BEFORE & AFTER: LET US BREAK BREAD. THE ART OF CHALLAH

BEFORE & AFTER: LET US BREAK BREAD. THE ART OF CHALLAH

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AMERICA MADE
CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER & STRAWBERRY JAM ON HOME BAKED CHALLAH

The tradition of breaking bread surrounds a family table. Generally, it is accompanied by a home cooked meal and if you want to take it one step further, the bodies at the table are related in someway genetically or spiritually. Jews break bread on Friday night. It is Shabbat dinner. Shabbat as I understand means tradition anf family values. It is a celebration of our heritage.

“In the land of opportunity you can have a first chance at a second chance.”—Samantha Knapp 

BEFORE:

That is how I became a write and amateur chef and food blogger. I offer you now a wise and educated friend’s recipe.

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BEFORE
A HAND ON THE INGREDIENTS

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”–Gen 1.1

Challah:

1 tablespoon sugar / 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast /1 cup minus 2 tablespoons water (warm but not boiling) / 2 cups bread flour (scoop and sweep method, un-sifted), plus more for dusting / 2 cups semolina flour (scoop and sweep method, un-sifted) / 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt / 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more to drizzle / 3 tablespoons honey / 2 large egg yolks / 1 large whole egg

Egg Wash:
1 yolk / 1 tablespoon cream or milk / Sesame seeds, for sprinkling, optional

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WASH
IT IS THE LAW
ALMOST MADE THE BIBLE

I not an scholar nor do I want to do enough research to discredit this thought, but as far as I am concerned the first reference to bread was the bible. There is the Jewish fleeing Egypt with the bread unleaven, that would eventually lead to Moses on the Mountain Top with a decree from God of the 10-Commandments of which to live.

#7 Thou shall not commit adultery”

#11 “Thou shall wash pesticides off your food source”

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YEAST
LEAVEN AGENT
ALSO KNOWN AS FUNGUS

DIRECTIONS:

For the sponge starter: Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water. Mix to dissolve. Add about 1/2 cup of the bread flour and mix vigorously with a wire whisk. Cover with plastic or a plate and leave to ferment in a warm room temperature place for about an hour.

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MIX WITH DRYS
FLOUR AND SALT

Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups bread flour, the semolina flour and salt into a mixer bowl. Add the sponge starter, oil, honey, yolks and egg. Hand mix the dough, to develop the gluten.  Shape the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Sprinkle a bit of olive oil. Cover with plastic let rise for  1.5  hours.  It should be relaxed and not pull back to shape immediately.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and fold it over upon itself few times to redistribute the yeast. This is the point when you get to shape the bread.

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HAND HOROSCOPE
KNEAD DOUGH INTO FUTURE SHAPE

Three braids symbolize truth, peace, and justice. Challah after all is statement bread. It represents a Jewish tradition. The recipe as simply and no-dairy as it is today applied hundreds of thousands of years ago. Before Jesus was born and the world started counting, there was this very bread. The jews of the desert ate it. That is a fact evident in the Bible.

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BRAID TOGETHER
TRUTH, PEACE, JUSTICE
YOU NEED ALL THREE

Truth is the most important part to me. I was just seriously and openly lied to. Speaking of age and timing, I daily check my horoscope. #tigerlilystip #trustyourhoroscope: (aries)

“Single? Time to stop laying your pearls before swine. You may have been fooled by a “wolf in family guy’s clothing” (or maybe an expensive Italian suit) over the past few weeks. Even the best mathematicians among you can’t make this person’s inconsistencies add up. Move on instead of trying to figure out how s/he pulled the wool over your eyes. You could meet someone with impressive credentials after Thursday, perhaps through a work function or the introduction of a male friend”

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BRUSH WITH EGG WASH
PROTECT THE DOUGH
AS YOU PROTECT THE ONES YOU LOVE

Brush the braided loaf with the egg wash and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

The horscope believe it or not was right on so many levels, specifically the “wolf in family man clothing”, line. I am a very private public person, so readers unfortunately you will never know the names and faces behind my personal references.  However, don’t worry the lessons will be ever true and remain the same. I am a writer. I fiercely protect my sources.

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WHEN THERE ARE 2
ONE PROTECTS THE OTHER

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees as the challah rises. The recipe until now has been for one loaf, but traditionally you should always bake two. It is a good luck thing. It is a love thing. It is protection thing.  Also if not mistaken, it is an in the bible thing.

Back to the story of the bread. Americans eat it with labels like Wonder, Panera, Bakery Fresh. To respectfully make it in your own kitchen takes time. We are talking five to six hours. Traditionally shabbath lasts all night into the next. Jews have time to create.  Cooking and baking are afterall very different disciplines. One is instinct, the other is measured and calculated for the perfect outcome.


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TIME TO BAKE
JEWS HAVE 24-HOURS STRAIGHT                                                                                                                                          HEARTS HAVE SECONDS

The first tip in this blog was to trust your horoscope. The second #tigerlilystip #listentoyourheart. Hear it beat closely and learn its patterns. How does your heart feel when you are excited? How does your heart feel when you feel love? How does your heart feel when you make or eat food?

“Statistics prove your heart rate beats faster when you fall in love, when you sense sexual chemistry and when you the aphrodisiac of food takes over.”–Samantha Knapp

I took credit for that one, but I am 100% sure if I had to set out to prove it, I probably could. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. The challah will develop a deep brown and shiny crust, and will sound hollow when tapped on the underside. Cool on a rack.

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AFTER;
COOL & SERVE
BREAK TRADITION DAILY

AFTER:

So the conclusion here is that you have to feed people with love if you want to experience love in return. You have to have truth, that’s part of the braided bread. Believe in what you serve..

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”–Jer 29:11

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