Jewish Food

 

What is Key Challah?

 

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After you’ve finally finished putting away your Pesach dishes it’s time to make Schlissel or Key Challah. It is an old and established custom that on the first Shabbos after Pesach we shape a challah into the form of a key or stick a real key inside a regular challah because this was the Shabbos when the Manna, the miraculous food Hashem air-mailed to our forefathers throughout their desert wanderings, ceased to fall.

Imagine what that Shabbos must have been like. All of the Children of Israel simultaneously wondering whether Manna had gotten lost or misplaced or delivered to the wrong address. But don’t feel too sorry for them. Our anscestors had Joshua, Yehoshua Bin Nun to guide them . Remember that he was Moshe Rabeinu’s own hand picked successor and protege and like Moshe he had a hotline to Hashem.  It was time for the Jewish people to start fending for themselves and eating from the land.


 

Bais Yaakov Cookbook

 

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Over eighteen months in the making, the Bais Yaakov Cookbook features recipes from contributors representing over three hundred Bais Yaakovs worldwide.  It is as much a tribute to the Bais Yaakov movement as it is a cookbook.  Proceeds from the cookbook will benefit the Fund for Jewish Education, which benefits numerous charitable institutions and schools in the Unites States and Israel.

Apple Buns


 

Challah Kugel

 

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Jamie Geller and friends show you how to make Challah Kugel in this Quick & Kosher video. Find the recipe here.


 

Two Delicious Rugelach Recipes

 

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Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to be a baker. I always loved baking with my mother for Shabbos and Yom Tov. I remember helping my mom measure out the ingredients and mixing up the batter. The best part was always licking the bowl. I loved going with my mom to the local bakery to pick up fresh challah and desserts for Shabbos. I always got to pick a cookie from the case to eat right there in the store! When I got older, I got a job at a bakery and learned all the ins and outs of commercial baking and instantly fell deeper in love! In the bakery kitchen I feel like I am home. Well, home away from home, anyway. There is nothing more satisfying than perfectly measuring out ingredients, mixing up dough in just the right way, and baking up a perfect dessert every time. I love braiding hundreds of challahs, or piping out tray after tray of lace cookies. I know that this may sound crazy to some, but this is all truly relaxing to me.

When I worked at a bakery my main job was cake decorating. Whenever I finished my work early, I would help out my fellow bakers. My favorite thing to help out with was rolling up rugelach. I love the challenge of making each one look exactly like the last. When they are all rolled up, they look like cute little croissants.


 

Challah Recipes Galore!

 

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OMG I am rolling. I just made 20 pounds of challah. DID YOU READ THAT?! TWENTY!!!! POUNDS. Testing sweet and savory “challah” and “challah-esque” recipes for my new book. I am swearing off carbs for a year, or, well, at least a week, for sure until the end of today. One of my many goals in life is to see how many different things I can make out of my challah dough.

Here’s a recap of what I’ve done with it to date — plus a special PB&J challah somethin’ from Hadassah.


 

Jewish Comfort Food – Chicken Soup

 

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My grandparents, both sets, made the best chicken soup. Same like yours, I imagine. My father’s side of the family made a deep dark richly flavored broth with spaghetti noodles. My mother’s parents a light bright broth with square luckshen (noodles) and alphabets for us kids in the later years.

Yes, it’s Jewish penicilin.


 

7 Tips for Prep Ahead Shabbat Meals/Recipes

 

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Dear Jamie,

I was hoping that you might want to focus on Shabbat meals – specifically, those that can be prepared in advance and rapidly warmed for Shabbat. I plan for Shabbat from the beginning of the week, and don’t have time to prep on Fridays. (PS – I love the cookbooks.)


 

Braided Round Challah with Step by Step Photos

 

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Here’s a very nice, simple way to make beautiful round braided challahs. It comes out much nicer than a simple ‘snail’ shape as so many do, and really takes only minutes to put together. Anyone who can braid three strands can make this challah easily. Plus it rises and bakes nicer than a simpler knot or twist does.  You can also watch Jamie’s video of the same technique.

Begin by taking three long strands and braiding them into a very long havdalah–candle-shaped log.


 

Some Interesting and Useful Challah Tidbits

 

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A very very frequent question I get goes something like this:

“I made a challah dough and it looked good. But after I’ve shaped it and it is on the baking tray, it seems to rise out instead of upwards and the end result is a flat, wide challah that, although it still tastes good, really doesn’t look that nice. What can I do to make them nicer, aside from using a loaf or oval shaped pan?”


 

A Sweet Holiday Recipe for Beef Brisket

 

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Honey is the obvious go-to Rosh Hashanah condiment.  Who am I to buck tradition?  I work honey into my dressings, chicken glazes and desserts.  It goes on our challah, our apples and now… our brisket.

Worried about overkill? Listen, using honey in all these ways is fine if you use it in the right amounts and combine it with other ingredients to counter-balance it’s sweetness. Trust me, nobody will think you’re a one-flavor cook.


 

How to Make a Crown Challah

 

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Watch Jamie Geller make a crown challah – so easy you could do it too.


 

The History of Kugel

 

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When the word kugel first appeared in Webster’s Dictionary in the early twentieth century, it was defined as “a suet pudding,” a characterization derived from similarities between kugel and British steamed puddings. Later, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary updated the definition to “a baked pudding.” Baking, however, was actually a late step in the kugel’s evolution. For the kugel’s (kuglen plural) origin lay not in a casserole, but rather as bread dumplings in a stew pot.

By the 12th century, the concept of dumplings spread from China along the Silk Road to Italy then Germany, around the same time that cholent reached Germany from Spain by way of France. Within a century or so, German cooks began dropping a bread batter containing a little egg as a binder into the center of the Sabbath stew, the dumpling developing a rich flavor and texture as it simmered overnight and, after morning services, served warm alongside the stew for lunch.


 

How To Make a 6-Braid Challah

 

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Watch Jamie Geller make a 6-braid challah – so easy you could do it too.

Part One


 

In the JoyofKosher Kitchen with Mitchell Davis

 

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Mitchell Davis is a cookbook author and food journalist with a Ph.D. in Food Studies from New York University. A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Davis majored in Food and Beverage Management and spent two years cooking and eating in France and Italy before settling in New York City to write about food. He joined the staff of the James Beard Foundation in 1993. Davis’s most recent cookbook is Kitchen Sense (Clarkson Potter, 2006), he is the author of two other cookbooks, Cook Something (Macmillan, 1997) and The Mensch Chef (Clarkson Potter, 2002), and is the co-author with Michael Ginor of Foie Gras…A Passion (Wiley, 2000).

Tell me about the James Beard Foundation?


 

New Video – The Best Challah Dough

 

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Introducing the first video of our new series: Quick and Kosher “in the Raw”. In this new series you will learn how to make Jamie’s challah dough, how to braid it, how to form a crown challah, how to make onion pockets and garlic knots, cinnamon buns…. The list goes on! Look out for a new video every Monday!

Pull up a chair – and watch how easy it is to make challah – you’ll be a pro at it in no time!