Challah Recipe

Here it is…one of my most frequently-asked-for recipes. Republished just for you!

When I was growing up, we used to buy our challah from the Publix bakery. (Publix is a supermarket in Florida; I don’t know if they’re around the country)Publix makes a GOOD challah. (They also make great sheet cake)

Yes! I made this beautiful looking challah. Freshly ground whole wheat and delicious!
The name of this bread, “challah” is so due to the word “separate.” A challah has a small amount separated and offered to G-d. I never knew this until I moved to Israel; I always thought that challah was just a yummy egg bread.
Here is the Bible reference:
Numbers 15:17-21 The LORD instructed Moses: 18 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: After you enter the land where I am bringing you, 19 you are to offer a contribution to the LORD when you eat from the food of the land. 20 You are to offer a loaf from your first batch of dough as a contribution; offer it just like a contribution from the threshing floor. 21 Throughout your generations, you are to give the LORD a contribution from the first batch of your dough.

When I learned the importance of using freshly ground flour and started making my own bread, I needed a good challah recipe. I tried variations, but this one has been the best so far.
RECIPE
1 3/4 c water
1/3 c oil
2/3 c honey
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, plus another beaten egg set aside for brushing on later (4 eggs total)
7-8 c freshly ground whole wheat flour
1/4-1/2 raisins (optional. But I always use them.)

Combine water, oil, honey and yeast, and 3 eggs. Add half the flour and salt, mix. Add the rest of the flour and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10-15 mins by hand or about 5-6 mins in KitchenAid stand mixer). Let rise till double. Shape, adding raisins if desired. Brush with beaten egg, let rise till double again. Bake at 325F for about 25 mins. Brush again with beaten egg for the last 5 mins of baking.

This recipe makes 2 small loaves (usually a regular 3 braid) or one large (4 or 6 braid).
I have better luck getting it to rise and be big and puffy if I do a large loaf, with a braid using 4 strands. Below is a video showing one way to braid with 6; there are many ways. Do whatever you like and enjoy!
If you want to know more about challah, here is another article and recipe: Challah: The Divine Dough
Shabbat Shalom!

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As you know, I’ve had babies. Five times.  And whether you’ve had one, or five, or maybe even none but have ever gotten sick to the point that you’re bedridden for at least a few days, then you know what it’s like to be trying to figure out how to care for your household when you can’t DO anything.

It’s tough.

The very best thing, the biggest help I ever had, was having friends bring over prepared meals for my family.  Just knowing that we had  dinner already done took a huge weight off my mind, and I will always seek to do the same type of thing for others when the need arises.

I recently received some sad news of a friend passing away.  Another friend was coordinating help for the family, and what I saw was an amazing tool that I know will come in handy for so many people. It’s called Take Them a Meal. It’s a scheduling tool for coordinating meals for any family.  I was glad to see such a thing, and know that it would have come in handy; I’m sure I’ll find a way to utilize it in the future.

And then I got to thinking.  If having meals brought was such a tremendous help when I was sick, or after I’d had a baby….why not share that kind of help other times? I don’t know about you, but I would LOVE to have a dinner brought to us even on a regular old normal day, just to make my life easier.   And if I feel that way, then others must also.

I often wonder what I can do to give a gift or bless others, when my resources are  limited.  Well, this is something that I can do. Despite my lack of time or money, I know that I can make double or triple batches of something that I am already making, to give to a friend. (I also recommend freezing for your own use later on).

With this in mind, I decided to make a double batch of challah dough this morning.  The dough was so big as it rose that it went above the rim of my largest mixing bowl!  And I’m off in a few minutes to deliver a freshly baked whole wheat challah to a neighbor, just to say “thank you for being a friend.”

So much of the time I feel overwhelmed and needy, unable to give and too often asking for something to be given to me.  I need to remember that I also have the ability to give back; I just need to figure out how.

What can you do for someone else today?