Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the New Year so Jewish families love to make it sweet. On top of that, the circle represents the life cycle; so many families will have round challahs for this celebration of the New Year. This easy recipe helps you make a round challah with raisins for a sweet New Year. For other sweet things straight from Israel, click here

Ingredients:

·         2 envelops dry yeast
·         2 tsp. sugar
·         1/4 cup hot water
·         1 stick corn oil margarine, room temperature
·         1/2 cup sugar
·         1 tsp. salt
·         1 3/4 cups hot water
·         2 extra large eggs
·         7 cups unbleached flour (approximately)
·         1 egg yolk
·         raisins

Preparation: 

Dissolve sugar and yeast in 1/4 cup hot water. Set aside; yeast is ready when it is rising and puffy.  Place margarine, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl; pour 1 3/4 cups hot water over them. Crack eggs into large capacity food processor bowl with plastic dough blade, and pulse 30 seconds. Add 1 cup flour and puffy yeast mixture to eggs. Pulse 30 seconds to blend. 

Add margarine/sugar/salt/water mixture and 3 cups flour. Pulse 1 minute, scrape down sides of bowl, pulse 30 seconds more. Add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time; pulse approximately 15-20 seconds after each addition. Dough will form a large, sticky ball around the blade. The food processor may not accommodate all 7 cups of flour. 

Spread remaining flour or an extra 1/2 cup flour onto a board or pastry cloth. Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead the dough 2 to 3 minutes, incorporating flour. Ready dough will form a smooth, round ball and will bounce back when lightly touched. Grease a large bowl. Place dough in it, and cover with a towel. 

Set in a warm place to rise until double in size (1 to 2 hours). Punch down the dough; remove from bowl onto floured board. Let it rest 5 to 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix 1 raw egg yolk with 1 tsp. water; brush the loaves for a shiny crust. Bake for 15 minutes to brown crust. 

Reduce heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake 15 more minutes (30 minutes total). Cool and remove from pans. 

For exclusive content on other kosher foods from Israel, click here.