These weekly #ZoomChallahBakes have been such a powerful way to come together through the pandemic, the protests, and everything happening right now. People join from all over the country and world and we have special guest "bakers" (some have never baked challah before) each week to help us navigate these difficult and important times. Don't worry if you have never made bread or challah before. I'll teach you along with my daughters Odessa & Blooma. It's easy. It's healing. We look forward to baking challah together!
Please note: #ZoomChallahBake is taking a brief summer break. We'll be back soon. Sign up to be sure to know when the next one will be.
In the meantime, I hope you continue baking challah each Friday. My family has been baking challah every Friday for ten years, and it (the challah and the ritual) just keeps getting better. You can use the videos from past weeks (below) as your guide, or invite friends and family to your own Zoom, or create your own ritual. There's a recipe at the bottom of this page. It's the only recipe in my book 24/6 The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week and it's yum.
I look forward to baking with you again soon.
PS. Here are some recent articles about the challah bake:
#ZoomChallahBake: The Reason I haven't Deleted Zoom in Salt and Sumac.
Past Special Guests
July 17 - In Partnership with SF Jewish Film Festival
Rabbi Sydney Mintz and Idan Chabasov, aka "The Challah Prince" from Berlin
Rabbi Sydney Mintz is the founder of the award winning Late Shabbat Program at Congregation Emanu-El where she has served as Rabbi since her ordination in 1997. She serves on the National Board of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, on the 360 Leadership Council for the Reimagine End of Life Festival and is the recipient of the San Francisco Film Institute's Artist Residency. Her one woman show: "You May Think I'm Funny, But It's Not" premiered and sold out at the Marsh Theatre in San Francisco and is a continuing work in progress! She is gluten-free aspirational, which means she has never eaten a gluten free challah that she enjoyed, but remains hopeful.
Idan Chabasov, aka The Challah Prince, was born in Tel Aviv, and lives in Berlin. For the past 5 years he has baked Challa every Friday. His Instagram account "Challah Prince" centers itself around the Jewish Shabbat's (Saturday) main star- The Challah bread. Prior to his Challah career, he studied Animation and Film in an Art school, worked in PR and had become a professional Ballet dancer by the age of 23.
June 26 - Dr. Angela Duckworth
Dr. Angela Duckworth is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and the founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance scientific insights that help children thrive. A 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Angela has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Angela’s TED talk is among the most-viewed of all time. Her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is a #1 New York Times best seller. Angela is also co-host, with Stephen Dubner, of the podcast No Stupid Questions.
June 19 - Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie + Professor Ken Goldberg,
with special visit from Krista Tippett
On June 19, we had 3 very special guests: the amazing Rabbi Amichai-Lau Levi of Lab/Shul in NYC; the brilliant and wise Krista Tippett of On Being as a special visitor; and my best friend and husband, Professor Ken Goldberg. While Ken is a robotics professor by day, he makes a delicious roast chicken for Shabbat every Friday, which he shared for the very first time.
Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie is the Founding Spiritual Leader of Lab/Shul NYC and the creator of Storahtelling, Inc. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performance artist, he received his rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2016. Rabbi Amichai is a member of the Global Justice Fellowship of the American Jewish World Service, and serves on the faculty of the Reboot Network.
Professor Ken Goldberg is an artist, inventor, and roboticist. He is William S. Floyd Jr Distinguished Chair in Engineering at UC Berkeley and Chief Scientist at Ambidextrous Robotics. Ken is on the Editorial Board of the journal Science Robotics, served as Chair of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department, and co-founded the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering.
Kimberly Ellis is a nationally recognized Progressive leader who most recently was a candidate for Chair of the California Democratic Party. She has utilized her law degree to uplift people and encourage activists to get involved in the political process. She is also the former Executive Director of Emerge California – the state’s mosts effective training program for Democratic women to run for and win elected office.
Tanya Selvaratnam is a writer and an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer, who has worked with Planned Parenthood (and Tiffany Shlain directing the UNSTOPPABLE video!), Aubin Pictures, Vision & Justice Project, Anna Deavere Smith, Mickalene Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Rubell Family Collection, Beijing Women’s Conference, and Glamour Women of the Year. She is the author of The Big Lie; and her essays have been published in the New York Times, Vogue, CNN, and McSweeney’s. Her next book Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence will launch in early 2021.
June 12 - Kimberly Ellis and Tanya Selvaratnam joined us
to talk about the upcoming election.
Dr. Michael Rich is a pediatrician, researcher, father, and filmmaker. He is the Founder and Director of the Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) and the first evidence-based medical program addressing physical, mental and social health issues associated with digital technology, the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders (CIMAID). As The Mediatrician®, Dr. Rich offers research-based, balanced and practical answers to parents’, teachers’, and clinicians’ questions about children’s media use and the positive and negative implications for their health and development.
Dr. Michael Rich from Harvard University
David Sax is the author of the new book The Soul of an Entrepreneur, as well as the James Beard award winning Save the Deli, which makes him an authority on challah (also a lifetime of challah eating).
Author David Sax
Katie Sullivan Morford is a food writer with a passion for bringing good food and good nutrition to the plate. She is the author of three cookbooks and has written and developed recipes for a number of publications. She is the Nutrition Editor for Simply Recipes and founder of the blog Mom’s Kitchen Handbook.
Chef Katie Morford
Sarah Waxman, Founder of At The Well, joined us for a lively and deep conversation about ritual and challah and community. At the Well connects women around the world with transformative Jewish practices.
Founder of At the Well Sarah Waxman
Jake Cohen is a NYC-based food writer. His first cookbook, Jew-ish, comes 2021.
Food Writer and Cookbook Author Jake Cohen
Gefilteria's Jeffrey Yoskowitz & Liz Alpern
We had a blast making home-made Matzah bread for Passover with special guest bakers from the famed Gefilteria in New York,
Jeffrey Yoskowitz & Liz Alpern.
Challah Hub's Elina Tilipman & Sarah Klegman
Our very first pandemic #ZoomChallahBake guests were baking goddesses from Challah Hub Elina Tilipman & Sarah Klegman. They sharee how they like to add crazy things into their challahs like chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts, sprinkles, frozen blueberries, small pieceso f candy, marshmallows, toffee, matcha powder, turmeric, savory spices, dried onion pieces, sundried tomatoes, and more! (for the Vegans, check their recipe out)
Our Recipe of “The Everything Challah”
by Tiffany, Odessa & Blooma (evolved from one of my best friend
Julie Hermelin's One Mighty Challah Recipe)
This is the one recipe in my book 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week.
In 24/6, I share my family's decade long practice of turning off screens one day a week which we call
our "Technology Shabbats." During the Corona Lockdown, where we are on screens more than ever,
to have this whole day off from the network each week, has replenished me,
given me much needed perspective and I believe is helping me and my family's immunity
stay strong and for us to stay sane during this unusual time.
1 cup of hot water (95-105 degrees F)
1 packet of Fleishman’s Fast-Acting Yeast (or 2-1/4 teaspoon)
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of salt
3.5 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of canola oil (I have tried
with olive oil but it never tastes as good)
For Dough to Rise
1 hot towel
The "everything" from an everything bagel,
otherwise known as “Tornado Dust”
Trader Joe's now has it's own brand
or you can create it with a mixture of:
Poppy seeds (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)
Please post photos of your Challahs using the hashtag #ZoomChallahBake
and tag me on social @TiffanyShlain, so I can share and make people smile during this stressful time.
People love seeing people holding up bread they made :)
We had a fantastic bake with NYTimes Best-selling Author Roxane Gay & Design Matters Podcast Creator Debbie Millman.
Roxane Gay is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects.
Debbie Millman is a writer, designer, educator, artist, brand consultant and host of the podcast Design Matters, one of the world's very first podcasts. Broadcasting independently for 15 years, the show is about how incredibly creative people design the arc of their lives.
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in 1 cup hot water, stir and smell the great smell of the yeast. Let the yeast mixture sit for 20 minutes then add your sugar to activate the yeast (to let the yeast bloom) then the ½ tablespoon of salt.
Then add the 2 cups flour. This is a great time to taste the dough.
In a separate bowl beat one egg and ¼ canola oil. Then mix this into the flour mixture (Now is no longer a good time to taste.) Slowly add the rest of the flour (the remaining 1.5 cups). You can add a little more flour so the dough is not too sticky and can be easily kneaded. Sprinkle some flour on your fingers and on the counter and then dump dough from bowl onto counter. Push, pull, kneed, fold on itself and repeat. The feeling of dough and flour being mixed together on friday mornings is truly one of life’s great pleasures.
Then oil bowl with 2-3 tbsp of canola oil or grapeseed oil, put dough on back in oiled bowl with hot towel. Allow to sit for dough to rise for the rest of the day.
After your Challah has risen (around 5 hours):
Spray a challah pan with olive oil spray so it doesn’t stick (or just put olive oil or parchment paper).
Divide the fluffy risen dough into 3 separate balls. With your hands roll out each of the 3 separate balls into 3 medium length rope-like strands. Put these three strands in your oiled pan. Pinch the top of the three strands. Braid the strands together until you have a braided challah (like you are braiding hair;).
In a separate bowl beat 1 egg. Brush the top of the challah with the egg for a lovely glaze effect. Then add either "Everything topping" (that you can get from Wise Son's Deli, Trader Joe's or you can also just put sesame seeds, poppy seeds and salt on it or just the egg wash.
Then give your challah a "second rise" but letting it rise another 3 hours for extra fluffiness.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Then after the second rise, you will probably need to sprinkle with more "everything" topping.
Then put that sweet/savory braided challah dough into the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 or 30 minutes. Take it out and push the challah--it should give a bit and not be too doughy. You can tap the base of the challah's base to see if it has a hallow sound to see if it's ready.
When it's done, take out of the oven, and we put on a special plate and wrap with a beautiful cloth or napkin and serve with butter.
After we have said the blessing for the bread, we tear off a piece and hand it to someone else to eat.
Best eaten with a good dollop of butter melted into it...Like everything. :)