Included below are some options to engage the women in your community about the importance and spirituality that encompasses the Shabbat. Each of the options below can be specifically tailored to your community or family!
BASIC CHALLAH RECIPE Makes approximately 4 loaves
- 4 packages dry yeast
- 3 ½ Cups warm water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 13-14 cups flour
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 egg
- 1 Cup vegetable oil
- Poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 beaten egg for egg wash
- Add a teaspoon of honey for asweet touch
1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water and let sit until it dissolves. 2. Add sugar, salt and half the flour. Mix well. 3. Stir in the eggs and oil; add the remaining flour slowly. 4. Turn out dough onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes. If dough is too moist, add a little more flour. 5. When ready to rise, put dough in a large bowl, smear top with oil, cover, and let rise for 1 hour. 6. Separate small “challah portion” of dough. 7. Braid remaining dough into a loaf and let rise for 1 hour. Brush with egg glaze; sprinkle with seeds if desired. 8. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 1 hour or until golden brown.
HALF-WHOLE WHEAT CINNAMON CHALLAH Submitted by Meira Albert
- 3 pack dry yeast
- 2 Cups warm water
- Overflowing ½ cup sugar
- 3 Cups whole-wheat flour
- ½ Cup oil
- ½ Cup honey
- 1 egg
- 3 Cups Regular Flour
- Cinnamon and Sugar Mix
1. Combine yeast, warm water, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes until bubbly. 2. Add 1 Cup whole-wheat flour to yeast mixture and mix, add remaining 2 Cups whole-wheat flour and mix. 3.Add the oil, honey and egg, and mix. 4. Add 1 Cup regular flour and mix, and then add remaining 2 Cups regular flour and mix. 5. Place dough ball in clean, oiled bowl and cover; set the bowl in a warm dry place to rise for 3 hours. 6. Punch dough and set aside to rise for an additional 1/2 hour. 7. Knead and braid dough as desired. 8. If dough is too gooey add more whole-wheat flour as needed. 9. Spray pam on pans and then sprinkle bottom and sides with cinnamon sugar mix. 10. Bake at 350 degrees for a 1/2 hr. or until desired doughiness.
- Don’t kill your yeast with water that is too hot. The water should be tepid. If it feels like the same temperature as your skin, it’s fine.
- Try substituting a cup of honey for the sugar.
- Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the liquid ingredients for a richer, ‘eggier’ look without the cholesterol.
- Don’t skimp on the salt called for in the recipe. Along with the yeast, sugar and water, it’s an important part of the chemical process that allows the dough to rise properly.
- Don’t rush the rising process. The first rising takes longer than the second; cover your dough with a thick cotton napkin or towel, and place in a warm location. A sunny window, warm hearth, or stovetop is a good choice. Or heat your oven and turn off, then place your bowl in the still-warm oven with the door open.
- To freeze, pop hot challahs into paper bags. Put the paper bags into plastic freezer bags and twist tie.
- To thaw challahs, remove from bags. Once thawed, you can heat in the oven for 10 minutes for a just baked flavor and texture.
Invite a local Rebbetzin or host a scholar-in-residence for the women of the community and discuss an important topic!
- The Importance of Candle Lighting
- The Significance of Challah for Women
- Preparing a Stress-Free Shabbat
- Why Cover Your Hair?
Is your synagogue/ community hosting a women’s lecture? Tell us more! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject Line ‘ Shabbat 2014’!