ZOOM CHALLAH BAKE
Welcome to the #ZoomChallahBake! We started these #ZoomChallahBakes at the beginning of the pandemic as a way to bring people together during lockdown. They quickly turned into an extremely powerful and grounding ritual of people from all over the country and globe coming together each week to talk about the pandemic, the movements for racial justice, the upcoming elections, and everything else happening in our world...all while baking challah together.
Each ZoomChallahBake features a special guest (doctors, scientists, authors, rabbis, celebrity chefs) to help us navigate these challenging times. Recent guests have included Dr. Angela Duckworth, NYTimes best-selling author Roxane Gay, podcaster Debbie Millman, Rabbis Sydney Mintz and Amichai Lau-Levi, Krista Tippett, and even a Challah Prince from Berlin.
Don't worry if you have never made bread or challah before (even some of our special guests haven't!). And don't worry if you're not Jewish. People of all different backgrounds join. Everyone's invited. We'll teach you. It's easy. It's healing. We look forward to baking together!
The Recipe: We use the recipe my family and I have been using every week for ten years (the challah and the ritual really do get better with time!). It's also the only recipe in my book 24/6 The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week. Once you sign up, we'll send you the ingredients.
I look forward to baking with you!
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)
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. :)