I love Shabbat. Friday is a race against the sun to clean the house, catch up the laundry, fix food for Friday dinner and Saturday and get in a half day of school before lighting the candles and receiving the rest God gave. I love the quietness of Saturday morning as everyone else sleeps in and I can enjoy the Creation reminder that God said "it is very good" then rested.
My friend, Gail, and I were talking about how we are trying to make the special day both restful and rich with tradition for our families. She was looking for a good Challah recipe, I told her I would post mine soon so she could print it and try it since it always got compliments and it was my son's favorite bread. That was a couple weeks ago, oops, sorry Gail, it slipped my mind but here it is now.
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5-5 1/2 cups flour
sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water. Allow to rest 10 minutes, it will get frothy, if it doesn't then the yeast is dead and you need fresh yeast or the water was too cold or too hot. It is really not hard, just sounds like it at first.
Let rise in the bowl for 40 minutes.
Turn out onto the counter and knead for 3 minutes or so.
For sandwich rolls, cut into 18 pieces, roll and flatten, let rise 40 minutes, bake 400F for 25-30 minutes.
Rising/Baking time for all the other options-400F for 35-40 minutes.
For the braid on top of a braid: Cut 1/3 of the dough off and set aside, divide the 2/3 piece into 3 equal pieces, roll into ropes,
For the ring: Divide into 3 pieces, roll into ropes braid connecting the ends into each other. Place around a glass (oven proof) dish WELL greased. Continue as above.
Anyway you bake it or slice it, this is a recipe which should serve you well, and a lot of other people too.