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19 September 2008 @ 04:17 pm
Adventures in challah baking!  
Today I learned how to bake challah! They were having a class at Hillel, so I decided to buy a mixing bowl and check it out. I've never baked bread before, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

(Challah is the sort of cakey bread Jewish people traditionally eat on the sabbath and holidays, btw, for anyone who doesn't know...)

Here's the dough after all the ingredients were added. The girl teaching us said she usually uses half white flour, half whole wheat, but I used about six cups white and two cups whole wheat, so it doesn't taste like whole wheat bread. (Because that's just not what I think of when I think challah...) We also used some rosemary, which is really delicious...


Now here's the dough after I let it sit for 40 minutes! It grew!


Then we punched it...also known as kneading.

Then came the braiding. I made one regular braided, and one round, because Rosh Hashanah is coming up, and traditionally you eat round challah on Rosh Hashanah.

The little ball of dough sitting there is called the hoffrish, which I learned you traditionally separate from the challahs and bake before discarding, because in ancient times it was for an offering to the temple...which seems like one of those outdated traditions I'm not such a fan of, but I went along with it for the learning experience ^^;


Then I carried them back to the dorms, which was interesting. XD;; I brought all my stuff up to the fourth floor, because my floor doesn't have an oven. And I baked them!



...and they are delicious. ^___^
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
vtheyoshivink_sama on September 20th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness! Challah bread is like, my favorite thing ever. It's so amazingly delicious! :DD

And it's weird because it keeps cropping up all over the place, or something. There was a loaf of it in the refrigerator in my dorm, there was a challah bread dinner randomly a few nights ago, and you learned how to make it!

I guess the challah holidays are coming up? :D?
Syomimashou on September 20th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
I know, I love it~ I'll have to make it for you sometime...sometime when I'm not at college... XD;;

And the Jewish holiday season is coming up, but challah is actually a year-round thing. Traditionally you eat it every Friday. When you see the round challahs, though, they're specifically for the holidays.
(Deleted comment)
Syomimashou on September 20th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Crinaeae Rai: pensweetinsanity90 on September 21st, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
I can not believe your parents let you go off into the world without knowing how to bake bread. Isn't that one of the responsibilities of a Jewish parent?
Syomimashou on September 21st, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
XD Well, my parents don't bake bread either, except in a bread machine... My grandmother does bake challah on occasion, but she hadn't gotten around to teaching me yet, I guess. (She did teach me to make matzah balls, though!)
:Doh_i_know22 on September 24th, 2008 05:51 am (UTC)
hey guess what? i had my first taste of challah bread while i was working at the dining hall on saturday! it was awesome and now im like, where can i get more?! but lol i heard this one kid and he was like 'why are they serving this on a saturday?' and i was like i dunno i just cut up the bread and put it out. haha good times.
Syomimashou on September 24th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, challah is just amazing. But you know what sucks? They only have challah in the kosher section at my dining hall, which means I can't have any because I'm not on the kosher meal plan! I took a piece the other day, because it just looked sooo good, and I could tell it was the kind we have at my house...and the lady yelled at me ;_;