Food Friday–Challah baking secrets edition

If I were interested in writing a cookbook I suppose I would organize every thought I had about a topic, say challah in one place.  Given that I write about topics as  I’m thinking about them I realize that learning how to bake challah from me is like learning how to do it from a friend if you hang out with them as they bake. given that I actually know most of my readers it’s like sitting on a kitchen stool as I make challah week after week.



This week’s wisdom is about the early stages of making challah.   Many years ago  after taking a bit bite of my challah, my father in law mentioned that he thought that the challah he was eating was the ready to bake Kinneret  frozen challah.


I was insulted and said that I didn’t start with a pre made frozen dough but began with water.

challa baking (2)


I add about 1 1/4 tsp of yeast and then feed the yeast.

challa baking (3)


The yeast got two forms of food, a teaspoon of flour.

challa baking (4)


And them a blob of honey.challa baking (5)

Then it’s good to do a small task. I put a load of wash into the washing machine.  You would wipe down your kitchen counters or wash the breakfast dishes or check your email.


When you are done with your small task, your yeast will be bubbly.

challa baking (6)


At this point, I add spices to the challah. I grind up coriander because the manna in the desert was supposed to taste like coriander. I find it hard to find ground corinader so I use my coffee grinder to grind it up. Here it is before grinding.

challa baking (8)

And after.

challa baking (9)


The other spices are added  just for pleasure. Cardamom is just heavenly in baked goods.challa baking (1)challa baking (11)challa baking (12)challa baking (13)

Whisking the rest of the ingredients into the challah dough.

challa baking (14)

It’s both the spices and the hanging around time that make  the challah wonderful.



Shabbat Shalom!!!


  1. I used to get ground coriander, mow I grind my own. It tastes so much fresher and almost lemony. He thought it tasted like the frozen challah? He obviously has no taste buds.

  2. I excuse my father in law...he ate my mother in law's cooking for nearly 60 years.


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