My Dad is not doing too well. So all of us kids and grandkids are visiting him as often as we can, and he’s been on my mind a lot.
When he was healthier, one of my Dad’s passions was cooking for family and friends. But he wasn’t a cook with a large repertoire, rather he specialized in a few signature dishes: huge challahs, gravlox, smoked brisket, tea-smoked duck, turkey (brined and roasted or deep fried), and chopped liver with schmaltz. If he made it, it was amazing.
Last week, as I was making the gravlax he taught me how to make, I started thinking about his challah. I’ve never baked anything from scratch. Even my bake-from-a-box experience is pretty limited, but I started to think that I better learn how to make Dad’s challah before it was too late!
So on a recent visit, I become the owner of a photo-copied challah recipe, and a hand-me-down Zojirushi bread machine.
After posting the above pix on Facebook, I got a few requests for recipes, so here goes. The recipe itself came from a bread machine cookbook. Since all I have a copy of a single page, I can’t tell you if it was the book that came with the bread machine.
Here it is, with my edits.
For instructions on braiding, I went to Shiksa in the Kitchen and followed her instructions on a three-part braid.
So, how did it taste? Great! It was a big hit on Shabbat, and I’ve been assigned challah duty for the upcoming Jewish holidays. But now that I have the basic recipe down, next time I am going to vary the recipe to add a bit more sweetness, and I’m doing the four-part braid!
P.S. Update Sept 9, 2013: Since that first challah, I’ve been numbering them. Here’s challah #5. I brought it to my Dad’s house for Rosh Hashanah. It’s a traditional raisin round with honey for a sweet new year.