challah challah

shabbat, i love you. and not just for the carb heavy dairy potlucks at synagogue, and not just for the excuse to eat ungodly amounts of buttery, honey-filled, slightly underbaked challah. although that is a big part of it.

such pleasing little dough plops

such pleasing little dough plops

i love you for the island in time. i love you for the space you offer to rest, relax, read, rejuvenate. i love you for the space to fight with each other, to thresh, discuss, learn. i love you for a whole day when the world is different, paused, gentle. even when i have a skillshare event to attend for work, packing to accomplish, or errands to take care of, on shabbas i feel a sense of the holy with me all day. a sense that in my daily life, with my daily bread, i am being invited to experience sacred space right here in this moment.

roll em thin. they can get a lot longer than you think.

roll em thin. they can get a lot longer than you think.

i tell you what, it doesn't get much more holy feeling than melted butter mixed with honey and kneaded through some yeasty yeasty dough. i appreciate judaism so much for its sense that spirit lives in the mundane-- in each bite we take, a blessing, and BOOM, the sacred. we get to feel the holy each time we snack. so, for some of us, constantly.

make two pairs. start with moving the left over the right in each pair.

make two pairs. start with moving the left over the right in each pair.

(side & completely unrelated note: have you noticed that there are literally hundreds of thousands of hashtags on instagram #carbsmakeyoufat? that is actually a tag that thousands of people have wanted to attach to their thoughts. also there is something called the thirty bananas a day diet which i find HORRIFYING to contemplate. do not know what to make of any of this.)

then, twist the middle two. go back to moving left over right in both pairs. twist central two again.

then, twist the middle two. go back to moving left over right in both pairs. twist central two again.

let's make a new hashtag: #carbsmakeyouholy.

repeat this pattern until you have an enormous challah.

repeat this pattern until you have an enormous challah.

we made two types of braids: one standard 4-thread braid, and a celtic knot. (when we used to do dinner crew on friday nights with students, we would challenge them to look up complex knots on the interwebs and try to replicate them. resulted in some epic fails and AMAZING challot.) photos below show the celtic knot process.

divide into four chunks. roll out. start with two u-shaped pieces.

divide into four chunks. roll out. start with two u-shaped pieces.

lay the other pieces over the top, weaving in and out.

lay the other pieces over the top, weaving in and out.

weave back the other way with the fourth u-shaped piece.

weave back the other way with the fourth u-shaped piece.

smush the end bits back into the shape

smush the end bits back into the shape

bake em and BOOM.

bake em and BOOM.

recipe here (from-- who else-- joan nathan)

please note: we change two things about this recipe. 1) is melting butter instead of oil. (duh.) and 2) using honey instead of sugar. (again, duh.) finally, a slight underbake never hurt anyone.