I feel that it is not a coincidence that my Challah received the award and not my souffle, cake or pastries since Challah is not only a physical food bu spiritual too.
I have been making Challah for many years, but the secret of my Challah, I learned from my daughter, Karen Zichrona Lebracha… Karen taught me that we do not only elevate bread when we separate a small piece from it and say the Bracha “Lehafrish Challah min Haisa” but that each one of the ingredients becomes an inspiration for prayer to ask Hashem for blessings. The complete experience of creating a Challah becomes one that connects you to G-d and to your loved ones.
Meaning of the ingredients on the elaboration of Challah
The Flour, which is the largest ingredient in the Challah. I ask Hashem that Bracha, Blessings and Torah, should be the largest ingredient of greatest abundance in our lives.
The Sugar, which sweetens the Challah. I ask Hashem that he should sweeten our lives and help me to express myself sweetly to all who surround me.
The Yeast, which make the dough rise. I ask that each day, should be one of growth for me and my family. We should rise above any difficulty in our lives and that I should be able to give my loved ones sincere compliments that will help them grow.
The Salt, the smallest ingredient in the recipe, represents negativity and Nisyonot which bring tears to our lives. I ask Hashem that they should be very few and carefully measured so that our lives should not become embittered.
The Water, which unites all the ingredients together to form the Challah. I pray, that throughout my life I should always be united to my family and my loved ones in peace and harmony. And that I should constantly feel united to Hashem.
The Egg, which is round, is the symbol of life. I ask for good life, with good health for me and for all around me.
The Oil, which represents materialistic riches. I pray, that our “Parnasa” should come easily and we should always have enough to be able to share with others.
Finally, Kneading the Dough represents the hard work that is needed in our lives to follow the right path to incorporate, internalize, and imprint all these concepts to our soul.
It is all this positive “energy” that transforms a few simple ingredients into a beautiful and delicious Challah, a food that nourishes us not only physically but spiritually as well. It adds that magical flavor that cannot be bought.
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups flour
- 1 large egg for glaze
- extra flour to shape the Challah
- Poppy or sesame seeds
Steps of Preparation
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water, and add sugar and let stand for 2 minutes.
- Add oil, egg, and mix well. Then add salt.
- Gradually add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. As mixture becomes stiff, use floured hands and knead for several minutes until soft to touch.
- Cover and let rise in greased bowl until double in size – about an hour.
- Divide dough into 3 pieces and braid, place on grease pan/baking sheet.
- Allow to rise again for 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush with egg and sprinkle with seeds if desired.
- Bake 30-45 minutes or until brown. Remove from pans and cool on racks.
Challah recipe as featured at the 2014 OC Mega Challah Bake