Week 32: Baking Traditional Challah with Kids!
“And the first of your [dough] you shall give to the Kohen, in order that blessing will rest in your home.”
“וראשית עריסתיכם תתנו לכהן להניח ברכה אל ביתך”
What did I do:
With the holiday season in full gear, I spent an evening with a group of friends and their adorable daughters to bake challah from scratch. They turned out to be pretty yummy!
Who was with me:
Debra, one of my closest friends, hosted a challah bake at her house. She invited a group of woman and their daughters to give me a real, robust challah baking experience. I couldn't be more grateful. It's fun to do new things. It's even more fun to do them with little kids. They are like fairy dust and without even trying make the entire experience magical.
What did I learn:
I've known Debra and her family for over 20 years and have spent countless Friday night Shabbat dinners with them. But it wasn't until this week's adventure that I learned what challah was really about.
Did you know baking challah is one of three Mitzvahs (commandments) specifically given to Jewish women? It is known to bring blessing and holiness to the woman, her family and her home. Hence, every week challah is baked in preparation for Shabbat, a time to spend with loved ones.
Making the dough was actually pretty straight forward. Below are the ingredients but watch this week's episode to see how it all comes together:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 Tbs dry yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 Tbs oil
- 2 eggs: one for the dough and one to glaze the dough before baking
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cup flour
I think my favorite part of it all was the braiding of the dough. Some of the girls had very unique shapes, like this music note below.
Would I do this again:
Although i am not Jewish, I think the tradition of Friday night Shabbat dinners with the family is pretty amazing. It's a wonderful way to unplug from the world and spend time with your loved ones. Learning about challah just made Shabbat dinners that much more special to me. Once I have a family, I'd love to incorporate a similar tradition.