MMM …There is nothing like the aroma of a homemade challah baking in the oven. It fills the air with a homey feeling that everyone loves.
Recreational classes tend to be on the pricey side, especially when it comes to kosher classes. I recently attended a challah baking class at the JEC in downtown Manhattan. They hold a class in their venue in Greenwich Village once a month and its only $5. Just make sure to register online beforehand. I signed up for the class with a friend of mine and it turned out to be so much fun. We learned about the significance of Challah bread and the ingredients, then each of us prepared and braided our own bread. Together we left with about 6 Challot. That was the night I got locked out of my apartment and we ended up baking everything at a friend’s apartment. Trust me, the aroma left in that apartment was mouth watering.
Check out this link and you can see the calendar if you want to sign up for their next class:
There are countless challah bread recipes but here is the one we used in the class. I made one plain loaf,one with chocolate chips which tasted like cake and one with raisins and walnuts, but the add-ins are totally optional and your choice.
- 5 ¾ cups of warm water
- 3 tablespoons dry yeast
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 eggs (this recipe also works without eggs!)
- 1/2 cup of oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons salt
- 5 lbs. flour
(This works with white flour or with a mixture of white and whole wheat.)
- In one bowl mix together: Yeast and Lukewarm Water
- In another bowl mix together: Flour, Sugar and Salt
- Combine the two bowls and kneed.
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Cover with plastic wrap and leave it on the side to rise until it doubles.
- Then put some oil on the dough and let it sit for another 10 min
- Don’t forget to take a small piece about an ounce and do “hafrashat challah “- Mitzvah of Seperating Challah. Check out this website for the blessing and to learn more. http://www.secretofchallah.com/50708/how_to_separate_challah
- Form your challah either by braiding it or making a pull-apart challah (which is done by just forming balls and putting them in a tin in the shape of a flower) As you shape the loafs you can add chocolate chips, raisins, nuts…
- Let the challah rise again but now it will take less time.
- Once you finished just brush egg yolk over the challah for color and shine and then put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until golden but keep an eye on them all the time.
“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.”
~ M. F. K. Fisher