When prospective parents tour our school on Fridays, their first comments are consistently about the wonderful smell of the challah that is baking in our kitchen!  While we all enjoy the aroma of and eating challah, at TCEE, it is the process that comes before the product.  Even our youngest toddlers explore the math, science, fine motor and sensory experience of making challah from start to finish.  It is exciting to watch the children  progress from initially watching their teachers measure, pour, stir, shape and bake the challah to being able to fully participate, and the pride that comes from creating their own loaves. By the time they reach the oldest class, not only do they make their own loaves, they also make extra to distribute to TOS staff who are not in the classroom.  At our recent Back-to-School coffee, Naomi Gurt Lind, the temple’s director of membership and engagement has generously shared her challah recipe with parents so they can share in the experience at home.  The tradition of the upcoming High Holy Days is to make the challah round and to add raisins.

Overnight Challah Recipe

1 c. warm water
2 1⁄4 t. yeast
1⁄4 c. sugar
1⁄2 t. table salt
3 c. bread flour
1⁄4 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. canola oil
1 T. honey
1 egg

Thursday night: Dissolve yeast in warm water in a medium bowl.  Add salt and sugar and mix.  Add the whole wheat flour and half of the bread flour and mix.  Add the oil, honey and egg and mix.  Add the rest of the flour and mix until the dough starts to hang together.  You can add a bit more flour as needed to get a good texture.  You want it to hold together, but not be stiff. Cover the bowl with a wet towel and refrigerate overnight. Friday morning: Braid the dough on a lined baking sheet and let it rest for 45 minutes to an hour.  Preheat the over to 375 after 45 minutes and place roasting pan on the bottom rack.  Brush with egg wash (egg yolk and a splish of water) and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  When the oven reaches temperature, add a cup or so of water to the roasting pan and put the challah in the oven (middle rack or the one above).  Bake for 9-10 minutes a side.  If it trembles when you take it out, it needs to bake longer.  Put a foil tent over it if it is browning too quickly.  Makes two slender challot.  You can double the recipe (just use a bigger bowl) and make three more generous loaves.