On the Chocolate Trail

Recipe for Fancy Shapes in Dough: Shaping Dough

I used this shaping dough for the five symbols for the Sephardi “Seven Heaven Challah” for Shavuot: The tablets of the Ten Commandments, a Jacob’s ladder to recall the ascent and descent of angels to and from heaven, a hand or hamsa recalling the five books of the Torah, a bird representing the dove of the Noah story (Genesis 8:8), and a fish representing fertility. It looked great and held the shape better than the traditional approach of using the yeasty bread dough. 

The shaping dough creates the most amazing decorations for korovai, Ukrainian wedding breads, as in this photo, above.

INGREDIENTS: (from “Traditional Recipes for Korovai” by The Ukrainian Museum)

4 cups regular flour

2 egg whites

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons oil

Mix all the ingredients into a dense dough and knead for about 15-30 minutes. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. When ready to use, take small pieces at a time to form symbols. Place prepared decorations on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake/dry in a 200 degree oven for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove from the oven and immediately make a hole in the bottom of each symbol with a toothpick or skewer. Leave the toothpick to use to attach the symbol to the bread when ready. In the meantime, stick the items into a styrofoam board, an egg carton or a pan with holes in it to cool and to keep safe until used.] 

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