Friday, September 7, 2012

Well-rounded challah?

I was so excited when I saw that Shoshana of Couldn’t be Parve (one of my favourite kosher food blogs!) had posted this Round Woven Challah Tutorial.  She used beautiful coloured dough – there’s even a video.

In previous years, when it comes to round challahs, I have done one of two things:  made a very long  EVEN braid (normally, I make the braids FAT in the middle, but that doesn’t work for round) and then just wrapped it in on itself.   Or… um… just made a big, fat snake, and wrapped it up like a snail.  Easy!  (Plus, that’s what my mother does, so it’s not only easy, it’s a TRADITION!) (click the link above & scroll down to see both models)

I’ve always thought of myself as a klutzy,  non-dextrous person, but the truth is that my regular 4-braids come so easily now that I am starting to think maybe I just needed practice all along.  (I have been partly emboldened along the way by various paper-folding things, like Curious George paper boats and these butterflies.)

So when I saw Shoshana’s tutorial, I thought - “why the heck not?!”  I mean, I won’t wreck her tute for you, but I will share a sneak preview (properly linked, with credit, borrowed for review purposes only) and tell you she makes it look TOTALLY simple.

So why the heck not, right?

Well, because I’m a klutz, that’s why.  And because I had already made my dough, which is one of my super-sloppy, no-knead, ultra-wet doughts that produces challah that feels like cake, but which lacks the substance needed for those truly chashuvah (chashuvah = important / substantial) braids or designs.

Here are the snakes.  This is after TWO stretch-and-fold operations, and believe me, it’s still totally sloppy and trying to melt into the tabletop.  Call it Extreme Baking.  The snakes are still a little fat in the middle, but much more elongated than usual.


Now, you lay them in a cross-hatch design:


And over, over, over, forwards and back (watch the tutorial!) until just the ends are left, which you bang and pinch together.  First one, not too shabby…


So I got overconfident with the second one, and tucked the ends under too much, leaving this weird blobbish look on top.  Ugh.


So I figured it out, kind of… when tucking the ends, you tuck them on TOP of the over-under bits, not THROUGH into the centre, or else they’ll be visible. 

Before tucking: isn’t this a beautiful shape in its own right?


Now, tuck… on TOP, not THROUGH:


All tucked in!


Now, flip the challah:


…Aaaaand repeat.  (see the ugly lumpy one at the bottom right side???)


… and done!


Okay, still pretty klutzy… but hopefully, delicious!

(and YES, that is a laundry hamper with a rack perched on it… hard to find table space around here on a homschool / cooking Friday!)

How do you do round challahs?  Lazy way?  Fancy way?  Something in between???


  1. These look so great! I'm glad the tutorial was helpful.

  2. Mara from Kosher on a Budget posted a video last year showing a very similar technique, and I tried it this year for the first time. I really could not believe how well it worked, and with so little stress and confusion during the process. This is a keeper!


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