In our house, we get to celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas. How do I do that you might ask? Lots of cooking and presents! Hannukah dinner is a carb loaded feast! In it's roots, Hannukah is a celebration of the oil that lasted for eight days. So oil is the concentration of the meal. As with most holidays, we celebrate by spending time with our friends and family, and giving thanks for all the blessings in our life.
For this year's Hannukah dinner we will be celebrating at our friend's house, so I will be making homemade Challah, and noodle kugle. I am sure some latkes will make it on the table sometime this week as well!
If you are using a bread machine, put the ingredients in the bread maker in the order they are listed and set your maker to a dough setting. You can pick up the directions at #4. If you are making it by hand, follow the instructions below.
1 cup water
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
-Butter should be at room temperature and cut into roughly 1 tbls pieces
1 egg for the egg wash
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
3 3/4 cup bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (I recommend bread machine yeast)
2. Place the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface but make sure to have a pile of flour sitting nearby. Knead the dough by pushing the palm of your hand deeply into the dough ball, then fold the dough in half, turn a half turn and repeat. Add flour to the counter as needed so the dough doesn't stick. Continue this process for about five minutes until the dough has become elastic.
3. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a clean towel. If the air is dry I sometimes moisten the towel. Place the dough in a warm area and let it rise for one hour.
4. After this time punch down the dough and knead it a bit more, about 5 turns.
5. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. With your hands roll each piece out into a long rope about 12-18 inches long.
6. Pinch one end of the dough together and place it in the corner of your baking dish. Use an air pan if possible. Braid the three strand of dough until you get to end. Pinch the ends together and tuck them under the braid a bit.
7. Beat an egg thoroughly with 1 tablespoon of water and baste it over the whole loaf. This will give it a nice shiny appearance when baked.
8. Let the braid rise for 1 hour. During this time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
9. Bake the bread for approximately 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. You can cut it into slices or pull off chunks to serve.