It’s a Giveaway | A Taste of Challah Review + Giveaway (2 Winners)

Taste of Challah 300x246 Its a Giveaway | A Taste of Challah Review + Giveaway (2 Winners)

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to winners Danit B. and Chaya L.

I used to be a challah buyer.

In my first six years of my marriage, I don’t think I baked a single challah – a fact of which I’m neither proud nor ashamed. I lived in Israel those first six years, and sticky-sweet challot were plentiful and cheap.

But then we moved to Kansas, where challah costs at least $5 per loaf. I nearly choked on the $15+ we’d spent on challah each week. And so we became challah bakers.

At first, my husband made the challot, but over the last two years, I have taken on this job more and more — until I’ve finally embraced it as “my thing”.

I will admit that sometimes it stresses me out (“Gotta make the doughnuts challah!”), but I’ve found that mostly I love the process.

Especially the braiding.

I braid five strands, which I know is usual, but I do one strand for each of my three children, plus two more for me and my husband.

It’s such a subtle, yet physical, way to demonstrate love for my family.

When I take that sticky dough in my hands, and shape it into imperfect braids, I become part of a community of challah bakers.

All over the world, there are a multitude of us kneading and rolling and braiding and egg washing, dividing and making brachot.

Whether your flour is white or wheat or spelt; whether you braid with three, or four, or six – or an odd five, like me, challah baking is a fairly universal — and one might argue quintessential — Jewish experience.

Which is why my first reaction to a book called “A Taste of Challah” was … Really? A whole book just about challah?!

But an old friend promised me that this is really a lovely cookbook – plus, he told me (knowing this would sweeten the pot for me), it’s on sale thru May 13th (15% off with free shipping from Feldheim).

He even sent me out a copy of A Taste of Challah by Tamar Ansh last week for my review. My dubiousness gave way to delight – I was was very pleasantly surprised by  just how much I liked this book.

There is an extensive section dedicated to the myriad ways to braid challot. I loved the napkin rings and wine holders. And the basket weave was incredible — for the patient baker, I think it could be gorgeous for your Shavuot table. (A simpler choice would be flower-shaped challot, which she also features in her book.)

You will also find a dozen or so new challah recipes, from traditional to honey wheat to gluten-free. The last section of the book has a number of dips which look very yummy, plus non-challah breads, both yeast and non-yeast.

Interspersed throughout the recipes and braiding tips are personal stories from different women about their experiences with baking challah.

First published in 2007, this most recent printing of A Taste of Challah is truly a lovely book – and I think it would make a great gift for any woman, whether she’s just starting to bake her own challah, or she’s a pro with decades of experience.

Thru May 13, you can buy A Taste of Challah for $29.74, with free media shipping from Feldheim.com.

And thru May 12th, you can enter to win one of two copies that I am giving away!

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post telling me whether you are a baker or a buyer. And if you bake, I’d love to know how many strands you typically braid.

This giveaway is open only to residents of the United States who are 18 or older. Entries will be accepted until Sunday, May 12th at 11:59 p.m. CST. The winner will be selected randomly and notified by email immediately. He or she will have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of “A Taste of Challah” to facilitate my review; Feldheim Books will also provide the winner of this contest with his or her cookbook. I m an affiliate of Feldheim.com, however I was not compensated for hosting this giveaway nor for sharing my (positive) opinions. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations. And also because I want you to know.

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Yehudis says:

    I’m a baker! Made my first batch of challah at 10 years old, now 6 years later I still have that love for challah – the prayers that are said, the songs I hum, the enjoyment people get, the very mixing and kneading etc. I would love to give someone special this challah book (which I do own btw) to inspire them on the specialness of challah the same way it inspired and continues to inspire me. :)

    • Yehudis says:

      I forgot to add that last part – I usually braid 3 or make a woven round challah with 4

  2. Rivka Iacullo says:

    Baker! I <3 my two bread machines. I usually
    make 2 batches of egg challah for Shabbos – one plain and one cinnamon.

  3. Avigayil Bendkowski says:

    I love baking because it soothes me. I make three strands and would love to learn how to do all different shapes.

  4. I am a buyer, but will love to learn how to bake challot :)

  5. I am a Challah Baker. I am about two weeks after I got married my husband asked if I would bake homemade Challah and I have been baking since. I love the 4 braid Challah.

  6. I love baking Challah, as it fills the home with the special aroma that shabbos is coming. I usually make a 6-braid, but sometimes it ends up being a pull-apart of rolls when time is short.

  7. Abigail says:

    I bake 5 pounds at a time. That will last me about 3 weeks. I do 4 strands in my challas, no matter what size challa I am making.

  8. I used to be a buyer, now I’m a diehard baker. I usually do 3 braids and rolls.

  9. I’m a buyer, but with this book I could be a baker :)

  10. Sarah S says:

    I’m a baker for now. Started baking while I was boarding in college and have been continuing that since I got married. Except I make regular wheat and spwlt challah since I have a wheat intolerance. My regular challah I 6 braid and the spelt I make into small rolls. Portion control :-)

  11. Devorah says:

    I used to be a buyer but my wonderful husband gave me a bread machine for Chanukah and now I am a new baker! Would love to learn different styles.

  12. Usually a buyer. To few people to bake for at my house.

  13. Esther O says:

    I’m a buyer in school, and a baker when I’m home and have access to a kitchen. I’m a basic, 3-strand braider.

  14. I wish I could say I mostly bake but I actually mostly buy… but WANT to bake more. Thanks for the opportunity!

  15. Baker :-) Typically 4 strands, 6 if I am feeling fancy. Also lately I have been dressing my challahs with stripes of poppy seeds and sesame seeds. They look so cute in stripes!

  16. yael zar says:

    I buy my challahs. I hope that soon I will start baking them.

  17. I bake and make a simple braid with 3 because that is all I know how to do. I want to learn how to do fancier braids

  18. Michal Grossman says:

    I bake the most amazing challah weekly! I usually do either a 4 strand braid or pull-aparts.

  19. I’m a baker. Although every couple of weeks we buy. I mainly do breakaways in round pans.

  20. I bake whenever I can, and the number of strands depends on my purposes. When I’m only baking for a small number of people, I make a challah from a single strand (and I make 6 of them from one batch, so I have extras for another time). If I am baking for a larger crowd, I usually do 4 strands. And sometimes, I just coil a strand for a small roll.

  21. I’ve made it twice now first time came out great second time was flat as a pancake. I would love to bake it I just don’t have the time so I buy my challot.

  22. Linda M says:

    I used to be baker – we lived in Norfolk, VA where there weren’t a lot of options to buy challah. I had a great recipe for water challeh, part whole wheat, using the breadmaker. But then we spent 4.5 months in Israel, then moved to Atlanta. My breadmaker and mixer were in storage, and Atlanta has several great options for kosher challah. Plus I went gluten-free. Challah is now pretty much the only bread I eat all week, and I’d rather buy something fancy from Kroger than slave over something I’m going to eat only two pieces of anyways….

  23. I’m a challah baker, despite the myriad options for challah buying in our area. I bake vegan challah (part whole wheat, part white flour). No eggs in the recipe, but some oil. I use canola and today I mixed in a little Grapeseed oil (because that’s what I had.) I sometimes add what germ and/or ground flax seeds. Yummy and healthy. I found the recipe here: http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/special-occasions-and-entertaining/jewish-new-year/egg-free-challah/. Recipe by Rachel Ornstein Packer. I quadruple it so I can freeze some extras. I make some rolls as well, by making a tiny braided challah, then bring the 2 ends together (to kind of make a circle and bake in a muffin tin. This way I have some small extras for…whatever! I braid with 3 strands, but now I’m inspired to fiddle with that :).

  24. i’m a buyer. would love to be a baker but no talent.

  25. stefanie says:

    I am a baker. And I also make a 5 braid-1 for each of us.

  26. I am a buyer but want to try and bake more often. I’ve tried in the past but to no avail my challah does not come out the way I’d like. This year I tried a recipe for the shissel challah that I was happy with but the 2nd time I did it I was not happy with it……

  27. I’m a baker! I make 6 braiders and 4 braiders. There’s nothing like that heavenly smell that fills my home when baking challah. The taste is also better than bakery.

  28. I am a baker of whole wheat challas. I never buy.

  29. Francine says:

    I am a buyer. The one time I made it it was hard as a rock. I would like to perfect my baking skills though.

  30. I bake and braid the typical three strands but would love to try new ways!

  31. I’m a buyer

  32. Buy but occasionally bake. 3-4 strand. Favorite recipe thus far is honey whole wheat with cinnamon sugar top that I make for Rosh Hashanah and sukkot

  33. I love to bake challah. I make a 3 braid , then I put it in a challah shaped loaf pan.

  34. I bake Challah. Started 5 years ago when diagnosed with cancer (B”H fine now) to make the hafroshas challah bracha. I do it just about every Friday. I do 6 braids.

  35. I’m a baker b/c there’s no kosher bakery where we live – I bake every week for my family and my in-laws – always 6-strand braids.

  36. Wendy S says:

    Baker usually 3 braids

  37. Mom in NJ says:

    I’m a baker. 3 braids, nothing fancy for me.

  38. chana k says:

    my husbands family is friends with the author tamar ansh@!
    my father in law learns with her son! dont have this book yet though she gave us pesach cookbook for wedding present
    i make my own heavenly challah!

  39. penina taub says:

    I bake my own challahs. I love to bake and experiment in the kitchen. I only braid 3 strands because thats all i know how to do. I did weave 4 strands for rosh hashana, and i would love to learn how to do more!

  40. debbie morgen stern says:

    at this point I am a Challah buyer/purchaser although I much prefer ‘home made
    ‘ Challah anytime… :)nd/or I beg for the goodwill of friends who bake amazing Challahs for an extra one now and again…;)

  41. I am not a professional baker, but my kids think I am when I whip up banana bread and chocolate chip cookies galore!!! My absolute favorite is making challah, which I admit, I don’t always have the time to do. I like to alternate between three braided challah and pull apart!! Yum-o!! :)

  42. I’m a baker! I couldn’t stomach paying four dollars per Challah when it costs just around $5-$6 to make 5 pounds! I do a six braid, but flower ones for Shavuos.

  43. I always bake, every Friday. It just makes my house smell and feel like Shabbos. My kids especially like the tray of cinnamon buns I make with the challah dough.

  44. I’m a wannabe baker- I try my hand at it every now and then, but would love to do it more consistently. Maybe when I’m done with grad school…

  45. Suri Fineberg says:

    I baked when we first got married, bought for all these years after having my boys, and finally baked challah yesterday for the first time in 17 years!!!! Being a non traditional baker, I made streusel topped challot. I did four braids because it was the first video that showed in on you tube. Lol.

  46. My husband loves when I make challah so I do it gladly for him. I love the smell of Shabbos it brings to my home. I do only a three strand braid or a skinny braid on top. Sometimes I’ll make a “shvatim” challah, with 12 balls that grow together into one big challah which can then be distributed as 12 bilkelach.

  47. I bake – I bake traditional three strand braid when I am rushed and want to be sure I make at least three loaves – i bake three to six strand for holidays and often, if the batch is huge will make 3 strand, six strand and round challot. All of this baking is somewhat in the past – I am now working two demanding jobs as well as completing my second book.

  48. Rivkah T says:

    Sadly, I’m a buyer. I’m trying to figure out how to have the time and energy to be a baker, and cook more in general.

  49. I’m mostly a baker. I make a 4-strand challah … 3 never looks right, and I don’t have enough fingers to handle more.

  50. I’m a baker and I usually do three but would love to learn different techniques and different recipes.