Before I had kids, Friday nights used to be movie nights accompanied with some nice wine and what ever takeout food we felt like (usually Persian or Thai), unwinding from a hectic week. Having 2 kids made things a LITTLE different. What stayed the same was that feeling of coziness, and the ‘letting go’ after along and active week, oh, and the wine of course.
We try to keep our Fridays as easy as possible. We mostly spend the afternoon at home. I am in the kitchen with a big plan for an elaborated dinner. The girls play, and they argue, and draw, and then they realize I am making something exciting in the kitchen so they join in. both of them sitting on my 4’ foot long counter. And they spill, and they giggle, and argue some more.
And then comes baking time, our new challenge is baking a Challa. The dough smells so delicious, for a second I can imagine my self standing in my grandmother’s kitchen. The flour is everywhere. Ori is eating the dough, while Zoe is trying to concentrate on her braiding, and I have to guard the chocolate chips and the raisins so they will be some left for the Challa. The girls usually braid few Challas, some are extra small and they call them “the babies”, Ori insists of having an Abba Challa, and if I get really lucky there is even an Ima Challa with raisins.
This is a recipe I haven’t tried yet, but I just got it from my mom who got it from my aunt Rivka, who is the most incredible cook, she got it from a very nice religious woman in Israel. So it must be really good.
Aunt Rivka’s Challa:
1 kilo (4 ½ cups) Flour
1 flat tbsp. Salt
3 tbsp. Sugar
50 grm Yeast
½ cup Oil
2 cups Luke-warm water
Lots of memories
In a big bowl create a mountain from the flour, dig a hole in the middle, like a volcano, add the yeast, sugar , and oil in the middle, mix together, Slowly adding the water. Sprinkle flour onto the dough and knead with a closed fist for about 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a towel; leave the dough to rise until it doubles in size (for approximately two hours). Then take the dough and roll it into 6 long tubes. Separate and braid three tubes together to make 2 loaves. Beat an egg and baste the top of each loaf (makes the Challa shiny). Place in oven on a flat, nonstick pan for approx 25 minutes- until golden on top.
You may sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds on top of the egg before baking.
We usually add the chocolate chips and the raisins while braiding the Challas.
let me know if you have any questions...