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For those unfamiliar with Challah, it is a sweet egg bread which is a staple at Jewish holiday meals but enjoyed all the time.  Typically, it baked as a braided loaf or a round swirled loaf, both with shiny tops as a result of an egg-white wash prior to baking.  The recipe here differs from the typical challah by being made in a bread machine with its tall loaf shaped pan.  Another difference is that most store bought challahs are made without any dairy so that those who keep kosher can enjoy the bread with a meat meal.  This recipe contains butter and milk and is very delicious (I find the top 1.5 inches of the loaf to be heaven – almost as enjoyable as cheesecake).

Bread Machine Challah

Bread Machine Challah

I assume if you do not have a bread machine, you can combine the ingredients below and prepare it as you would any white bread.  In addition, many people enjoy adding ingredients.  Feel free to add a half cup of golden raisins (but possibly reduce the sugar content to compensate for the added sweetness of the raisins).  Some enjoy a little vanilla extract in their challah.For those with a bread machine, you know how simple making bread can be.  Place your wet ingredients in the pan first and then place the dry ingredients on top; let the machine do the rest.  I find with some bread machine recipes that the machine has some trouble combining all the ingredients together.  That is not the case here.

Bread Machine Challah – 1 Rolling pin

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup milk (I use ½% milk and have found using whole milk makes no difference)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt (approximate)
  • A pinch of saffron, crumbled (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, either melted or softened
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons dry yeast (not rapid rise)

Cook:

  • Measure milk into a measuring cup and microwave to a slightly warm temperature (settings vary based on microwave strength – start with 20 seconds and go from there if needed)
  • Pour milk into the bread pan
  • Add the next 6 ingredients (though you might want to beat the eggs first)
  • Top with flour and yeast.  If you are starting the machine with a time delay, place the yeast on top so it does not come in contact with the wet ingredients.
  • Set bread machine to the standard white bread setting, 1½ pound loaf, light crust.  Start and wait (about 3 hours).
  • When done, remove from loaf pan to cool on a rack.  Try not cool in pan as the bread machine paddle may have trouble coming out.  You don’t have to let it cool too much before you can slice.  Who doesn’t love fresh, warm bread?  Enjoy!
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As we move into the holiday season, here is a special occasion entrée from Grandma Grace’s kitchen which can be timed well with entertaining guests and is simple to make.  Think of it as a Jewish glazed ham.  A wild rice pilaf pairs nicely with it.

Corned beef (brisket flat of course) has many virtues.  Foremost is that cooking it is as simple as boiling water.  Another virtue is that the corning process along with air-tight packaging keeps the uncooked meat from spoiling quickly – this allows supermarkets to sell it for less than an ordinary brisket flat.  It can also be stored in your freezer as well.  So buy it on sale and use it when you want.  For this recipe, the grainy texture of the brisket provides another benefit: sticking whole cloves into the meat is effortless.  The recipe calls for a 4 to 5 pound corned beef but you can use a smaller cut if you prefer.

Glazed Corned Beef on Plate

Grandma Grace’s Glazed Corned Beef – 1 Knife

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 lbs corned beef
  • Whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1 small can of crush pineapple
  • ¼ jar currant jelly
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey

Cook:

  1. Follow the cooking instructions on the corned beef package.  Usually you would place the corned beef (fat side up) in a deep and wide pot and cover with water (at least one inch above the meat).  It is probably easiest if you do not add any spices to the water.  Turn the burner on high and bring to a boil.  If you want, you can remove any scum that comes to the top but that is optional.  Lower heat to simmer and cover the pot.  Corned beef usually needs to simmer for about 50 minutes per pound.
  2. When the corned beef is nearly ready, mix the last 6 ingredients together in a bowl.  This can be done well in advance if you are having company.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place the cooked corned beef on a cutting board and trim off the fat on top.
  5. Place the corned beef in a suitable roasting pan.  Stick cloves into the corned beef, evenly spacing them about.  1½ inches apart should be fine.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  6. Pour the glaze mixture over the corned beef and place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes, basting occasionally.  You can hold off placing the pan into the oven until company arrives or shortly thereafter.
  7. When ready, remember that brisket is sliced across the grain.  Place on a platter and cover with glaze from the pan.  Enjoy!

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