For all of you looking to do something a little different with your challah! 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. Enjoy!
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