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Recipe for cooking chocolate challah

Jewish and Eastern European Recipes :: Jewish and Eastern European Chanukah Recipes


Chocolate Challah

Jewish holidays that fall on a Sabbath often include a sweet challah (HAH-luh) in their celebration, as a symbolic way of ensuring a sweet year. Dates, nuts, and orange peel add just the right twist for this traditional braided bread of the Sabbath.

2 3/4 to 3 /4 c. flour
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pkg. active dry yeast
3/4 c. soy milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. margarine (at least 80 percent canola (or other vegetable) oil)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. chopped pitted dates
1 Tbsp. finely shredded orange peel
Three Glazes (see recipe below)

In a large mixing bowl stir together 1 c. of the flour, cocoa powder, and yeast; set aside.

In a med. saucepan heat soy milk, sugar, margarine, and salt just until warm (120 to 130 degrees fahrenheit) and margarine almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Add egg; beat with an electric mixer on low to med. speed for 30 seconds, scraping the side of the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 mins. Using a wooden spoon, stir in pecans, chopped dates, and orange peel. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (about 4 mins.). Shape dough into ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease the surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into thirds. Cover and let rest for 10 mins. Shape each portion of dough into a 16-in.-long rope (3 ropes total). Place the ropes about 1 in. apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Starting in the middle of ropes, loosely braid by bringing the left rope under the center rope. Next bring right rope under the new center rope. Repeat to the end. On the other end, braid by bringing alternate ropes over center rope. Press ends together to seal; tuck under. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double (about 1 hour).

Bake in 325 degree F oven about 35 mins. or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. (If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 10 to 15 mins. of baking to prevent over-browning.) Remove from baking sheet. Cool on wire rack; drizzle with Three Glazes. Makes 24 servings.

Make-ahead tip: Prepare challah but do not glaze. Wrap in foil and place in large freezer container or 2-gallon plastic freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw 2 hours at room temperature before glazing.

Three Glazes

In a med. mixing bowl stir together 1 1/2 (one and one-half) c. sifted confectioners\ jewish/chocolate-hazelnut-hominy

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