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Oct 10, 2013 07:24 AM

Bread Machine Questions and Taking Challah

I finally caved and bought a bread machine to make challah. Just a few questions.
1) I've read on these boards that people make more than one batch of dough in the machine and then combine them, and if the quantity is sufficient,, challah can be taken. But won't the first batch already be rising by the time the second is done, and so how can they be combined? Hasn't the first one gotten a "head start" and they will finish rising at different times?
How can you combine them once the rising of the first has started? And if you want to add a third, that prolongs the process even more. I hope I'm making sense.

2) Are rising times specific to recipes? For instance, I'd really like to use Joan Nathan's method which involves 3 risings, one of which can be in the refrigerator. I don't however, necessarily want to use her recipe. Can I use a different recipe which seems more appealing, but use Joan's rising instructions? Some recipes have just a single rising, punch down, rest a few minutes, braid and put in the oven.

3) Has anyone used the bread machine to make dough for sufganiyot? Recipes? What I'd really like to do is make some dough, freeze the already cut and shaped doughnuts, so all I have to do is defrost them and fry. As a secondary question, how much ahead of time can I make them so they're still good for dessert.

I'm having a huge a huge crowd for Channukah/Thanksgiving and I would have to have as much as possible done in advance. This is always a problem for me because I like to serve freshly made food. Except for a few things that age well (soup, stuffed cabbage) I'm always (always!) hanging out in the kitchen while everyone else is in the dining room eating. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. I can't answer the baking aspect, but to combine batches in order to take challah they don't need to be in the same state. As far as I know, at matzah bakeries they put the entire day's production on a table, cover it to combine it all into one entity, and then take one matzah as challah for everything.

    5 Replies
    1. re: zsero

      Wow. I'm going to ask my Rabbi. I didn't know you could do that. I am making two batches right now. I would like to know as there is a lag between the two and I thought I couldn't make a bracha. Helou, don't know about sufganiyot, but i made cinnamon buns last night from the black and decker instruction booklet that came with my machine and they were great. i substitued orange juice for milk so that they and the machine would be pareve.

      1. re: cappucino

        Well, you were my inspiration for getting the bread machine (I even got a Black & Decker so I could be just like you :-)), so if you say the cinnamon buns were good I'll give that dough a try. I too want to keep the machine pareve; a bread machine that makes only dairy challah seems pointless. I was thinking of using soy milk or almond milk as a substitute for real milk, but now that I think about it, my mother often used orange juice in her doughs.

        1. re: helou

          I wanted to use almond milk, but did not remember to pick it up at the store. We didn't taste the OJ in the bun so it was good. It is really a varation on the dinner roll recipe (they print the ingredients after the dinner roll recipe) so I plan to use it for Thanksgiving. It seemed as if the pan would allow me to double the recipe, but I'm not sure. I would like to double it as it provides on 12 rolls. Last night, I did the herbed French bread from the B and D booklet and I did it on time bake for my husband who got in on the redeye at 4 am. He was too tired to taste it. I feel that this recipe is missing something: salt, olive oil? not sure. It would be okay with a soup, but not by itself. i also substituted their herbs with chives, basil and a little rosemary and i used fresh minced garlic. I think I put in too much garlic. I'm now going to take a break from experimenting and move on to just regular Challos for a while. I did learn that the time bake works beautifully.

        2. re: cappucino

          I just looked it up, to be sure. The law can be found in Shulchan Aruch, YD 325:1.

          For two batches to join together, one way is for the doughs to actually touch and adhere to each other. That obviously only works before baking. But another way is to put them in the same basket or other container, and a third way is to cover them with the same cloth. This can be done even after baking.

          If you're joining them by putting them in the same basket, each batch must be at least partially inside the basket. In other words, if one batch goes all the way to the top, and the second one is just sitting on top of it, with no part of it inside the basket, then it's not good (unless, of course, they're still dough, and are touching and sticking to each other). But if the bottom of the top batch is inside the basket, it doesn't matter that its top is outside.

          I hope that wasn't too confusing...