Tag Archives: challah

Rosh Hashana Menus

We’re out for the two day meals, but that still leaves two evening meals to cook for. Here are my menus:

Rosh Hashana Night 1

Challah
Apples and Honey plus All Simanim
Gefilte Fish w/ Tomato mushroom sauce
Hearty Vegetable Soup
Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sage & Chestnut stuffing
Homemade cranberry sauce
Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows
Roast potatoes
Steamed Green beans
Sorbet / lemon cake / fruit pie / cinnamon buns …..

Night 2

Challah
Gefilte Fish
Minestrone Soup
Meatloaf
Mashed Potatoes
Chicken Nuggets
Tzimmes
Fresh Garden Salad
Sorbet / lemon cake / fruit pie….

Cinnamon Buns

This calls for using 1/3 of my challah dough recipe. I worked it out here for you, in case you don’t want to make cinnamon buns at the same time as challah. I generally make a huge batch of dough and bake challahs and buns and babka at the same time.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 lbs of flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar (add at least ½ cup more if whole wheat flour is used)
  • 1 1/3 tbsps of dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 1 1/3 cups of warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 tbsp salt
  • Pam
  • Lots of love

How to:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Pour the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre.  Place dry yeast into well.  Add 1/3 Tbsp of sugar and 1/3 cup of warm water and 1/3 tbsp of flour to the center well.  Let it bubble up for 5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of salt around the edges of flour

Add 1/3 cup of sugar to the flour

Add 1/3 cup of oil to the middle

Add 1 beaten egg to the middle

Add 1 cup warm water to the middle

Mix all together until its desired consistency, I use my hands once they have been thoroughly washed, knead it for ten minutes and let rise for 20-30 mins.

Punch down a 2nd time, knead for another 10 minutes and let rise 20-30 mins.

After the dough has risen, use your fingers to shape and stretch it out to an oblong or square shape. You can also use a rolling pin. Doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect. Spray the dough with a light mist of Pam. Mix a cup of sugar with a decent helping of ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mix over the dough. You can add raisins too if that floats your boat. Roll up tight. Use sharp knife and cut 1.5 inch sections and place one by one in oblong pan, until the pan is filled. Let rise 30 minutes and bake 30 minutes. When cooled, drizzle with icing.

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My Awesome Boys!!

It’s Friday, a day that I traditionally spend in the kitchen, whipping up delicious food for Shabbat – chicken soup and home baked challahs etc. My boys have hungry tummies and very much appreciate my cooking. (It’s all the extra love I put in). Poor KoD doesn’t get to enjoy my Shabbat cooking very often, but soon enough that will change and I will be chasing him out of the kitchen too to stop him from “taste testing” like the boys do.

We like to have our house clean for Shabbat – so that we can welcome the Sabbath Queen in the right spirit. Usually I have laundry going at the same time as I am cooking – and once I am done cooking the kitchen gets scrubbed.

But we have a lovely sized apartment and no cleaning help. So that means that all the boys have to pitch in whenever asked. It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. Growing up we had a chore list, and it rotated. That way there was a fair division of labour. I am not as organized as my mum was, so it’s always a little different. But the boys know better than to complain. Sometimes they will collaborate on chores to get them done quicker.

Squiggy likes to clean the bathrooms. I don’t know why, but I can see he has pride in a job well done. I hate hate hate cleaning the boys’ bathroom. Those of you with sons will understand why. So, that has become his job by default. A funny – today he felt a little lazy and I could see he needed motivation. I told him he’d better use some elbow grease. He looks under the sink – Ima, where’s the elbow grease??

Lenny gets to do the living room / dining room and does a great job too (when he remembers to actually move the furniture and sweep under it). He also loves to go to the store for me to pick up items that have been too heavy for me to carry, or that I forgot.

They are all dab hands at folding laundry and putting it away. The oldest two even know how to work the wash machine. HockeyFan loves to wash the dishes, and this afternoon he organized the refrigerator – apparently he put the yogurts in alphabetical order. He always asks me what else he can do to help.

ChatterBox is only 7 and as such I am not expecting too much. He gets to match up the socks, and organize his toys, and put away his Lego. Taking the recycling down to the garage is his job, and he gets to set up the candlesticks for Friday night. He loves to set the table for the Shabbat meals and does a fantastic job. The kids all take it in turns to help me serve the meal, and to clean up. They fight about whose turn it is to help. “It’s not fair, Ima, he helped you last week. Please can it be my turn?” Sometimes they will insist that I remain seated for the whole meal, so they can serve me.

It’s now 330pm and I am exhausted. There is one more load of laundry to be folded, and then I think I will take a nap. The house is sparkling, the aroma of delicious food is wafting through the apartment, and soon we will be showered and dressed in our Shabbat finery to welcome Shabbat with the lighting of my candles.

I am so blessed – I have the best boychikles in the world.

Shabbat Shalom.

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Challah Recipe

Ingredients

One whole bag or 5lbs  of flour (can do half white, half whole wheat if you want)

1+ cups sugar (add at least ½ cup more if whole wheat flour is used)

2 packs of dry yeast which is equivalent to around 4 tsps.

1 cup of oil

4 cups of warm water (if whole wheat flour is used you might need ½ cup more later)

3 eggs

2 tbsp salt

Lots of love

How to:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Pour the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.  Place dry yeast into well.  Add 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1 cup of warm water and 1 tbsp of flour to the center well.  Let it bubble up for 5 minutes. (the kids love watching this – good chance for chemistry lesson)

Add 2 tbsps of salt around the edges of flour (salt shouldn’t mix with the yeast)

Add 1 cup of sugar to the flour

Add 1 cup of oil to the middle

Add 3 beaten eggs to the middle

Add 3 cups warm water to the middle

Mix all together until its desired consistency, I use my hands once they have been thoroughly washed, knead it for ten minutes and let rise for 20-30 mins. While I am kneading it I like to sprinkle in brachot (blessings) for our family and friends, sometimes I include names of those who need healing, to find a mate etc.

Punch down a 2nd time, knead for another 10 minutes and let rise 20-30 mins.

Take challah with Bracha,  shape into the challah – either braided or round, and let rise again 20-30 mins.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds or poppyseed.

Bake for 30 -40 mins depending on size of challahs.

challahs 004For Cinnamon Babka / Rolls

Set aside a part of the dough, use your fingers to shape and stretch it out to an oblong or square shape. Doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect. Mix a cup of sugar with a decent helping of ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mix over the dough. You can add raisins too if that floats your boat. Roll up tight. Use sharp knife and cut 1.5 inch sections and place one by one in round pan, until the pan is filled. Let rise 30 minutes and bake 30 minutes. When cooled, drizzle with icing.

My picture shows cinnamon on left, chocolate on right, both un-iced.

challahs 003For Chocolate Babka / Rolls

Same as cinnamon except melt one cup choc chips with ¼ stick of margarine, and spread it out. My kids like me to sprinkle choc chips over it too.

challahs 002For Pull-apart Challahs

Instead of braiding, section off 6-8-12 (depending how big you want the pieces to be and how big baking tin is) identical pieces of dough. Mold into balls, place in pan next to each other, let rise. Coat with egg wash and seeds. Bake. Alternatively, you can belly button them. This means once all pieces are in pan use forefinger to make indent in each roll, and put choc chip / raisins / cinnamon sugar mix in. Rise. Bake.

 

NOTE: My friend Shoshana taught me how to make challah and shared the recipe with me. I will always be grateful to her for getting me started on my way with this beautiful mitzvah.

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Message from the Royal Scribe

Hear ye!!! Hear ye!!! Her Majesty the Queen of Hearts has asked me to inform you that my duties have been dispensed with for the next few days as the Queen is way too occupied to need my services. Her King of Diamonds is bringing his royal court up to spend Shabbat with the Queen’s court, so the Queen has much menu planning and kitchen supervising to be done. She must also oversee the housekeeping and make sure the royal laundry has been kept up to date. Her princes have been banished to their quarters to make sure their jousting equipment is safely stored. The Queen must also ensure that the accommodations for her King are satisfactory, in keeping with a man of his station in life.

 

The Queen must also take time to rest herself so that her appearance will continue to please the eye of her King, and that she may have energy to enjoy all the attentions of the King, princes and princesses. Court business is very draining, and entertaining is part of said business. Our Queen loves the entertainment and pageantry and is much looking forward to the pomp and circumstance that will surround the King’s visit.

 

The grocery shopping has been supervised, the dairy and meat pantries well stocked, and plenty of tasty treats have been planned for the young princes and princesses. Horses have been fed and watered so that a tour of the environs of our royal city can be taken. As I write, the peasants are stomping the grapes so that our Queen may have the royal vintage at her Shabbat table for her King to make kiddush on. One hears the pounding of fists as the challah dough is being kneaded by the local bakers. Vegetables are being plucked from the ground for the Queen’s favourite chicken soup made with her very own top secret recipe, matzah being ground so that Cook can make extra special fluffy matzah balls as an accompaniment for the soup. The ritual slaughterer is chasing chickens in the courtyard, and the fatted calf is being prepared in the meat kitchen.

 

I am sure there are many more delectable mouthwatering dishes that will be served, but I must return to my little village, to my simple life, until such a time as the Queen needs my services. (I hope there will be some leftovers for me……)

 

Your Humble Servant

The Royal Scribe

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