Messing Family Recipes


Grandma Messing's Yeast Dough Challah

recipe from Howard's mom, Buba Jean Miller Messing

I've copied this recipe exactly as my mother wrote it:

JEAN'S ALL*PURPOSE YEAST DOUGH : Good for Challah, rolls, buns, breakfast cakes, and any type bread according to flour used.

* (for richer and sweeter dough lukewarm milk added to yeast instead of water, as well as doubling amount of sugar and again using milk instead water in with eggs. I have preferred the milkless recipe especially since it is parve and challah is usually eaten at Sabbath meals with meat.)

Ingredients 7 cups sifted flour (sift some extra for kneading)

1 package granulated yeast

4 Tbs. sugar

2 tbs. salt

4 eggs (room temperature) Separate and save one yolk from these 4 eggs for gloss.

½ scant cup of oil

1 ¼ cups lukewarm water

Spry or Crisco to grease pans and basin for rising dough

Equipment Large pot or basin

Bread board

Pastry brush

Large mixing bowl

Measuring cups and spoons

Wood spoon for mixing

4 bread pans or 2 lge. pans, accordingly:

If you like big twists you can actually use open sheets.

The Following recipe was exchanged throughout our family for some twenty odd years and I am copying it exactly as written to my niece who was a Rabbi's wife at the time I sent it to her in Texas. She was working and needed an exact recipe.


Put yeast into 1/4 glass warm water (not hot). Do not stir or touch for 10 min., at least. Meanwhile in lge bowl mix sugar, salt cup of warm water, and 3 eggs plus one white which were beat in prior to this step. Add yeast mixture. Mix all in bowl so far thoroughly. Add one half of flour. Mix. Add oil and stir thoroughly till fairly smooth, then add rest of flour. (This is quite sticky and tough to mix, do not worry just turn this mixture out on slightly floured board, and rest the dough and yourself for 10 min. The dough should be covered with bowl during resting time. Rest is over, now knead with enough flour to form soft but not sticky ball, have no fear of using necessary flour but do not make dough hard. Put into greased basin, turn over to get greased side up--cover lightly--let rise in warm place 80 deg. for 1 1/2 hrs, or at room temp. overnite. Turn out on floured board after rising smack down once and again--let rest 10 minute. (Cut dough into as many equal parts as you want challahs (I used pans retrieved from tomato herring, of course thoroughly scoured--Grandma Ester's idea-I make four Challahs) Cut about 1/3 off each piece for braiding--shape other 2/3 into greased pan--make braid--press lightly onto loaf in pan so it adheres. Remember the egg yolk you saved? Add 1 tbsp. cold water and mix well--now brush top with this mixture carefully--Repeat with the rest of the dough--there is enough egg mixture if you coat challahs thinly and with light touch. Let rise till double it's bulk in warm place about an hr. Bake in 375 oven for approx. 45 min. (how brown is up to your taste and time varies with oven) Let rest in pans for 5 minutes when removed from oven and then turn out.

*Size and baking time depends on pans and amount of recipe used of course, you might use only half of recipe or double it for a Simcha)