No matter how many years go by, how many generations, some things never change. I love these things that keep me a part of the historical chain. Moments such as those of a mother and her daughter, passing forward the secrets of her kitchen. Those secretes will remain forever in their hearts.
Shabbat is the holy day of the week in traditional Jewish life. Naturally, kitchen activities are all around it. And what is more symbolic than fresh, homemade Challah to bless the weekend?
Some communities have a tradition of baking Challaot (plural of challah) before giving birth as a sign of good luck. In the Soviet Union, the government led to an almost complete obliteration of Jewish traditions. In my family, as in many others, not many traditions were left. But now, being a grownup in Israel, I am rejuvenating old traditions, to be passed over to the next generation. And perhaps because we live in a digital and innovative world, there is nothing more heart-warming than a thousand years old tradition, mother and daughter, making the dough, and the smell of freshly baked challah next to the Shabbat candles.
Here is my recipe for spelt and onion Challah:
500 gr white wheat flour
500 gr spelt flour
1 Tbs salt
150 gr sugar
80 ml vegetable oil
2 Tbs dry yeast
480 ml water
2 big onions
4 Tbs of vegetable oil
Mix yeast, sugar, oil, egg, and water and leave for 10 minutes.
Add the flours and salt.
Knead well for a few minutes. If you feel the need, add a bit more water (up to 20 ml).
Let rise for 1-2 hours.
While the dough is rising, slice onions into half circles and fry until golden. Add some salt. If you add a spoon of flour to the onions you will get a more crispy texture.
Heat the oven to 180c.
Cut the dough into 50 gr pieces each, roll to make long “snakes”. Design the form you want and add fried onions in between.
Place on a tray layered with baking paper and let rise for at least 20 minutes.
Before baking you can also glaze it with some egg, or tea.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Eat fresh! If I have any leftovers after Shabbat, I cut them into small pieces and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. This makes awesome croutons that are great as a quick breakfast snack!
Shabbat Shalom and spread this love