If you’re looking to expand your palate and broaden family’s dinner menu, bread probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, there are recipes that could change that and make bread the first thing you think of when meal planning.

Taly Bialostocki, a local Jewish mother, joined us in the studio today. She showed us how we can create our own challah bread and develop a deeper appreciation for Jewish traditions and practices.

8 strand braided Challah bread and Jewish customs and traditions
Challah Bread

Challah Bread Dough Ingredients: 

1 packet active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons) 

1¼ cups warm water

2 eggs

⅓ cup sugar (can be scaled up or down for more or less sweetness: ½ cup to ¼ cup) 

¼ cup oil (can be scaled up to attain desired dough texture: to ½ cup)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla (optional) 

5-5 ½ cups flour

Decoration:

1 egg, beaten

Sesame seeds 

Directions:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water according to instructions on the packet. 
  2. Add eggs, sugar, oil and salt (and vanilla if using) to the warm water and yeast. 
  3. Slowly combine wet mixture with the flour. 
  4. Knead dough until it has a smooth texture (6-9 minutes). 
  5. Form dough into a large ball, coat with oil, and place dough in an oiled bowl. 
  6. Cover the bowl of dough with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place in the kitchen (e.g. on the counter or in a microwave that is not in use); the dough should rise until at least doubled in size (at least 90 minutes). Letting dough continue to rise for several extra hours can help achieve a fluffier texture. 
  7. After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into strands for braiding. 
  8. Lay strands parallel and pinch at the top. 
  9. To braid a 3-strand braid: Cross right strand over the center stand so what was the right strand becomes the center strand. Then cross left strand over the center strand to become the center. Repeat “right strand to center” and “left strand to center” over and over until the full length of the strands has been braided. 
  10. Allow the braided loaf to rise again for ~45 minutes. Paint the face of the loaf with beaten egg, so the loaf has a shiny coating. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for decoration. 
  11. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. If halving recipe, reduce time, check loaf for doneness after ~15 minutes. 

We’ve been celebrating diversity in food all week long!

How to make Gỏi Cuốn, Vietnamese spring rolls

The flavors of Western Africa from Fatu’s African Market

A lesson in Mexican cooking: Tamales

Tabouli salad: Ashley’s Lebanese family favorite

Making challah bread and learning about Jewish traditions with Taly Bialostocki and how to fight anti Semitism by appreciating culture
Making challah bread and learning about Jewish traditions with Taly Bialostocki