Keeping kosher simply means preparing and cooking food in accordance with Jewish law. Basically kosher means “clean.” Animals with cloven hooves such as pigs are not allowed, and the meat from an animal’s backside is also considered not kosher. How the animal is slaughtered has much to do with the definition. An animal that is shown to have suffered is not kosher and cannot be sold as kosher meat.
Milk is kosher, as are eggs from kosher birds – such as chicken eggs . But some cheeses made with meat products to turn milk into cheese are not kosher. All vegetables are kosher, as are most fruits except for grapes.
But if you’re starting out, challah bread is an easy-to-make kosher dish. Traditionally served on the Jewish Sabbath, challah bread is a popular, tasty crowd pleaser.
3 tablespoons active dry yeast
2½ cups warm water (110 F; 45 C)
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
6 cups all-purpose flour, or more if needed
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
½ teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
½ teaspoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon dried minced onion
½ teaspoon dried minced garlic
1 egg, beaten
1. Mix yeast, water and sugar together in large bowl, stir to dissolve sugar and let mixture stand until creamy layer forms on top, about five minutes. Stir in oil, and sprinkle yeast mixture with 2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons poppy seeds, 2 tablespoons dried onion, 1 tablespoon dried garlic, garlic powder and onion powder. Add flour a cup at a time up to 6 cups, then add more by half-cups if needed to make an elastic but not sticky dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form dough into compact round shape and place in oiled bowl. Turn dough over several times in bowl to oil surface of dough, cover bowl with a cloth, and let rise in warm area until doubled in size, about one hour.
3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough into two equal pieces. To make three-strand braided loaves, cut each piece in three. Working on floured surface, roll small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 12 inches long. Ropes should be fatter in middle and thinner at ends. Pinch three ropes together at the top and braid. Starting with the strand on the right, move it left over middle strand (that strand becomes the new middle strand.) Take the strand farthest to left and move it over the new middle strand. Continue braiding, alternating sides each time, until loaf is braided, and pinch ends together and fold them underneath for a neat look. Place loaves on prepared baking sheets. Cover loaves, and let them rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Mix sesame seeds, kosher salt, ½ teaspoon of poppy seeds, ½ teaspoon of dried onion and ½ teaspoon of dried garlic in small bowl. Brush loaves with beaten egg and sprinkle with seed mixture.
5. Bake in preheated oven until loaves are cooked through and golden brown, 45 to 60 minutes. Check for doneness after 45 minutes of baking time.
– Courtesy of www.allrecipes.com