Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spelt Challah in the Frischman household--without wheat

After Shavuos, I will be posting, IY"H a proven 5 step formula that I have used successfully with my patients to lose at least 2 lbs per week. One of the five is to avoid foods that one is sensitive or allergic to. For me, one of the foods that I have most trouble with is wheat. Because wheat is so ubiquitous, it has been quite a challenge to come up with alternatives. Personally, I find that when I eat foods with wheat my throat feels hot and uncomfortable, my tongue gets bright red, and I feel a foreboding sense of anxiety and irritability overtake me, almost depression. When it's out of my system, I feel fine. As I wrote on my website, food sensitivities are the great pretenders, are often mis-diagnosed and can lead to a heartbreaking downward spiral of one's health. It is, therefore, critical to consider, clearly identify, and then either avoid or desensitize oneself to the food.

We Frischman's have been blessed to have as part of our household now for over 5 years, Connie Wiggins, who has not only been a wonderful personal assistant, but is a master baker as well. Because of my extreme sensitivity to wheat, Connie has developed a magnificent recipe for spelt challah which I want to share with you in honor of Shavuous (When, BTW, in the holy temple the special grain offering was also wheat free!):

(This recipe will make 4 - 6 Loaves)

2 - 3 teaspoons of dry yeast

· 2¼ cups lukewarm water

· ½ cup of Honey

· 4 eggs, beaten, 1 whole egg for glazing

· 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

· 2 tablespoons of Molasses (optional)

· 1 tablespoon salt

· ½ cup walnut or almond oil (or your choice of oil--just don't use canola which is inedible!)

· About 9 ¼ - 10 cups of flour (4 cups of white spelt, 1 cup of rye, 1 cup of Kamut berries grounded,
and 3 ¼ - 4 cups of whole spelt) (of course you can mix flour to your liking which I know you will! )

· Raisins or Goji berries

· Black Cumin and Sesame seeds for topping

Dissolve the yeast in the water with a dash of sugar. Beat well and leave 10 minutes, until it froths.

In a very large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add the salt, honey, molasses, vanilla and oil and beat again. Add the frothy yeast mixture and beat well. Now add the flour gradually, and just enough to make a soft dough that holds together, mixing well, first with a large spoon, then working it in with your hands. Knead vigorously for about 15 minutes, until it is very smooth and elastic, adding flour if the dough is too sticky. Then pour a little oil in the bowl at the bottom , add the gogi berries and rasins and knead them in the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or towel and put it in a warm place to rise for 4 - 12 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and knead again, then divide into four or 6 pieces to make loaves.


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