A Symbol of Unity and Blessings
By: Henry Hunter
Challah, the beloved braided bread with deep roots in Jewish culture, holds a significant place in the hearts and homes of families as they gather to celebrate Shabbat. This soft and fluffy bread symbolizes unity, abundance, and the blessings of togetherness.
One intriguing aspect of Challah-making is the custom of “taking challah.” This tradition involves separating a small piece of the dough, known as the “challah portion,” and setting it aside as a symbolic offering. This practice originated from biblical times and serves as a reminder of the commandment to give a portion of our earnings or harvest as an offering to God.
The act of burning or discarding the challah portion represents an offering to the divine, expressing gratitude for the abundance and blessings received. The remaining dough is then braided and baked, symbolizing the shared meal that brings families and loved ones together on Shabbat.
Challah is more than just bread—it is a beautiful embodiment of tradition, unity, and gratitude. Try our delightful Challah recipe, where we’ll guide you through the steps to create this cherished bread in your own kitchen.
Experience the joy of baking Challah and embrace the traditions that enrich our lives. . ✨🥖
Welcome to Baking Great Bread at Home, where we celebrate the rich traditions of bread baking and the joy it brings to our lives. Today, we’re diving into the heartwarming ritual of Shabbat and exploring the beloved Challah bread that holds a special place in this celebration. 🥖✨
To truly experience the essence of Shabbat, we invite you to try your hand at baking your very own Challah bread. This soft, golden loaf with its intricate braided pattern symbolizes unity and the interconnectedness of our community. Here’s a simple and delightful recipe to get you started:
- 500g all-purpose flour (4 cups)
- 7g instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 10g salt (2 teaspoons)
- 60g sugar (1/4 cup)
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 for egg wash
- 40g vegetable oil (3 tablespoons)
- 250ml warm water (1 cup)
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the all-purpose flour (500g), instant yeast (7g), salt (10g), and sugar (60g).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the 2 large eggs, vegetable oil (40g), and warm water (250ml).
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while mixing on low speed with the stand mixer’s dough hook attachment or by hand using a wooden spoon.
- Once the dough starts to come together, knead it on a lightly floured surface or continue mixing with the stand mixer on medium speed for about 5-7 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
- After the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles and transfer it to a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough into three equal portions and roll them into long ropes.
- Pinch the ends of the ropes together and start braiding the dough by crossing the right rope over the middle one, then the left rope over the new middle one. Repeat until the entire loaf is braided.
- Transfer the braided Challah onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise again for about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the beaten egg and water to make the egg wash.
- Gently brush the egg wash over the risen Challah, making sure to cover the entire surface.
- Bake the Challah in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it turns golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Remove the Challah from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Enjoy the homemade goodness of freshly baked Challah! Whether you mix the dough by hand or use a stand mixer, this recipe will yield a beautifully braided loaf that is perfect for sharing with family and friends.
As you indulge in the delightful aroma of your freshly baked Challah, you’ll feel the warmth and love that Shabbat brings. This sacred bread is meant to be shared with family and friends, creating a sense of togetherness and gratitude.
At Baking Great Bread at Home, we’re dedicated to preserving traditions and exploring new horizons. Our community of passionate bakers and bread enthusiasts constantly inspire us to take this journey together.
Join us as we celebrate the joy of baking and the richness of traditions. Stay tuned for more exciting recipes, tips, and community events. Together, we can continue to make every loaf a masterpiece.
Wishing you a blessed and peaceful Shabbat. 🌟✨
Feel free to share your Challah baking experience and the joy of Shabbat in the comments below! Let’s embrace the spirit of togetherness and inspire each other along this delicious journey.