The ugliest challah


I had such high hopes… but it turned out so, so badly.  Well, tasty enough.  But UGLY as sin.

It all started with a video that showed a beautiful, trim Israeli lady making the most gorgeous braids with the kind of ease that you only acquire after having made thousands of them.

I watched it.  Naomi Rivka watched it.  We were inspired – hooray!

As soon as I started to pull of this complicated six-braid, everything began to go horribly wrong, starting with the ginormous octopus contraption you see at the top of this post.

From there, I created a not-too-shabby looking braided thingy…


And then tucked it together to resemble – um, a mummified dog?


Yuck, says Naomi Rivka.


Meanwhile, she herself was inspired by another technique she’d seen in the video to create a round challah, wrapped with a band to make it more regal.  Beautiful!

IMG_00005204 IMG_00005205 

Just to make the situation even more ridiculous, it turned out there wasn’t room on my (entire-oven-sized) baking pan for both of our challahs… so, ever the martyr, I sacrificed the (nonexistent) beauty of my own to give hers the space it needed.


After baking, she had a gorgeous, Rosh Hashanah-worthy creation, and I had something that more closely resembling a six-string guitar or the footprint a filthy giant might make, stomping through the sand.


Fortunately, the sting of failure was tempered a little by the first honeycake muffin tops of the year…


Mmm… honeycake muffin tops.  The sweet smell that proves Elul is in the air.

Speaking of Elul, did I mention I have been writing books?  It’s as good an excuse as any not to blog regularly, and if you’d like to see some you might be interested in, in case you’re shopping for kids’ picture books for Jewish holidays.

If you’d like to hear from me more often, I’ve included a signup below so you can get on my mailing list.  No obligation, just tons of (very, very occasional) fun.

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


  1. That's an extravagant braid, I will have to try it! I've been reading some of your challah posts - clearly I'm not the only one fascinated with challah. I recently had success with a 100% sourdough challah too, but it took more than a year to get there!

    1. It's definitely one I want to revisit... just... maybe not right away. :-)
      Good luck!


Post a Comment

Okay, guys... I'm turning moderation OFF on all my blogs. I will be patrolling for spam, so play nice!

Know what else you're gonna love?

Baking in Israel? Beware of FAKE condensed milk

Super-Easy Thick, Spreadable, Bakeable DIY Cream Cheese in Israel

Easy, tender, and affordable roast in Israel… yes, it IS possible!

More delicious kosher morsels!