The New Year, Our New Yearby matkonation | 10.09.12
Around the globe, January 1st marks the New Year. Here we do things different. Our New Year in Israel, known as the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashana, comes sometime September (according to the Jewish calendar), and marks a very special, magical time. Rosh Hashana is the first of a month long of holidays which not only give us a nice continuity of vacation days, but also celebrates the ritual of family time, and of giving, especially to those who are less fortunate than you.
For me personally, this is a time of reflection, of both inter-personal and intra-personal observation. It is also the time which celebrates the coming of fall (and after the hot summer, believe me it is quite the celebration). It’s a time where in the evenings you may catch a cool breeze which remind you about your favorite sweater, even though the days are still hot enough to bring you to your favorite beach.
Rosh Hashana wouldn’t be the same without honey; it can be found on every holiday table and is meant to symbolize the coming of a sweet new year. Around this time of year, just before the holiday, honey makes its way into cakes on the supermarket stand, savory dishes in restaurants and every published newspaper recipe.
Here are two recipes that are sure the make your holiday just a little sweeter.
Happy Holidays from us to you. Xo, Deanna and Danya
Honey Apple Challah
These are the perfect Challahs to serve at your Rosh Hashana dinner.
Ingredients for two large challahs or 6 medium size ones:
For the dough:
1 pound/500 grams all-purpose flour
3.5 teaspoons dry yeast/25 grams fresh yeast
¾ stick butter (3.5 oz.\100 grams) butter
½ cup honey
½ cup milk
2 eggs +1 egg for glaze
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup raisins (optional)
For the filling:
1 tablespoon butter
1 large granny smith apple, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons honey
For honey glaze:
2 tablespoons honey mixed with 1 teaspoon water
- Using a mixer fitted with a hook attachment, mix together the flour and yeast.
- Place the butter, honey and milk in a small saucepan and heat on low heat, until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot, but not boiling. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Add the eggs, one by one, to the four and yeast mixture and mix on medium speed. Gradually add the milk mixture and continue mixing. Add the salt and raisins and continue mixing for another 5 minutes on medium speed.
- Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let rise until double in size (1.5-2 hours).
- Meanwhile, make the filling: heat the butter in a skillet until warm and add the apples. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the apples have softened. Remove from heat and mix in the honey. Allow to cool at room temperature until the dough has risen.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
- Once the dough has risen, remove from plastic wrap and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for two minutes.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal parts (for two large challahs) or 18 (for 6 medium size ones) and roll each part into a log.
- Braid the logs into a challah. Firmly place the apples into the crevices of each challah. Allow to rise for an additional 20 minutes.
- Beat the egg for the glaze and mix it with a teaspoon of water. Brush the challahs lightly with the egg glaze.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the challah, until golden and crisp to touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then brush with the honey glaze.
As it is customary to give gifts to your loved ones during this holiday season, we thought our recipes for homemade granola would be a great option. Divide the granola up into glass jar, attach a tag or a personal note, and you have a beautifully personal gift.
Feel free to play around with the ingredients and amounts, according to your own tastes. This is one of those recipes that doesn’t have to be followed to the tee.
Raw tahini, silan and rose water can all be found at Middle-Eastern supermarkets.
Ingredients for 4 cups:
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup assortment of unroasted nuts (such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc.)
⅓ cup unroasted sunflower seeds
⅓ cup unroasted pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons unroasted shredded coconut
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
½ cup raisins
For the tehini and silan granola:
¾ cup silan
½ cup raw tahini
For the honey and rose water granola:
1 stick (4 oz.) butter, melted
¾ cup honey
4-5 drops of rose extract or ½ cup rose water
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, excluding the raisins.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the “wet” ingredients.
- Mix the dry ingredients together with the wet ingredients and stir until the oats are well coated and all ingredients are combined.
- Pour out the mixture evenly onto the baking sheet, in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes until just golden. Turn the baking sheet around once during baking, and mix ingredients.
- Allow to cool completely and then add the raisins. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.