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Salvia



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Location : Wales, UK

PostSubject: challah :D   Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:26 pm

I'm making challah for Rosh Hashana, using this recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/09/best-challah-egg-bread/

The dough is rising for the first time now ad I'm very excited:D  the last time I made challah was over ten years ago and with another recipe to which I don't have access here. I put in a bit too much sugar - well, that way the new year will be sweet ;)

I'm also going to make a chicken tajine with fresh figs and honey tomorrow - it WILL be festive even if I'm alone Sad 
But:Wave 
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:05 pm

Does this look legit? Very Happy
It is now...on the street, next to my front door. The sun against the white wall easily hits 30°C which is a great temperature for bread dough to rise Very Happy
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:38 pm

It looks great---it will undoubtedly look even better after baking! How did you braid/twist the dough? My husband usually makes his Rosh Hashanah challah in a big spiral like a snail shell. Last year I saw braided round challah directions, and he made some in this shape (but not colored):
http://www.couldntbeparve.com/2012/09/round-woven-challah-tutorial/
(The above link uses colored dough to make it easier to see how the braid works)
This year, he will be back to spirals. He also kneads the raisins into the dough itself.

My daughter is baking up some Rosh Hashanah challah and says that she will make spirals just because they are easier. Last year she made friends among the Jewish Brandeis students by bringing delicious freshly baked challah to the Friday night Shabbat dinners. Her challah was much better than the commercially baked challah they used for the dinners. She used her own kosher utensils and bakeware, but was not always able to kasher the dorm oven before baking. When she could, she would kasher the oven so that students who kept stricter levels of kashrut could eat her challah too. (Probably took some years off the life of the self-cleaning oven since it is hard on the oven to use the self-cleaning cycle a lot. ) She was once really annoyed at another student who ignored her sign and used the oven before she could use the oven after kashering it.


Last edited by Debbie B. on Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:37 pm

It now looks like this, after baking:
It is quite dark, but it smells so good, it is going to be difficult to stay off it Very Happy


My oven isn't kosher, although I'd say that with its high temperatures and me cleaning it regularly it should be self-kashering?
I tried to make a six-stranded braid, and then made a tight circle of this braid...which results in a big challah-dome!
When I made challah as a teenager I just used a three-stranded braid, and didn't know there were other options. Also, at my parent's house it wasn't called challah but 'festive bread' ;)

I hope it will taste good, but I'm already so proud of making it - and it makes me so unreasonable happy to bake challah and shop for the ingredients for a Yom Tov-worthy meal that I am sure the cashier at the shop must have thought me mad for my big grin and overall happiness ;)
I love cooking and baking so this part of festivities is totally my thing, but even then I can't explain what exactly makes me so extremely good-humoured about it Very Happy
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:21 pm

Oh, it looks wonderful! I'd like to know how you'll be able to be patient enough not to taste it before Rosh Hashanah!! ;)

(just kidding; though it must smell so yummy!)

I admit I'm so excited for the High Holidays are so near! It will be my first High Holidays spent together with the Jewish community. It is very different now when I'm able to spend holidays with the community - it moves me in so many new directions, focusing new questions and a new aspects of gaining knowledge. This will really be an exquisite month! Wave 
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:32 pm

Salvia,

What a shame that you don't have someone to share your beautiful challah (and delicious too, I'm sure) and what sounds like a wonderful meal.

You reminded me that I bought a kosher tangine sauce that has been sitting in the cabinet and that we could try on the cut-up chicken that I just bought last night at the supermarket where since it is almost Rosh Hashanah, all the kosher meat is on sale and they had lots of giant briskets (a bargain at only $7/lbs, but at over 10lbs still over $70 for a huge piece of beef---and none of them small enough for my family). Strangely there was what sure looked like tongue labelled as "Strip Steak" (maybe a euphemism I'm not familiar with?).

I'm heading out now to a local small grocery store that has the best fruits and vegetables to try to look for some nice unusual fruit that we haven't eaten before or recently so that we can do the tradition wherein one has a "new fruit" so be able to say the "Shehecheyanu" blessing. I decided not to buy a pomegranate because it is just too messy!

Update: the little grocery store was filled with Orthodox and other Jews doing their shopping for Rosh Hashanah (former identifiable by their head coverings, latter by the fact that they are buying large whole briskets and talking about making matzah ball soup). For my "special fruit", I bought lychee fruit with long hairy peels like this: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Image-Lychee_fruit_Hawaii.jpg And I got a whole white fish complete with its head. It is traditional to eat a fish head, in part because Rosh = "head" in Hebrew. Last year, I was disappointed that the store did not have any whole fish or fish heads when I shopped there before the holiday. I also got a small package of pomegranate seeds, so less messy than getting the seeds out of a whole fruit. Yesterday, I bought my applies and honey. Here is a webpage explaining some of the symbolic foods I bought: http://www.bje.org.au/learning/judaism/holydays/RoshHaShanah/symbols_customs.html


Last edited by Debbie B. on Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : more about my Rosh Hashanah shopping)
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:19 am

Oh, how great it must be to have a next-door grocery selling kosher meat and other kosher products! You lucky, you ;)
Yes it is a bit strange to make a festive meal for yourself alone, but for reasons already mentioned (Judaism being not looked at very favourably here) I can't really invite people. Well that's the way it is. And I'll wish a shana tova to my cat; she gets a 'good shabbes' every friday evening too ;) *crazy cat lady*.

Thanks for the link to the symbolic foods! I didn't know about the custom of the new fruit, or I would have waited with eating the first figs! I do have new plums, those big purple ones, and I haven't eaten them yet this year. So the blessing will go to the plums! (as an aside: can you say the Shehecheyanu blessing every time you eat a seasonal fruit for the first time of the year? I more or less live off the local farmer's market, and the first time I eat a seasonal fruit is always something of an event for me: 'hurray, peaches! W00T, fresh figs!! OOH first grapes'! The market is my disneyland and it would make much sense to me to welcome new seasonable products with a blessing...they ARE such a blessing!

Back to Rosh HaShana: I bought a whole chicken for the occasion, the half of which is going into the fridge for another time. I'll have to see whether I can adequately quarter a chicken because I never did before. I went for chicken legs, but they didn't have any anymore in the quality I desire (which is free range and fed without GMO), so now I have a whole chicken!
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:51 pm

Salvia: Yes, you do get to say the Shehecheyanu blessing every time you eat a seasonal fruit for the first time of the year (where the beginning of the year is Rosh Hashanah). And you can say the appropriate food blessing for the fruit as well ("...haEitz" for fruit from trees, or ".. haAdamah" for fruits such as melons, strawberries, bananas [not a true "tree"], pineapples).
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:50 pm

Turns out that my husband decided to do the braided round challah after all. He said that it looks prettier. Here is a photo of his two round challahs for Rosh Hashanah and two regular braided challahs for Shabbat:

The Shabbat challah was used to make an "eruv tavshilin" so that we were permitted to cook during Rosh Hashanah for Shabbat since Shabbat immediately followed the holiday.

My daughter was able to use the oven of a friend who lives off campus and has a kosher kitchen to bake challah for both a Rosh Hashanah potluck and for Shabbat. For the potluck, which was dairy-vegetarian, she also made a honey-applesauce-yogurt bread.

And today observant Jews get to even out the calorie intake of the past few days by following two days of Rosh Hashanah and one day of Shabbat feasting with a fast day: Fast of Gedaliah. My husband gave a d'var Torah on Shabbat about the fast. It is a dawn to dusk fast which is usually right after Rosh Hashanah but gets post-poned to not fall on Shabbat since fast days are not observed on Shabbat, except for Yom Kippur, which does in fact fall on Shabbat this year.
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:10 am

Your challahs look beautifull!

Mine tasted lovely, and was shared with the neighbours who also really liked the taste. Challah baking: success!!

The period now between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur feels a bit strange. Like time is standing still?
The evening just after Rosh Hashana my ex called me and we had a long talk we should have had ages ago, which was healing in a way, but also works at my mind quite a bit, together with all the thoughts on the holidays and 'where do I stand' and 'what do I want to do in the new year' and... It my also be autumn kicking in, but I find myself very pensive most of the time. It is a strange time, but I do appreciate its value.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:36 pm

So you baked yours outside? How very "green" of you! I say that and now I'm wondering if it has the same meaning for those whose first language is not English. I don't know, anyway, it looks lovely.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:48 am

Dena: Salvia put her challah outside in a warm area (30 degrees centrigrade = 86 degrees Fahrenheit), to rise some more after braiding, but I'm sure she baked it in an oven.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: challah :D   Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:14 am

Ah, gotcha. I have a friend here who cooks outdoors using a box with aluminum foil.
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