the best recipe in the non-traditional challah category. Lebow called it a liberal adaptation of a Ruth Brooks recipe in food for thought (Sisters of Temple Emunah, Lexington, Massachusetts, 1972). Moment called it “A light bread, with exotic flavors and delicious taste”.
Makes 2 large or three medium loaves
1/4 tsp. lukewarm water (approx. 110°)
3 packets of dry yeast (quick rise)
1/2 tsp. dear
1 7/8 ea. Luke warm water
3/4 tsp. vegetable oil
poppy seeds or sesame seeds
1 tbsp. salt
3 tbsp. dried rosemary
7 ch. bread flour (approx.)
1 egg, beaten
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 c. the water. Combine honey, 1 7/8 tsp. water, oil, salt and rosemary in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add eggs and yeast mixture and mix well.
Add the flour slowly while the mixer turns on low speed. Stir in as much flour as the mixer can handle. Fold in the rest of the flour by hand. (A large, sturdy mixer can handle all the flour.) You may want to reserve some flour for the kneading that follows.
Place the mixture on a floured work surface and knead for 10 to 15 minutes. (Note that the density of the dough can be adjusted by the amount of flour added during kneading. To keep the dough light, oil your hands rather than adding flour when the dough becomes sticky.)
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, place in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size – one to two hours, depending temperature.
Degas, unmold and knead for a minute or two. Return to the oiled bowl for a second rise, again until doubled in size.
Degas, unmold on the surface, knead for a minute and divide according to the number of challots to be made. Divide each of these pieces into a number of equal portions depending on your braiding method.
Braid the loaves, place them on a greased cookie sheet and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds, if desired.
Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes, depending on the size of the loaves.
For large parties, replace anise with rosemary, add raisins after the second rise and shape into round loaves.
Republished with permission from magazine of the moment.