Challah

BF3F2A01-7312-4F6E-86C5-1E87882A3C1B-21960-00000ACD39F945A2_tmpI like to mix everything by hand in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. These challahs come out beautifully.

INGREDIENTS

7 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Package Instant Yeast
1 Egg, Lightly Beaten
½ Cup Canola Oil
1 Tbsp Salt
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Cups Warm Water

Egg Wash
1 Egg, Lightly Beaten

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METHOD

1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 1 Tbsp of sugar with the yeast and warm water. Leave it to rest for 10 mins, it should become foamy.
2. Add the remaining sugar and salt, whisk until dissolved.
3. Now add 3 cups of flour and whisk until incorporated.
4. Add the lightly beaten egg and oil, mix well.
5. At this stage you can slowly start adding the remaining 4 cups of flour. When the dough starts to become too thick, remove the whisk and start using your hands.
6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and start kneading until the dough is no longer sticky.
7. Once no longer sticky, knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. You know it’s ready when you push your finger into the dough and it springs back on it’s own.
8. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap.
9. Wrap with a blanket around the bowl and place in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, punch down the dough every so often and let it finally rise until it’s doubled in size.
10. Once doubled in size, punch down the dough and braid into challahs.
11. Place the challah on the baking sheet and lightly cover with cling wrap.
12. Let the braided challah rise for about 30 minutes.IMG_6451
13. At this point, preheat your oven to 180°C/375°F
13. Carefully brush with egg wash, you can leave them plain, sprinkle with sesame seeds or cinnamon sugar. Whichever you prefer.
14. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turn off the oven and leave the challah in for another 10 minutes.
15. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
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Gefilte Fish

IMG_4387My family love home made gefilte fish. I use 2 kgs minced/ground fish and make half into gefilte and the rest into fried fish balls. When my son was much younger he would not eat carrots so I mince/grind my own fresh fish and add fried onions to the mixture, which makes it sweeter. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine do.

INGREDIENTS

2 kgs (4 1/2 lbs) filleted fish. (I use hake/stockfish but any white fish will do)
Ask the fishmonger for the head, skin & bones (these are used for the stock)
3 large onions, sliced and fried in 4 tbls oil
1 tbls flour or matzoh meal
2 tbls matzo meal
3 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 tsp seafood/fish seasoning
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup ice cold water

METHOD

1. Cut the fish fillets into chuncks.
2. Place a handful of fish into a food processor at a time and grind the fish for a few seconds till the fish is chopped. Repeat until all fish is ground.Remove the fish and place it in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the fried onions and oil and blend till chopped finely, add this mixture to the fish in the mixing bowl.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix very well. At this stage I taste the fish to check for seasoning…Yes I do like raw minced fish and this step might not be for everyone!
5. Prepare the stock. I still prepare the full amount even though I fry half.
6. Place 8 – 10 cups of water in a large pot
7. Add the rinsed skin, head and bones.
8. Slice 3 onions and add these to the stock, I add the skin of the onion which gives the stock a good colour.
9. Add 1 tsp salt, dash of pepper and 1 tsp sugar.
10. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.
11. Strain the stock and add 3 peeled and sliced carrots.
12. Use a bowl of water to wet your hand (this prevents the fish mixture from sticking) and shape the fish mixture into balls and carefully place into the hot stock
13. Cook over gentle heat for 1 1/2 hours.
14. Leave to cool in the pot.
15. Remove the fish balls and place them into a platter dish with sides – pyrex dishes work best. 16. Place a sliced cooked carrot on top of each ball.
17. Pour the liquid around the fish balls. It should set into a jelly from the skin, bones and head. 18. Place in the refrigerator.
For the fish cakes:
1. Heat oil in a frying pan.
2. Shape the fish mixture into patties or balls and frytill golden. IMG_0467 IMG_0472

Chopped Herring

IMG_4434Chopped herring is very popular and always requested at a function in South Africa. Our local synagogue has a kiddush brocha meal every Shabbat and I make the chopped herring for this. I reckon I make about 15kg a month! You can never have enough. It is usually served with Kichel (recipe here). Chopped herring is served on almost all Jewish Holidays and celebrations. This quantity makes about 2 liters.

INGREDIENTS
700 grams soaked fresh herring fillets
6 onions – peeled
6 granny smith apples – peeled & cored
6 extra large eggs – hard boiled and peeled
8 marie biscuits – any sweet cookie can be used. to make parev i use lady fingers.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
dash of cinnamon

METHOD

Slice onions and fry in a little oil until soften be careful not to carmalize them, about 12 minutes. Use a food grinder/mincer on medium (my Kenwood electric mincer has three different discs and I use the middle one). Mince the herring, apples, biscuits/lady fingers, onions and eggs into a large bowl. Once everything has been minced add the sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Mix well and taste, it should taste sweet and sour. Adjust with additional seasoning as necessary, I sometimes need to add a little more vinegar. Don’t forget that the flavours will develop once the mixture stands for a while. Once the flavour is to your liking cover and place in refrigerator for a few days before serving. This recipe can frozen with great success.