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Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs

Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs

Episode 31

 

Guest: Dr. Beth Ricanati

Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs

Who thought baking Challah could be so magical? Well, it is and especially as seen through the eyes of my guest this week Dr. Beth Ricanati. We talk about Challah and how it can connect with you, through Jewish history, as a way to think about your own well-being and of course all about baking Challah. I can guarantee you that  before you finish listening to this episode you’ll want to have your own  Challah baking in your oven… and you can! Check out the recipe section for the ‘how to’ and have a wonderful time with me as we think about bread as the staff of Jewish life.

Challah

It seems like a simple recipe but there’s so much Jewish history and love behind it. This particular Challah recipe was given to my guest, Dr. Beth Ricanati by a good friend of hers many years ago in a class at the JCC on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Please enjoy the experience of baking this Challah and of course sharing in the eating!

Challah

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp Yeast loose
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 cup warm water almost too warm, but not hot!
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4+ cups flour

Instructions

  • Mix yeast, sugar & warm water together in small bowl (1); let stand ~ 10 min. This mixture will start to bubble.
    Meanwhile, in a lg mixing bowl, mix eggs, salt, sugar, oil & 2 c flour together (2). Now is a great time to say, “I am making this dough in the merit of _____ (name someone…maybe a friend who is sick that week, or someone you are happy for, sad for, mad at, etc.)
    Add yeast mixture (1) to flour mixture (2).
    Add ~ 1½ cups of flour to mixture. Dough should start to form a ball, separating from the bowl.
    Place dough on a floured surface & knead, lifting up with one hand & then the other. Knead at least 5 mins as dough becomes increasingly elastic. If still sticky, add a bit more flour to dough. Knead dough into a ball.
    Place dough back into oiled bowl, cover & place bowl somewhere warm for 1 – 1½ hours to rise, ~ doubling in volume.
    Preheat oven to 375º. Remove cover from bowl, place dough on floured surface. Take a small piece of dough (~size of an egg), double wrap in plastic wrap & say the prayer over separating the challah (technically only say if more than 5 lbs of flour used, but more on that later)*. Discard this piece of wrapped dough & cont.
    Punch out dough one more time. Cut dough in half, one for each challah. Then divide each half into 3 equal pcs. Roll out each piece, crimp together at the top and braid into a loaf. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with second ball of dough. May let rise again at this step.
    Paint each challah with a mixture made of egg yolk plus a little water.
    Bake ~ 25 – 30 mins, or until bread rises & is golden brown. Remove, cool.
    Place challah on platter, cover and wait for Shabbas dinner. Eat and enjoy!
    *Baruch Ata A-Do-Nay Elo-haynu Melech Ha-Olam Asher Kidishanu B’Mitzvotav V’Tziyvanu L”Hafrish Challah. (Blessed are You, Lord, our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to separate the Challah.)

 

Chef Zachary Engel Part 2

Chef Zachary Engel Part 2

Episode 29

 

Guest: Chef Zachary Engel

Chef Zachary Engel Part 2

Chef Zach joins me in Part 2 to talk about his new restaurant endeavor in Chicago – building Galit, his first restaurant from the bottom up. The goal: to bring fine dining, as in Israeli Cuisine to Chicago. 

 

Hard Work + Focus + James Beard Award = New Restaurant Galit!

Hard Work + Focus + James Beard Award = New Restaurant Galit!

Episode 28

 

Guest: Chef Zachary Engel

Hard Work + Focus + James Beard Award= New Restaurant – Galit!

What’s it like to be a young Chef with a dream to open your own restaurant? I thought it would be interesting to get inside the process and to hear first hand about what it takes to find yourself in a new city about to open your own place. I talk with James Beard winner Chef Zach Engel about his path to Gailit, his new restaurant opening in Chicago in early 2019. This is Part 1.

 

Kugel and Kitchens with Stacey Ballis!

Kugel and Kitchens with Stacey Ballis!

Episode 27

 

Guest: Stacey Ballis

Kugel and Kitchens with Stacey Ballis

I’m back with culinary writer Stacey Ballis. It’s time to talk about Jewish food and for Stacey that means Kugel. Now you can choose to make your favorite family recipe OR you can try Stacey’s favorite. She is kind enough to provide some essential kugel pointers too! Be sure to listen till the end of the episode when Stacey discusses her kitchen re-do and all the things you’d want to consider if you were redesigning your own dream kitchen.

Culinary Fiction & Food Talk with Stacey Ballis

Culinary Fiction & Food Talk with Stacey Ballis

Episode 26

 

Guest: Author, Stacey Ballis

Culinary Fiction and Jewish Food with Stacey Ballis

I’m in conversation with author Stacey Ballis of culinary literature fame. In this episode I learn about Stacey’s most important food mentor and how she managed to publish her first novel seemingly with little effort. Who does this? And she shares a great recipe for Tomato Pudding with me. All in all a fun conversation.

Tomato Pudding
Serves 8

2 cups dried bread cubes, crusts removed
1 stick melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup orange juice
1 large beefsteak tomato or 3 roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the dried bread cubes in a casserole dish. Pour melted butter over them; toss to combine. Combine brown sugar, tomato puree, orange juice in a saucepan. Heat to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour hot mixture over bread cubes. Layer a thin layer of tomatoes over the top, and sprinkle with salt. Bake until puffy and the corners of the bread cubes are browned, 35-40 minutes.
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Tomato Pudding