May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.
Okay, that taken care of, this was my first attempt at challah. We were supposed to make it in school, but somehow didn’t get to it. Making the dough itself isn’t much different than making any other enriched bread dough. However, because it’s a traditional Jewish bread, there are certain dietary rules to be kept in mind if you’re keeping your challah true to tradition. This usually means no dairy in the bread. Ruth provided some great information about the history of challah and what the different braids and shapes symbolize. (She also included videos of braiding techniques which I tried to watch, but since my laptop doesn’t seem to like video I finally gave up in frustration.) Of the recipes provided, I went with the Easy Challah mostly because it was a smaller quantity. I do want to try the recipe for Honey White Challah at some point though. It sounds really good and my braiding skills can use a lot more practice.