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

Taste of Challah

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

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, 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.


  1. I’m a buyer even at $5 since I rarely have time to bake. My mother made the best challah in the world but she no longer bakes either. Maybe one day I will try my hand at it.

  2. Challah here is also $5 each, so I bake every other week. I only ever do 4 strands (and small rolls).
    I also use challah pans to get the extra height. It makes them look and taste better.

  3. I’m a baker for 50% of the time…and a butcher and candlestick maker the other times. And when I bake I make 4 stands (or 3) in oval loaf pans sometimes I make lovely round loaves after braiding 3 or 4 times.

  4. Rochel R says

    I’m a baker! I make 6 braids and then a bunch of small rolls for the kids to snack on before Shabbos.

  5. I have spent years perfecting my challah and have promised my daughter and daughter-in-law that I would leave them the recipe in my will. I will keep making challahs as long as Hashem wills it. I would love to perfect my braiding techniques and usually fall back on 3 or 4 strands. I also make challah rolls.

  6. Julie McDonough says

    I am a buyer, but I would like to change that to a baker.

  7. I am a baker when I have time and if not, a buyer. I do six strands, although I have tried an EIGHT braider abd it came out beautifulet!

  8. Since I live in Fort Knox, KENTUCKY I am a BAKER!! Not only do I make EGG FREE Challah ( my husband holds with Egg Challah is cake an no longer a BREAD)! I also bake Gluten Free Oat Challah (my daughter and I work better Gluten Free! I make a large batch every other week or so and freeze my Challah’s since I have 3 kids under 5! Good Shabbos!

    • I do three braids for my EGG FREE water Challah, and for the Gluten Free Challah I cannot braid it sadly 🙁

    • MJ Kanner says

      Michall – Maybe we can swap vegan recipes? See my post above. MJ

  9. Correction: and, beautiful 😉

  10. I live in Nashville, where buying is sometimes not even an option! So I bake, although I often don’t make my own dough (Kroger frozen dinner rolls!). I will usually do a couple of three braids, and then a couple of one rope round challahs, especially if I’m running low on time!

  11. I make six strands 2 different ways. Long and round shaped.
    Four strands make a pretty shape….think lanyards from camp days. Same crossing of the strands. Lots of fun with kids to try different shapes. We use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place on top of the Challot.

  12. Sara Schwartz says

    I usually buy but recently I tried baking and it wasn’t to bad so I bake every so often! I braid 6 .

  13. Batsheva Browd says

    I’m buyer, Bake very occasionally. Would love to Bake more often.

  14. i have a bread machine to mix, then I braid, egg, top, and bake!. yum! I have an awesome recipe too, sweeeeeeeet!

  15. I have been a buyer for a while, because I was scared of baking challah (or any bread). But with the prices going thru the atmosphere (forget the roof), I have learned to bake challah and other breads. Sometimes it is not perfect, but … Very often from a batch of dough I would make 3 challot for Shabbat, and the rest into challah rolls, which make great sandwiches.
    Thank you.
    Shabbat Shalom

  16. Sorry, I forgot to mention that usually I do 5 0r 7-braiders, although I have no idea why.

  17. Yitzchok says

    For a long time we would buy Yummy/Soft/Chewy rolls for our Shabbos table, then my wife started baking her own half whole wheat – half reg wheat rolls. I recently bought her a bread maker, so we may start making our challa/rolls as in it.

  18. I’m generally a buyer- I pick up Trader Joe’s Challah Rolls which are light, fluffy, and slightly sweet. Definitely big enough for just the two of us. I’ve made challah a few times, and I just did simple buns and three braided loaves.

  19. I am a baker when i have the energy and a buyer when i dont!!!! I don’t like feeling forced into making challah because i only like to put good thoughts into it so if im not in the mood, its better to buy!

  20. buyer

  21. I bake white spelt challah and I braid 3 strands. I use the 5lb bag and get about 7 loaves each time.

  22. I’m a baker, although I have on occasion been a buyer. I make the dough on my lunch break, and my 11-year-old daughter braids and bakes it when she gets home from school. My house always smells so good when I get home!

  23. i make 3 braids

  24. Rachel A says

    I am a baker- when we lived in Columbus getting Challah was impossible or expensive pending the year… so I learned to bake and now even though buying is easy with many options I don’t like the store bought stuff, yuck! So I bake every week. 3 strands, never learned differently.

  25. Cassandra says

    When I’m not overwhelmed by the Thursday night cleaning, I put a dough recipe in the machine and then braid (3 strands) and bake, Friday afternoon before Shabbat. About 50% of the time, I buy but the kids really groan about it.

  26. Chana Abrahams says

    I bake mostly and only on rare occasions, I buy. I do a 4-braid.

  27. Joan Siegel says

    I use my bread machine to knead and mix the dough, then I will do 2 or 3 three braid challahs. Sometimes I will also do little knot rolls. Last year for my grandson’s bris I baked a 12 braid challah!

  28. Jacqueline says

    I’m a baker, although I almost never make actual classic challah. I usually make sourdough from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

  29. I bake 10 lbs at a time and freeze so we can have homemade challah every week and mostly use 4 strands. Someone once told me that hand kneading was Gods way of preventing arthritis… We will see

  30. cheryl feigenbaum says

    I’m sorry to admit that I am a buyer. I have never had the time, inspiration, and knowledge all at the same time to bake challah. Would love to try! Maybe this book would do the trick,

  31. Sometimes I make and sometimes I buy…when I make I braid with 4

  32. I bake, self-taught, 3 braid. Dough doesn’t always work. I love this cookbook author but have only borrowed this book from the library. Would love to win a copy!! Thanks

  33. I am a Challah baker for many, many years since my sister, who is the best Challah baker ever, shared her recipe and showed me how to braid. Mostly I braid with 6 but recently I have been making a square pull-apart with 9 parts (3×3). It comes out beautiful and tastes yummy.

  34. Rivkah M. says

    I am a challah purchaser from way back, as was my mother before me. I would love to learn how to make, braid and bake challahs, but certain health issues have prevented that from happening. Then again, I understand that a bread machine can do all of the kneading for you, so who knows? I do know that whenever my family receives homemade challahs, we always consider it a treat.

  35. Does it count if it’s my husband who’s the baker and the braider??? We use the bread machine for the dough, then let rise, shape and bake!

  36. Baker!
    And I use 6 strands. I love how high and pretty it looks.

  37. Baker. Six strands.

  38. I bake because it shows my husband that I truly love him ( he only likes homemade) I braid 6 but love your idea of representing family will try it

  39. I am now a baker, using a bread machine and I braid with 3. I learned how to do 6 but them forgot how!

  40. I am a wanna-be baker. Maybe this book would help!

  41. Malka Simcha says

    I am a reluctant buyer. I enjoy so much the challah my favorite Rebbitzin makes. It is so yummy. I really want to learn!!!

  42. Robin S. says

    Buyer during the school year, baker in the summer. Usually 3 strands, though I’ve tried more — hoping this summer my daughter will bake with me!

  43. I am a challah buyer but I occasionally bake a 3 strand loaf. My FAVORITE challah to buy is zomick’s challah from the five towns in long island. Best challah ever!

  44. I am a buyer who wishes she had the time to be a baker!

  45. Ms Devorah Heyman says

    I am a buyer! I love to eat it but I do not make it myself!

  46. I love to bake Challah- I do four strand braids.

  47. I used to bake with 6 strands but now my daughter bakes and gives me hers.

  48. laura wagensberg says

    i am a baker…at least for the last 3 weeks!! i make 2 3 braiders and 2 4 braiders…

  49. Was a Challah baker then became a buyer and becoming a baker again! 3 strand 🙂

  50. I am typically, most definitely, a baker (although I bake usually on Sunday and then freeze the challot until needed). I braid with 3, and actually usually make a lot of small-medium challot at a time.