Varun goes to a Jewish Pre-school.
Not technically a Jewish preschool but one that is affiliated to Jewish Church. He is in the secular class but every Friday, they have the Rabbi bless the Challah. Apparently the kids all get a piece for lunch.
One Friday, he came home and told me he didn’t get the Challah.
I had made a whole wheat Challah earlier but it was a bit dense. I wanted a no fail recipe that would last a couple of days without being too dense. So, I reached out to the broader mothers group that I belong to here and asked mom’s for a recipe that could be made without too much effort or planning.
This is a recipe that is used by a Jewish Center here and the kids in the class help make it.
We tried the recipe last evening. Between the two raises and bake time it was almost 9:30 pm when we had it baked.
I somehow managed to let Varun not gobble it up while it was still warm. He wouldn’t go to bed till it was baked.
First thing he asks for today after waking up is “Challah”.
I think he probably dreamt about Challah.
Mom, Dad and Varun enjoyed it very much. Varun even took some in his lunch box.
The braids make it a beautiful looking loaf. It was light with a nice thin lacquered crust.
By the time I woke up and reached for the loaf, half of it was gone. Devoured.
It turned out to be that good.
Baking bread is like meditating. There is kneading, waiting for bread to rise, punching it down and then waiting again. The shaping of Challah gives a unique twist. It is an exercise in patience and love. And especially with Jewish breads I love their tradition of seeking blessing for the family while prepping and baking the bread.
Give it a try this weekend. It is great as it, buttered up or with some jam. It makes for fun activity with kids.
And it makes a scrumptious french toast, if you manage to have any leftovers!
Note: I raised the bread 3 times in a warm 170 F preheated oven which was then turned off. Alternately, you can keep it in front of a heater vent or in a microwave in which you have steamed a cup of water for 30 secs.
In school, they bake the bread after first 30 minute raise and it works out as well.
No Fail Challah Recipe
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/6 cup warm water
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar.
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups of All Purpose flour (add more if too sticky)
- 1 egg + 1 table spoon water ( For egg wash)
- 1/2 teaspoon oil for greasing the baking sheet