Challah Recipe | Christianity’s Jewish Roots

Challah Recipe | Christianity’s Jewish Roots

 

 

One of my favorite breads to make is Challah, Jewish Sabbath Loaf. I found this recipe in the La Leche League cookbook that I received as a wedding present in 1979. Can you tell that it’s been used a couple of times by the stains on the page? I was quite the wild child, but soon after we were married, I started seeking God and this recipe really spoke to me. Now, I understand that Challah is braided with all sorts of fancy 4 and 6 strand loaves as well, but this recipe only showed a 3 strand braid. When I saw it, a revelation exploded inside of me! This is a picture of the Trinity! Each of the 3 strands makes up a part of the whole loaf, but when it’s baked and cut apart, you can’t tell where one strand ends and the other begins. This is how God is! He is One God, made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit so united that it is impossible to separate one from the other. They are all made up of the same things, love, justice, truth, and mercy. To the person who doesn’t understand braids, it looks like there are only 2 strands, which is why we as Christians tend to focus only on the Father and the Son … so many comparisons …

Now, I understand that Challah is braided with all sorts of fancy 4 and 6 strand loaves as well, but this recipe only showed a 3 strand braid. When I saw it, a revelation exploded inside of me! This is a picture of the Trinity! Each of the 3 strands makes up a part of the whole loaf, but when it’s baked and cut apart, you can’t tell where one strand ends and the other begins. This is how God is! He is One God, made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit so united that it is impossible to separate one from the other. They are all made up of the same things, love, justice, truth, and mercy. To the person who doesn’t understand braids, it looks like there are only 2 strands, which is why we as Christians tend to focus only on the Father and the Son … so many comparisons …

The red head and I made some just before I left for Iowa, so I thought I would share it with you!

 

We mixed all the ingredients but left out about 1/2 the flour so it made a soft sponge and left it for about an hour to raise.

Then we added enough flour to make a soft dough and cut it in two. One of the things I like about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a great deal of kneading. It actually recommends adding as little flour as you can … just past the terribly sticky point.

Then we rolled one half out.

We cut it into roughly 3 equal strips.

And then rolled them into dough snakes so we could braid them. (Don’t forget to call them snakes. The kids love that!)

Then we placed it on a cookie sheet.

This recipe makes 2 large loaves of Challah but I was needing some dinner rolls for Grampa Tom’s lunches so we rolled the other loaf into rolls.

Then we set them aside to raise until double. I always start checking on them at about the 1/2 hour mark because if you let a braided loaf rise too much it tends to flatten out and look lame.

They go into the oven at 350 degrees. The rolls were done after about 15 minutes and the Challah took about 35. I check them often as they are baking. Whole wheat is difficult to tell if it’s done just by looking because of the color of the flour. I take it out and tap with my fingernail. If it’s done the crust will be firm, but it’s easy to get it too crusty. Part of it is a matter of experience, the other is your family’s tastes. I like it softer than crunchier. One tip I’ve discovered for a soft crust is to put the bread in a plastic sack while it is still slightly warm.

Challah ignited a life long interest in the Jewish roots of Christianity for me which I’m passing on to my children and grandchildren. May it ignite and/or fuel that fire in you too!

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

Lyons KS

Went to Lyons this morning to hear our nephew sing at the First Baptist Church there What a friendly church! When you walked in, there was just this atmosphere of joy permeating the place! Lots of young people too.

Jonathan has been a member there for quite some time although he is currently serving as pastor at a church in Strafford. This week, he was on vacation and had arranged to visit “home”.  He did one of his original songs during the service.  I took a video for Jonathan to put up on YouTube. He’s a very talented musician. When he gets it posted, I will share it on my FB page so be looking for it 🙂

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We went out for lunch at a locally owned Mexican restaurant called El Potrillo. We loved the food 🙂 If you should be in the area, go there and tell them Grama Sue sent you!

God Bless You All!  ~Grama Sue