Making Challah Bread – Hernando Solar

A spiritually intense exercise, Temple Beth David members collect to bake challah bread for the Jewish Sabbath and upcoming holidays and festivals.

Hidden in a quiet avenue near Spring Hill Drive is Temple Beth David, a Reform synagogue with a vibrant congregation of about 120 households. The religious chief of the temple is Rabbi Emanual Ben-David. The temple has an lively Sisterhood and Fraternity, in addition to varied committees, together with cultural arts, care, group outreach, and ritual. Such a committee is tasked with cooking particular meals celebrated on Jewish holidays and feasts.

Many holidays have particular meals related to them, reminiscent of Passover at Hanukkah or potato pancakes. Meals like latkes, potato pancakes, rugelach, buttery, mild and flaky croissants, sufganiyot, Israeli buns, and hamantash, the triangular-filled pocket pastry related to the Jewish vacation of Purim. However challah, a loaf constituted of braided dough threads, is everybody’s favourite and most requested. “We obtained to know one another lots higher by cooking collectively,” mentioned Jan Humphries, a navy veteran and chief of the group. “This is the reason we get collectively and recurrently prepare dinner challah for our congregation.”

For Jewish ladies, performing challah is a spiritually intense exercise that dates again to the times of Sarah, one of many 4 dad and mom. The ceremonial bread, challah, is eaten on the Jewish Sabbath – Friday night time and Saturday all day – and different holy days. For the Sabbath dinner, there are a pair of loaves symbolizing the time the Israelites spent within the desert.
Mickie Fligleman, a longtime member of Temple Beth David, explains, “Shallah is a particular mitzvah (a great act accomplished from non secular responsibility) that enables us to weave a bodily act like bread-making right into a religious expertise. Initially from Brooklyn, New York. Mickie is identical. He’s additionally the director of Temple’s fundraising committee.

Cookie Goodman of Spring Hill promotes Temple, “Folks like to eat challah, which is pronounced ‘HAL-lah’ in a throaty voice on the primary syllable. Cookie was an elementary faculty instructor for 30 years. She has 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Joined by Jan, Mickie and Tina, Judy and Carla, affectionately generally known as the “Temple Beth David flamboyant bakers,” Cookie had been on the brink of combine challah dough within the Temple kitchen, which has now changed into an oven for the morning. The stainless-steel preparation desk had every thing wanted to make dough. Chrome steel mixing bowls, pastry brushes and pre-measured components.

Quickly, the oven began to stir as the ladies blended the dough for challah. Easy dough is made with eggs, flour, yeast, oil, honey and salt. As a result of too many eggs are used, the bread is pale yellow in shade and has a wealthy taste. Generally challah recipes could include raisins, honey or seeds. “The recipe has been in use for about 35 years and we’ll preserve it a secret,” Jan mentioned.
Everybody added heat water to their yeast and waited for the bubbles to seem. When they’re seen, add the remainder of the components, beginning with the eggs and oil, adopted by the salt and flour. After all of the dough was ready, the group allowed the dough to rise to roughly double by overlaying it with tea cloths and letting it relaxation for no less than half-hour.

As soon as the dough had risen, the ladies started kneading the dough and shaping it into strips to kind the loaves they deliberate to promote at Temple Beth David’s upcoming occasions. Every braid, typically referred to as string, weighs precisely 4 ounces. Mickie was answerable for measuring the dough into 4-ounce balls, which had been then rolled into strips about 10 inches lengthy and allowed to rise once more. “Now it will get the sophisticated half,” Tina mentioned. “We make six braided loaves, so it is best to present your full consideration when knitting, or it’s possible you’ll lose the rhythm.” Studying to knit challah takes time and observe, however the result’s an exquisite loaf worthy of any vacation celebration. Six-strand braids could be a little tough, however the method isn’t tough to grasp.

Tina and Carla fastidiously laid the six strips aspect by aspect and tucked them in on the high. The rightmost lane was positioned on the alternative aspect. The highest second strip on the left was then positioned on the alternative aspect. The leftmost thread then goes within the center. They repeated this till the strips had been knitted. The nuts had been then generously brushed with an egg wash. That is when any sauce could be added, for instance sesame or poppy seeds. The nuts then went into the ovens for 25 to 35 minutes, or till they had been golden brown and made a hole sound when tapped on the underside.
“Our bread has a shiny crust that’s not too smooth on the within and never too smooth,” Carla added. It may also be used for different dishes reminiscent of French toast, bread pudding, and turkey (or rooster) sauce. French toast is especially scrumptious.” For these of us much less proficient who need to attempt making Challah braided bread, there are various recipes and directions obtainable on-line. Challah bread is good for sandwiches, freezes effectively and could be saved for weeks.

Challah is current at lots of the upcoming occasions held recurrently at Temple Beth David. Test their web site at so you’ll be able to style this scrumptious bread. For extra info on Temple Beth David, name (352) 686-7034.