Moroccan Inspired Rosh HaShana (New Year's) Challah
This challah was inspired by the Moroccan challah recipes I have found over the years. All I did was add the anise seed to my regular challah recipe and voila. The anise seeds taste great with a little New Year's honey on the challah. Here's a good tutorial on how to make the challah round. Just ignore the first part with the raisins.
If you want to do the mitzvah (commandment) of challah all you need to do is triple the recipe so you can use a 5 pound bag of flour.
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast (I really like Fleishmann's)
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1/4 cups plus 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of anise seeds
1/3 cup of vegetable oil plus a little extra to oil the dough
5 cups of all purpose or bread flour plus 1/4 on hand during kneading
1. Combine warm water, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of yeast. Lightly beat with a whisk (or fork) and wait about 10 minutes until it froths.
2. While your waiting for the yeast to froth, in a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then add the sugar, oil, anise seeds and salt and mix to combine.
3. Add the frothy yeast mixture to the large bowl and combine.
4. Add the 5 cups of flour and mix with a big spoon until it becomes too difficult to mix.
5. Begin to knead the dough. It might be sticky. If it is sprinkle a little bit of flour on it and kneed it in to the dough. Keep adding flour until the dough is still slightly sticky but not so sticky that it sticks to your hands in pieces. You will have better success with slightly sticky dough than slightly dry dough.
6. Now knead the dough until it is smooth and the dough springs back after you make an indentation with your finger.
7. Roll the dough into a large ball and smooth a little canola oil all over it. Put it back in the bowl and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size. This will take an hour or more depending on how warm your kitchen is.
8. When the dough has doubled take the dough out of the bowl and punch it down.
9. Shape the dough in to two round loaves
10. When the dough has doubled (it will take at least an hour) bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until loaves are golden. This will about 25 minutes. If you want an egg glaze to make the challah shiny beat one egg and gently brush the egg on the challah with a pastry brush before you bake it.
11. Let it cool on a rack or place them on your counter on a few paper towels