Holiday Honey Challah

1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup honey
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
(about), divided
2 eggs, beaten, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup golden raisins, plumped
in hot water

In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, and honey. Let stand 5 minutes, until bubbly. Add eggs, reserving 1 tablespoon (cover and refrigerate), 1-1/2 cups flour, salt, and oil. Beat until batter is stretchy. Gradually add remaining flour and drained raisins. Stir with spoon until dough is well blended. Knead on floured board for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down. On floured board, shape into a rope 32 inches long and tapered at one end. In a 9- or 10-inch oiled springform pan, place thick end of dough in center, then form a coil to pan rim, tucking extra under loaf. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let stand until puffy, 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover; gently brush with reserved egg wash. Bake at 325° on rack 1/3 from bottom until dark golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove rim. Serve warm or cool. Makes 1 large loaf.

Alternate Method: using an electric mixer and dough hook. Follow above directions, but omit raisins, since they break up. Beat dough on high speed 5 to 8 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Then knead in raisins by hand on floured board and continue as above.

Honey-Glazed Salmon

6 6-ounce salmon fillets
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh mint
Lime wedges

Place salmon fillets in glass baking dish to fit, skin side down. Combine honey, lime juice, mustard, mint, salt, and pepper. Brush over both sides of salmon. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place fish on a wire rack in shallow pan. Bake at 400° for 10 to 15 minutes, or broil 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Garnish with mint and lime.

Makes 6 servings.

Orange Honey Cake

3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon EACH baking soda, instant coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon EACH allspice, cloves, nutmeg
1 cup EACH oil, honey
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup EACH warm water, orange juice
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Confectioners sugar

In electric mixer, stir together flour, baking powder, soda, coffee, salt, and spices. Make a well in center and stir in oil, honey, granulated and brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, water, orange juice, and zest. Beat on low speed until well blended. Pour batter into greased 9- or 10-inch tube pan. Sprinkle with almonds. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 75 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cover lightly with aluminum foil if browning too fast. Cool on rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool thoroughly. Remove center tube. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.