Challah, Chocolate for Purim - dairy

Posted by : Amy Graham

For all of you looking to do something a little different with your

This recipe is courtesy of my brother, accomplished baker and chocoholic. 
It is a variation on a recipe that appears in the first Jewish Catalog,
which was described as "The Sharon Strassfeld adaptation of the Kathy Green
adaptation of the Terri Sokol hallah recipe."
The following recipe was posted several years ago.
I tried it at home for Purim, and, well, although my kids loved it (!),
it was a little too sweet for the adults at the table.   I would
seriously recommend cutting down on the sugar.  Also, I would consider
serving it as a "cake" rather than as a "bread".

2 c. lukewarm water             
3 pkgs. yeast
8 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 - 3/4 c. cocoa (depends on your chocolate preference - I used 3/4)
2 sticks (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine
5 eggs, beaten (reserve one for glaze)
1 12 oz pkg. chocolate chips
1 bar (baking size) white chocolate, chopped up

Mix water and yeast in a superhuge bowl.  Add 3 cups flour and 1 cup sugar.
Stir with a fork and let rise a half hour in a warm place.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, measure in 5 c. of flour, salt, 1/2 c. sugar,
and the cocoa.  Add margarine and cut in with a knife until mixture
resembles coarse meal.  At the end of the half hour, add 4 beaten eggs to
the yeast mixture and stir well.  (Mix will decrease in volume.)  Add
flour-margarine mixture to yeast  mixture and work in bowl.  Add chocolate
chips and white chocolate and work them in too.  If sticky, add up to two
more cups of flour.  Knead well on floured board until smooth and elastic. 
Put in oiled bowl and cover with towel.  Put in warm place and let rise 2
hours (or until doubled).  Punch down. Knead lightly for a minute or two.

Divide dough into parts.  I usually make 3 loaves (I like the size - they
fit on my baking pans well, so here is how I divide them:
Divide the dough into 3 parts. Set aside two.  
Divide the remaining one into 4 equal parts.  Braid 3 of them together. 
Take the fourth and divide it into 3 parts.  Braid those and lay them over
the large braid. Repeat for the other two hunks of dough. (I hope that
makes sense)

Once the loaves are braided, put them onto oiled pans.  Cover and let rise
in a warm place as long as possible (3-5 hours is fine - the longer they
rise, the lighter the loaves will be - but don't wait so long that you kill
the yeast).  When they are done rising, brush the top with beaten egg and
bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


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