challah takes a long time to make, with all
the rising. Plan to start early in the
Mix water and
yeast in a BIG bowl. Add 3 cups flour and 1
cup sugar. Stir with a fork; let rise 1/2
hour in a warm place. Meanwhile, put the
raisins in a small bowl and add the
Cointreau. Let them soak.
bowl, measure 5 cups of flour, the salt, and
the remaining sugar. Cut in the margarine
with a pastry blender or knife until the
mixture resembles coarse meal.
yeast mixture has sat for 1/2 hour, beat
four eggs and add them in. (The mixture will
deflate.) Add flour-margarine mixture to
yeast mixture and work until combined. Drain
the raisins and add them to the dough along
with 2 tsp of the soaking liquid. Add up to
2 cups flour if the dough is sticky. Turn
onto a floured counter or board and knead
well. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise
about two hours, until doubled.
knead for a minute or two, then let rest
five minutes. Shape the dough into a round
challah (or two smaller round challot, or a
bird, or whatever Rosh Hashanah shape you
prefer) on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
Cover, put in a warm place and let rise at
least 3 hours. (Depending on how warm your
rising place is, you can let it go up to 5
oven to 350 degrees. Beat the remaining egg,
add a tablespoon of warm water, and mix to
make egg wash. Brush the bread with the wash
and sprinkle the top liberally with the
almonds. Bake for about 45 minutes.