Prepared especially for the celebration of the Sabbath and holidays, challah is a rich, egg-based white bread possessed of a delicate aroma, taste and texture that sits very nicely indeed on the palate. Generally braided but sometimes served in loaf form, the ideal challah is well browned on the exterior and has a fluffy, deep yellow or pure white interior. An excellent accompaniment to a meal, challah is also appropriate for sandwiches, but when served with a light coating of honey and butter, it is indeed a delicacy.
Combine the yeast and sugar with 1/4 cup warm water and set aside, uncovered, for 5 - 10 minutes.
Into a large mixing bowl, sift 4 cups of flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour-salt mixture and drop into this the oil, the whole eggs and 1 1/4 cups of the warm water- yeast mixture. Mix, working the liquids into the flour. When well mixed, knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth. If too runny, add flour until the mixture becomes elastic.
Place the dough in a large bowl, brush the top with oil, cover with a towel and let stand to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Punch the dough down, cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk.
Divide the dough into three equal parts and, with floured hands, roll each piece into a strip, all of equal length. Braid the strips and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise again until double in size. Brush the top with the egg yolks and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake in a moderately hot oven until well browned (about 40 - 50 minutes). Yields 1 large or 2 small loaves.
This is the well-known and now universal soup of the "Yiddishe mama" as it was served in east European Jewish homes. Former Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir was known to cook a fine-tasting chicken soup for both family and VIPs whenever they came to call. Chicken soup is reputed to cure the sick but is equally recommended to the healthy.
Clean chicken thoroughly. Combine in a deep saucepan with water, onions, and bouillon. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat 1/2 hour longer, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and strain soup. Taste and correct seasonings. Makes about 2 to 2-1/2 quarts of soup. Use the chicken in other dishes or serve with the soup.
about 2 1/2 kgs. of chicken parts, including the heart, neck and gizzard 3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped coarsely 4 medium onions, whole 1 large carrot, sliced 1 parsley root, peeled and chopped 1 bay leaf 8 whole peppercorns 1 1/2 tsp. salt pepper to taste
Remove the skin and excess fat from the chicken. Rinse and cut into convenient pieces.
Place the chicken parts in a large kettle and cover with 3 quarts (3 liters) of cold water. Cover and bring to a rapid boil. Continue boiling for 20 minutes. Uncover and skim the foam from the surface. Reduce the heat, cover again and simmer 15 minutes longer.
Add the remaining ingredients and continue simmering, covered, for 2 hours, skimming off whatever foam rises to the surface. Remove the chicken and strain the soup. Correct the seasoning. Serve with kneidelach. Serve the whole onions on a separate plate and garnish, if desired, with fresh chopped parsley. Cool and well-covered, the soup may be stored for several days in the refrigerator. Serves 12-16.
Cholent, a heavy stew, became the answer to the age-old problem of how to have nourishing hot food on the Sabbath without violating injunctions in Jewish traditional law. Since it is permitted to prepare food in advance and keep it warm in an oven lit before the Sabbath began, cholent, which it is not impaired by long, slow cooking (indeed the process improves the flavor), was adopted as the principal Sabbath food in eastern Europe.
In Israel, cholent has become exceedingly popular with every segment of the population. There are even restaurants where one sees lines of customers standing with pot-in-hand waiting for their turn to get "take-home" cholent.
Cholent is served only on weekends. Anyone who partakes of this dish will understand why. It is a thick, heavy, and filling food which induces sleep.
2 cups dried lima beans 3 lbs. brisket 3 onions, diced 2 tsp. paprika 1/4 tsp. pepper 1/4 tsp. ginger 2 tbs. flour 8 small potatoes (peeled) 1 cup pearled barley 8 eggs (uncooked) 2 tsp. salt 2 tbs. fat or margarine
Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain. Use a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven and brown meat and onions in the fat (or margarine). Sprinkle with salt, pepper and ginger. Add beans, barley, small potatoes (peeled) and sprinkle with flour and paprika. Place uncooked eggs in shells on top. Add enough boiling water to cover one inch above the mixture. Cover tightly. Cholent may be baked for 24 hours at 250 deg F (125 deg C) or for quicker cooking, bake at 350 deg F (180 deg C) for 4-5 hours.
1/2 kg. matzah 2 cups chicken stock, hot 3 eggs, well beaten 1 1/2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped finely 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper (or more to taste)
Break the matzah into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Pour over the chicken stock and steep for 5 minutes. Drain the matzah and squeeze out the liquids carefully. Add the remaining ingredients to the drained matzah and mix well.
Fill a large saucepan with lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Test the matzah dough by dropping a small ball into the boiling water. If the dough falls apart, add a small amount of matzah flour. Form the dough into balls about 3/4" (1 1/2 cm.) in diameter and then drop gently into the boiling water. When the balls rise to the surface reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and serve with the soup or the meat course.