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Baking khallah ... and yes, this is spiritual, too! - Page 2

post #21 of 41

Gut Voch!

Anyone who bakes challah the day after Pesach, which also happens to be Erev Shabbos, is my hero! I couldn't even get it together enough to cook much for Shabbos (only 1 dish), so we went to our downstairs neighbors. Thank G-d for them! It was all I could do to box up the Pesachdik kelim (vessels, i.e. pots and pans, dishes, etc.).

I bake challah maybe a couple times a month. Usually I do all whole grain. They aren't very traditional. When I use multiple grains (and no white flour or gluten), the dough can become quite difficult to shape into braids, so I've just given up on that and make round loaves. If I use all whole wheat bread flour, though, I do braid them.

I also have the Spice and Spirit Cookbook. I wonder how whole wheat flour compares to the tables they have on the amounts needed to separate challah. I guess I need to get a scale, so I can make sure I am separating when I should be.

I don't have much advice on good whole wheat challah recipes. I think one just has to experiment. I don't use eggs, and often use apple juice concentrate instead of honey or sugar, so I use tons of substitutions, AND I often don't measure my ingredients, so I can't give a RECIPE.
post #22 of 41
Thread Starter 
So last week (or was it 2 wks ago, the 3am khallah-baking) I froze two khallahs worth of dough. Defrosted it last night, and me & DD sang Shabbos songs and kneaded it this morning ...

So a question. Should it have risen again? It was still cold from the freezing. And if it doesn't rise again, will it be ... well, flat?

Happy Pesakh Sheini, ladies ... remember, everyone deserves a second chance ...
post #23 of 41
Oy, Amy, I have tried to use defrosted dough a bunch of times, and it never works for me. Sorry I can't offer any suggestions, but I would love to read about anybody's success stories. I always thought if Kineret could do it, so could I, but it never works.
post #24 of 41

Anyone? We need Challah-dough-freezing tips, please.
post #25 of 41
Thread Starter 

It was hard as a rock. And I do mean granite, not shale or any namby-pamby rock like that. Hard. Almost broke the khallah knife ... :LOL

Oh well. At least we had a few store-boughts in the freezer, just for the "in cases" ...

Good vokh, ladies ...

post #26 of 41
I have frozen dough. As far as I recall I did let it rise after defrosting. I think you need to allow it to get warm, to reactivate the yeast.

Amy, I am so sorry about your challah.

Dh doesn't like wholeweat challah, even half and half. I think I will be baking all white from now on

post #27 of 41
Thread Starter 

It's 5 a.m. and have just taken out this week's batch. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous.

The whole thing went so differently tonight, including the fact of baby's teething, so I had him in the sling while doing the original mixing of the dough ... so not only was I keeping my kavanah by regular "l'kavod Shabbos kodesh," I sang the whole time. (Thank you, R' Shlomo z'l, for teaching us so many songs to sing with our children!!! )

Wow. Now all I have to do is wait to eat them. And the house smells like Shabbos ...

post #28 of 41

OH YAY AMY!!!!!!

I am so happy for you.

Have an awesome shabbos!!

post #29 of 41

hey, i guess there are a few ways of braiding 6 braids.

Originally posted by BelovedBird
Amy, 6 braids are easy (I think) like this: lay out the six strands, then do this

-first right over two
-second from left all the way over (over all)
-first left over two
-second friom right all the way over (over all)
this doesn't sound familiar and i do sixes almost every week. other times i do four. i actually just put up the dough, it's rising now. dd is gonna help me bake.
post #30 of 41

tip for freezing challah dough: put in double the amount of yeast. it freezes nicely and defrosts very well this way.
post #31 of 41
Thread Starter 
chani, BB's "formula" finally worked for me, it just took intense concentration

Do you have a different one? I'm feeling so like "I am Jewish mother hear me roar" :LOL so would be game to try it ...

Anyway, left a glob of dough for DD to play with/bake, time to get it out and get her doing something ...

Good Shabbos, ladies!!!!!!!

post #32 of 41
Amy - did you make your glorious loaves this week with frozen dough?

Is using double the amount of yeast the only way to get frozen loaves to work?
post #33 of 41
There is a great poem that was made into a song about making challah. I'll see if I can find the words, but part of it is:
"What's in the space between these braids
Of these two challos I've just made
How much of me is hidden there?
Between the braids my thoughts appear...
Shabbos kodesh, shabbos koddesh
Open up my eyes
Let me see my work is holy
Let me stop chasing lies.
Hands knead the dough,
Let me see my work is holy
Raising high what seems so low."

And with that I bid you all - "Good Shabbos!!!"
post #34 of 41
I make challah every week and I never have been able to do a six braid.

One thing that I sort of fell into that I love is giving homemade challah away to less observant Jewish friends. they always talk bout how good it tasts, how good it smells. It just makes me feel good to spread a little shabbos around.
post #35 of 41
Thread Starter 
Speaking of spreading Shabbos around ...

What do you do with your crumbs post-Shabbos?

We don't throw out any Shabbos khallah crumbs (which I know a lot of people don't do; I'm just starting with an explanation for those who don't know ... ), we save them all ... and DH religiously takes the kids on Sunday morning to feed the ducks & pigeons & squirrels with them. Sharing a little Shabbos with our local wildlife ... (& giving me an hour to visit MDC :LOL)

Also, as someone told us once, khallah crumbs were part of the Shabbos seudah, so how can you just throw them away in the garbage? Crumbs of kedusha (holiness) ...

In the wintertime the "feeding the birds & squirrels" ritual particularly feels to the children like they're doing something important, too ...

post #36 of 41

yup, we feed the birds with challah crumbs and leftover challah. dd loves watching them, and talks about how she made challah for them.
post #37 of 41
I really love the spiritual idea of not throwing out the crumbs. I haven't heard of it before but it makes a lot of sense (not exactly the same, but perhaps similar to the idea of not simply throwing away the placenta).

I recently heard, though, that feeding bread to the birds actually isn't good for their health. Two reasons I heard: 1. it can explode their stomaches and 2. it helps to spread disease.

I have no idea if this is rumor or not--anyone else hear of such a thing?

I have tried to save leftover challah to make bread pudding.

What happens to the crumbs that are left on people's plates and mixed in with food? Do those get saved too?
post #38 of 41
Originally posted by RachelMolly
I recently heard, though, that feeding bread to the birds actually isn't good for their health. Two reasons I heard: 1. it can explode their stomaches and 2. it helps to spread disease.
If this were true, I think that people would be rushing to feed the pigeons in NYC bread crumbs!!!

Seriously, the only problem I know of is feeding some animals (notably fish) matza, b/c it absorbs water and expands. I know someone who tried to feed an aquarium full of fish matza meal during Pesach. Yup, dead fishies...
post #39 of 41
Thread Starter 
Well, then the birds know what's up. Because DH & the kids tried to feed the birds matza during this past Khol ha'Moed, and the birds ... NYC pigeons, natch ... refused. Wouldn't touch the stuff.

I've never heard that about bread/khallah and birds. I don't think it's correct.

Crumbs that get wet/mixed with stuff on plates doesn't get saved. That's difficult. The idea isn't to be difficult.
post #40 of 41
I thought I'd do a little online research and found this on the pigeon.org website:

"Pigeons are grain eaters. While park pigeons will eat bread, most domestic birds have been raised on a multi-grain mixture and have never seen a slice of it. In fact, they would likely ignore it as possible food. Instead of bread, you might try feeding them something else from around the house. Popcorn (maize), rice, split peas, barley, buckwheat (kasha), canary seed, etc., are all good first options to feed a lost bird with. THESE GRAINS SHOULD NOT BE COOKED OR POPPED BUT FED RAW. Water should also be provided since pigeons normally drink immediately after eating."

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