Kneading and Braiding the Challah Dough

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 27,699
    This video will show how to knead and braid the Challah dough.

    Sheilah Kaufman: Hi, I am Sheilah Kaufman, Cooking Instructor, Cookbook Author, Food Editor and Culinary Lecturer. We are here today showing you recipes for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, that can be made ahead and frozen. Now we are to show you how to braid or coil your challahs.

    My friend Derrick likes to put a towel under the rolling board to keep it from sliding all over the counter, it doesn't necessarily have to be damp. Now our dough is risen for an hour and I am dividing it into two bowls. Now, you don't need to use a rolling pin. If you're going to make a coil you just start using the palms of your hand, keep rolling, keep rolling, the kids love to do this. You're going to make a giant snake. You always want it a little bit bigger in the middle than you do at the ends. You want to try and roll it so it's about 20 inches long.

    Okay, this is about 21 inches long, and we are going to get ready to coil. Now, if you want to add raisins, just stick them in, I like giant yellow raisins. As you coil -- and this is going to fit covered in a one spot to rise again. Now I like to just tuck the end under. So we are going to cover it, put it on a baking sheet. Let it sit for an hour, then we're going to take our egg wash, brush the top and bake it. And we're going to spritz it with the water, every five to ten minutes, to make it beautiful.

    Okay. Now, how do we braid a challah? So, we have our dough and we have to divide it into approximately in the same sized three bowls. We're going to do the same thing. Again, get your kids in the kitchen, we want to start rolling it out on lightly floured surface between the palms of our hands until we get long thin snakes just like you braid a child's hair. So, three of them press together then under, over, under, over, under, over, under, over, under, over, under and over.

    Now, if you want it a loaf-shaped challah, you could leave it like this, but since it's New Years and we like round, we're just going to put it together, put it on the pan, cover it with the towel and let it rise for an hour. Now Jackie likes to make individual what you call challahlets by dividing the dough into even smaller portions and then she puts an individual challahlet on every guest's plate. This will rise for an hour. We'll brush it with the egg wash, bake it, spray it with the water, and have wonderful challah for a holiday. When it's cool, absolutely at room temperature, you can wrap them and freeze them, they will stay for a few months.