Category Archives: Vayigash

Parshat Vayigash – December 31, 2011

This is an interesting post– a food blog about starvation. Obviously some Parshiot are going to be a bit tricky. (I’ve got the VaYikrah Blues already. I mean, think about it. It’s not like I’m going to come up with new sheep recipes every week.)

Anyhow… in Bereishis 47:24, we read of the desperation and hunger that torments the Egyptians. They use up all their money buying bread. Eventually they’re forced to sell their livestock to Yoseph. When that’s gone, they sell their land and then ultimately themselves. Yoseph gives them seed grain and institutes a policy that continued in Mitzraim–tithing one fifth of their produce.

“When it produces you must give a fifth to Pharaoh. Four parts shall be yours for seed for your fields and for your food, and for those of your households, and for food for your little ones.”

Admittedly, this week’s recipe is going to be very difficult to guess, if you want your diners to guess the connection to the Parsha. (My son called this one beyond even Chidon Hatanach!) Pasuk 47:24 is the inspiration for this five-stranded Challah. One strand is Pumpernickel and the other four are made with regular white flour. Braded together they represent the proportion of produce that belong to the growers and to Pharoah.

Five-Strand Bread Maker Challah with Pumpernickel and White

Pumpernickel Challah:

Place ingredients in the following order in the bread machine:

Four strands of white and one strand of pumpernickel ready to be braided.

1 1/8 cups water

1/3 cup molasses

3 tablespoons oil

1 1/2 cups white  flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons baking cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon dry yeast

White Bread Maker Challah:

Place ingredients in the following order in the bread machine:

Challah is braided and ready for egg wash with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups sugar

1/3 –  1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon yeast

Here’s an excellent video on braiding a five-stranded Challah:

You’ll only use half of the white dough and a fraction of the pumpernickel for this Challah. You can use the rest of the dough to make regular Challahs or bulkahs (buns.)  After braiding the challah, cover with a towel and let rise until double in size. Just before baking, brush on a beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake for 42 minutes at 330 degrees F.

Here’s my final result. Not bad for a mid-Friday-super-rushed Challah.


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