Little secret about Challa baking in Minnesota on Friday, February the 14th –
It was a total improv success story.
Our Challa instructor whom we had planned and booked well in advance – a week to be exact, was stuck in traffic. With under an hour to go it didn’t look like she would make it in time.
What to do? What to do?!?!
Not to worry!
In classic Bais Chana style, someone jumped in to save the day.
With less than a moment’s notice, the adorable, the lovely, the inspirational, the sensational and most splendid Londoner Devorie jumped right in and whipped up a batch of dough before I could say “WHO?”.
From whence to procure a Challa Recipe whilst in the midst of Minnesota?
Thanks to Devorie, some quick thinking and a screen shot from Hinda Leah’s phone, we hereby present you with
The World’s Best Challa You Ever Did See.
4(.25 ounce) packages quick rise dry yeast
4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons salt
3/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup oil
12 cups bread flour, or as needed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sesame seeds divided
In a large bowl combine the yeast, water and a few spoons full of sugar.
Once the yeast bubbles, add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix.
Add the dry ingredients and knead for 10 – 15 minutes.
Once the dough is ready:
Step #1: Scoop up a handful into your hands*. Recite the Bracha for separating Challa:
ברוך אתה “ אלהינו הלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וציונו להפריש חלה
“Boruch Atoh Ado-nay Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam Asher Kidshanu B’mitzvosav V’tzivanu L’hafrish Challah”
“Blessed are You, Lord, our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with his Commandments and commanded us to separate challah (from the dough).”
Set aside that piece to be burned.
Step #2: Braid the Challa!!
Wow. Nice one Elka!!
Once braided, allow the dough to rise about 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the egg and vanilla.
Brush the Challas.
Then sprinkle with the sesame seeds or the topping of your choice.
Previously attempted in Bais Chana; cinnamon sugar, colorful sprinkles, chocolate chips, fried onion, zaatar seasonings…
The possibilities are endless!!
Send us a photo of your favorite one!
When making your Challa this week remember to keep in mind blessings for all!
I wish you all the health, joy, strength and clarity imaginable. Just kidding – I wish you more than imaginable!
May Hashem bless each of you and all of our brethren and sisters all over the world with immediate and lasting peace, and may our true oneness be revealed once and for all.
Hugs and Happy Shabbos!
<3 the BC Blogger
III. The Procedure
After kneading, while standing, one should hold with the right hand a k’zayis (30g) of the dough (without detaching it) and recite the bracha: “…Asher kidshanu b’mitzvosav v’tzivanu l’hafrish Challah” (some add the words min ha’eesa14). One should then pull off the dough.15 At this point, some recite the words “harei zu Challah” (one may not say this until the piece has been pulled off).
The Challah should then be burned17 as soon as possible until it is completely charred. One should not store the Challah for future burning (e.g. freeze it for burning at biur chametz on Erev Pesach), as this undermines one of the reasons we burn the dough, shelo yavo leydai takala, that one will not accidentally mix this dough (which is Challah) with regular dough and inadvertently bake and eat it.