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challah - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
estherchaya
estherchaya
challah
why oh why oh why oh why am I up baking challah at 1am??

beaniekins had to come over at 11pm to save me from my nervous breakdown over my six-braided challah. I could NOT get it to work. I was mixing up a step and it wasn't working. I am now a pro and no longer afraid of the six braided challah. Then again, this is how it always work. I become a pro by the end, but the next time I make challah, I break down again. WHEN will I get to declare victory over the challah? When oh when??

Current Mood: numb pathetic

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Comments
From: gingy Date: September 9th, 2005 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)
When you've made enough for your shiksa friend from Canada to eat. That's when.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've got twelve loaves at home. Granted, most of them are half-sized loaves, but I'm thinking I've got a few to spare.
From: gingy Date: September 9th, 2005 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have only had it a few times, but I really liked it. Of course, it's horribly bad for my diet...
magid From: magid Date: September 9th, 2005 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I've never done a six-braid, just a four braid. I keep telling myself I should learn, though.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Every time I've made challah I've done six braided challahs. Except once when all I made was rolls. But I have this panic attack almost every time. Mostly, I'm sure, because I just don't make it that often.
ailsaek From: ailsaek Date: September 9th, 2005 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have a cookbook that has a diagram of how to do the classic six-braid. I was actually getting pretty good at it and not needing the diagram about one time in three when I had to give up baking it. (David has celiac and GF challah doesn't braid well - or at all.)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've got an excellent diagram in the Spice and Spirit cookbook (though I didn't use a recipe from there). But I just could NOT wrap my brain around it. I had in my head that it was done a particular way, which meant the diagram didn't match. The diagram, of course, was correct and I was the one who was crazy.

Oh sheesh on the celiac. That's rough. Well, I mean, I'm sure it's not so hard to adjust once you get used to it. I certainly have successfully cooked GF meals for people, but I don't have to do it every day. Then again, I suppose some people think keeping kosher is complicated and it's just not to me anymore.
real_bethy From: real_bethy Date: September 9th, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Everyone has a "Spice and Spirit" book but me...what is this book? What is it about? Where do I get one?

*whines* I wanna be cool too!!!!!
kressel From: kressel Date: September 9th, 2005 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)



Spice and Spirit is a HUGE kosher cookbook which you can probably find at any Jewish bookstore. It's expensive, but there are loads of good recipes in there. I like their classic challah, whole wheat challah, blueberry cake, chicken in wine and mushrooms, and Yerushalmi kugel.
real_bethy From: real_bethy Date: September 9th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh! That sounds so good! I will have to save my pennies up for that one. It sounds like it's worth it! Thank you!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am not overly fond of the book as a cookbook, per se. The recipes tend to be bland...only using salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder for the most part (with obvious exceptions). And a lot of the recipes are very poorly written. But if you're at all instinctive with cooking, you can get past those things and find some real gems in there. More importantly, it's got all sorts of information relevant to keeping a kosher home... basics of kashrus, laws of taking challah, instructions on braiding 3, 4, and 6 braided challahs, information about the holidays and so on.

That, and their golden potato kugel is excellent and never fails.
real_bethy From: real_bethy Date: September 9th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm pretty instinctive with food, so it's good to know that there is room for experimenting with these recipes. It's harder to get me to follow a recipe to the letter than it is to encourage me to play around with it, anyway!:)

Mmmm....golden potato kugel! That sounds almost worth the price of the book alone (almost!).
kressel From: kressel Date: September 9th, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)



I couldn't learn from that diagram either. I never quite got the 6-braid right until my sister-in-law demonstrated it. i think it's the only way to learn.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
the thing is, I've done it dozens of times. But every single time I make a batch of challah, I stare at those six strands of challah and hyperventilate. I suppose if I made challah every week, I'd remember from one time to the next, but I just never find the time (though I'm happy to say I did this week). Once someone talks me through or demonstrates the pattern I have no problem for the remaining loaves....until next time.
kressel From: kressel Date: September 9th, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)



One over, one down the middle. I remember that every time.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's all because the very first step is different than the rest. I just can't wrap my brain around that for the first loaf of each batch, for whatever reason.
kressel From: kressel Date: September 9th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)



Just a simple cross over each other.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, I know what the step is. It's that it throws me off in subsequent steps. I keep expecting to go to opposite ends again.

I don't actually need the pattern explained, as I managed to make about 10 of them last night. I was just pointing out that I seem to have an odd mental block that manifests itself between challah batches.
ichur72 From: ichur72 Date: September 9th, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am afraid of the six-braided challah. I even figured out a different way to braid the six strands because every time I tried to do it the usual way, my head would begin swimming.
kressel From: kressel Date: September 9th, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)



Declare your victory now. I didn't do a bit of Shabbos prep yesterday. I was depressed at the news that my son misbehaved in English class and so instead did the intelligent thing of sitting at the computer until late at night, only to resume that place after the kids got to school this morning, debating all the while whether I should bake or just use what I've got in the freezer. I was leaning toward the latter, clicked on "Friends" and there it was, your posts about challah. So you gave me the encouragement to get off my you-know-what and bake. And guess what? I feel much better now. (Also, the English principal called to say he's sure that that the warning my son received will prevent further misbehavior, so that helped, too.)

Gadol ha ma'aseh yoser min ha oseh! You get the mitzvah of your challah and the mitzvah of inspiring me.
kressel From: kressel Date: September 9th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)



Oh! I haven't made the bracha yet, so I'll keep you in mind, for Julian and for future kids.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad to hear that I inspired someone because right now I'm pretty disappointed in myself. Bah.

thank you for including us in your brachos.
magid From: magid Date: September 9th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why should you be disappointed in yourself? You made challah, in beautiful six-braids, in addition to lovely Shabbat meals. You make sure everyone is fed and content.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh, because I just didn't do half the preparations I expected to. And it's not an exciting meal worthy of a shabbos feast, I suppose. No soup, no fish... not a whole lot on the plate. Probably better that I keep it simple, but it seems so weird compared to my normal spreads.
magid From: magid Date: September 9th, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not exciting to you, maybe, but it sounds great to me, simple as it is. I mean, different weeks have more/less time for making fantabulous meals, and you do the best with what you have. And I think you do that, so don't knock yourself, 'k?

(Frankly, though as a host there are times I wish I had a nicer meal, I've figured out that as a guest, if there's enough food it doesn't matter so much if it's a small portion of a dozen different things or larger portions of four things.)
kressel From: kressel Date: September 9th, 2005 06:31 pm (UTC) (Link)



I don't understand why. I'm always proud of myself when I bake challos.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: September 9th, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm proud of myself for baking the challahs. I'm disappointed in myself with regard to the rest of my preparations.
kressel From: kressel Date: September 9th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)



I think that baking challah does mean taking short-cuts some other way. I don't make such elaborate recipes as you regularly serve.
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