T”U B’Shevat Challah

BY PETER FRITZ

When Dina asked for contributions for the T’U B’Shevat seder, I offered to make the challot. Dina mentioned the Biblical “seven species” that represent the fruits of Eretz Yisrael and I adapted two recipes to use four; wheat, figs, olives (olive oil) and dates (date syrup). This recipe will make two loaves.

T”U B’Shevat Challah (Two Loaves)

2  tablespoons dry yeast 4 cups white flour

3  cups whole wheat flour

⅔ date syrup

400 grams chopped walnuts 300 grams figs

½ cup olive oil

1  tablespoons of salt (16 grams)

2  eggs

2 cups warm water

 

 

glaze

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon water Sesame Seeds

 

 

  1. Toast walnuts in an oven or under the broiler. Set aside to cool. Measure 1½ cups of the toasted walnuts, place in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of the whole-wheat flour and process until finely ground and add to the whole-wheat flour. Cut figs into smaller
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon date syrup in 2 cups of lukewarm
  3. Using the paddle attachment, stir oil into yeast mixture, then add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, and date syrup and salt. Switch to the dough hook and gradually add flour, kneading for about 5 minutes and adding more flour as needed to make a slightly sticky, smooth and elastic Then add figs to be kneaded into the dough.
  4. Grease the bowl and brush the dough with Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for approximately 1½ to two hours, until the dough doubles in volume.
  5. Separate challah
  6. Knead dough for a few moments and form Place challahs in a warm place and let rise again. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  7. In a small bowl beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush the challahs with the mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the loaves turn golden brown. I recommend spot checking the bread using a fast reading thermometer after 26 minutes and baking a little longer so that the internal temperature of the loaves is 190–200°F. This internal temperature should yield a bread that is cooked through and not gummy in the center but is still moist and tasty.