Fat Free Challah by Deborah Bernstein, MD - as posted by Anieema

All of the following recipes are from Secrets of Fat-Free Kosher Cooking by Deborah Bernstein, M.D. Avery Publishing Sept R97

If you have additional questions, please feel free to e-mail Dr. Bernstein at: Deb546750@aol.com


Challah is the traditional bread eaten on the Sabbath and holidays. Challah is usually made with large amounts of fat and eggs. This fat-free challah made with pear baby food and egg whites is moist and delicious and will pleasantly surprise those who think challah that tastes good has to be very high in fat and calories. This recipe is somewhat time consuming but the result is a truly wonderful fat-free challah.

Yield: 2 large loaves

2 (1/4 ounce) packages of active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
6 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached white flour
1/4 cup pear baby food
4 medium egg whites

glaze: 1 medium egg white, beaten

1. In a small bowl combine yeast with 1/2 cup of water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let stand 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, or directly in a food processor, combine 4 cups flour, the remaining sugar and the pear baby food. Use an electric mixer or food processor (using a dough blade attachment) to combine the ingredients until it forms coarse crumbs.

3. Add the yeast mixture, remaining warm water and egg whites. Beat with the mixer or food processor for 3 minutes. Add remaining flour slowly until a soft and slightly sticky dough forms. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest 10 minutes.

4. In a food processor or by hand, (at this point the dough is too thick for a conventional mixer) knead the dough until it is very smooth. Place the dough in a bowl that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Roll the dough over once so that all sides are lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel, so the dough will remain moist and in the dark. Let rise 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in bulk.

5. Punch down the dough to remove air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. For round challahs: place the two pieces of dough back in the bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest 10 minutes. For braided challah: divide dough in half and then divide each half into 3 pieces. Place the pieces of dough back in the bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest 10 minutes.

6. Roll out the pieces of dough on a lightly floured surface. For round challah: roll each piece into a long strand about 2 inches wide and 18 inches long. Place one end on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray, and wind the dough around itself as in the illustration. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Placing it at least six inches away from the first piece or on a separate cooking spray coated cookie sheet.

7.For braided challah: roll each piece into a long strand about 1 inch wide and 12 inches long. Braid the 3 strands of each loaf as in the illustration. Repeat with the other three pieces of dough. Placing it at least six inches away from the first piece or on a separate cooking spray coated cookie sheet.

8. Lightly spray each loaf with cooking spray to keep the dough from drying out. Cover the loaves with wax paper and allow them to rise for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in bulk.

9. Remove the wax paper and brush the loaves with the beaten egg white. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until the crusts are browned.

10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1/2 hour before serving.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS (PER 1/2 INCH SLICE)
Calories: 68 Fat: 0.2 g Protein: 2.1g Carbohydrate: 14.1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 0.3 g Sodium: 6 mg

Regular Full-Fat Challah recipe for comparison

Yield: 2 large loaves

2 packages active dry yeast (1/4 ounce each)
1 1/2cups warm water
1/2 cups sugar
6 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup softened margarine
3 large eggs

glaze: 1 egg yolk, beaten

Method same as fat-free recipe.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS (PER 1/2 INCH SLICE)
Calories: 93 Fat: 2.5 g Protein: 2.3 g Carbohydrates: 15.2 Cholesterol: 16 mg Fiber: 0.1g Sodium: 115 mg

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