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 love to bake but don’t always have the time. I make 6 strand.

  2. We used to buy always, unless I was in my 9th month. I say “we” because I would make the dough and my husband would braid them. He used to work in a bakery so it takes him 30 seconds to do vs. me who just never learned it, even after many many tutorials.

    After each child was born, we would try to keep up the baking, because I have a great recipe that everyone loves. After a few weeks/months, life would get too busy and we would give up.

    I am just realizing now that we just celebrated my 3rd child’s first birthday, which means we have been baking for over a year! I plan on continuing 🙂 About 2 weeks ago, I started attempting the 4 braid. I am not great at it, but I am getting better 🙂 I like the idea of the 5 braid, and the reasoning behind it. I also have 3 children so I like the symbolism. Do you have a tutorial on your website? Thanks for all your work to bring us the best deals!

  3. I love baking! I learned how in high school and have been baking challah,ever since. I make a 3 braid. Someday I will learn the 6. I know bake every Friday for my family, friends and 2 Reform Jewish congregations.

  4. Aviva Ernst says

    I am a baker – at least I was until my oven broke. We are finally getting an oven and hope to start baking challah again. I have been baking challah for the past 30 some years but it was not until we moved to Israel 13 years ago that my challah came out consistantly delicious every week. Before that there was always something – to dry – not baked enough – did not rise correctly, etc.

    Since our oven broke my daughter who is 18 and has down syndrome goes to a neighbor on the yishuv where we live to help with the Challah making. She love to do this. I hope she will love making challah with her mom as much.

    Oh, I braid 3 but love the idea of a strand for husband and child which will make 6 for me.

    Aviva in Israel

  5. Buyer. I would love to be a baker, but somehow it doesn’t happen.

  6. would love to consider myself a baker but realisticlly w being in school and having two small children i actually manage to bake mich less than i would like- i find the process very special (especially since i have a machine to do the kneading for me…) i love having my daughter join me:) he is starting to learn to braid the simplest three strand way… i do boh 4 and 6 and prefer 4- i like the way u put it- one for eachchild and one for my husband n me:)

  7. Jennifer H. says

    I am definitely a baker and I do it by hand as I don’t have a bread machine. I typically make challah once a month and prefer the the look of a four braid but I have done six as well. I began making challah in the merit of refuah for a very sick little boy in my community. However, being single I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with all of the challah that was filling up my freezer. It wasn’t until I was at a meal at the Rabbi’s where one of his children mentioned that they missed having homemade challah (I guess it had been a busy few weeks) that I realized I could bring challah to my host instead of the typical wine or dessert option. It’s been about six months and now a few of the people who host me always ask if I’m able to bring challah.

  8. Eliana G says

    a mix – love to bake, but dont always have the time (even with a bread machine) so then i buy

  9. I am a buyer who buys 2 loaves a week. We love it. We like round Challahs for holidays.
    Now that I have retired I want to become a baker. I just made an Angel Food Cake for the first time (ala Martha Stewart) for Shavuot.

  10. I am a baker I don’t like bought challah (although on occasion I have bought)! I usually make round for convenience but I do 4 or 6 braids and yom tov I usually do basket weave. This is a great cookbook and I have have wanted a copy since it came out.

  11. I bake and love it. I do three four or six

  12. Annette Appel says

    I love making challah and always braid two long strips which is called a four braided challah. And this challah cook book is ,indeed, a fabulous book with a lot more than “just” challah recipies inside!

  13. I am a baker, but generally not a braider. My children and I (or sometimes I alone) shape the challah dough into something related to the parasha. After hamotzei the guests have to guess what the shape/connection is. Sometimes the shape doesn’t hold well and guessing is hard, but it guarantees the meal starts with words of Torah. To see other Torah projects I do with my children check out

  14. We’re buyers

  15. I am a baker and 3 strands– 😀

  16. I don’t even have the option to buy in the country we live now, but I’ve always baked. I have done three, four, and six strands. But since my dh doesn’t cut the challah (he rips), I usually do pull-aparts. You can do them in shapes to match the parsha or a birthday, or some other occasion, and it’s fun to eat!

  17. I bake and buy. It depends on the week 🙂 When I bake, I usually make loafs as the spelt recipe I use is not braiding friendly.

  18. I flip flop. Currently a buyer because I’m too busy at work, but I’m hoping I can convince my daughter to take over baking soon.

  19. Elisha F says

    These days, I’m a buyer more than a baker. Every week I try to find a way to get back into the baking mode, but it hasn’t happened yet. When I do bake, I normally do 6 strands.

  20. When I have a chance to I bake otherwise I buy.

  21. joel Katz says

    Would love to win one for my wife

  22. Buyer…one day hope to become a baker!

  23. Rechelle says

    I bake Challah almost every week. I am always looking for new recipes and new shapes to make. Would love a cookbook like this!!

  24. Rachel Ben-Zev says

    I am a baker and buyer. I need some more pointers on braiding. i do a 2 braid/twist that works well for me.

  25. Bake!!! Just learned the 6 braid!

  26. Def a buyer

  27. Buyer but occasionally I do bake 6 strands.

  28. I bake whole wheat challah. I usually do 3 braid

  29. At heart I’m a baker. Especially challah. And I usually braid four strands. But I just don’t have the time to do it regularly. So I usually end up a buyer. Sigh.

  30. Before I got married, I use to help my mom make challah. Now I buy, but hopefully will start baking soon.

  31. The dough in the bread machine comes out amazing. I like doing 4 braids. Haven’t yet figured out the bakery secret to super airy challah.

  32. I bake my own, 3 strands.

  33. I’m a buyer, I tried to bake once and it came our rock hard lol

  34. My hubby does the challah baking.

  35. I love baking challah by hand! It doesn’t always happen though so I buy sometimes too! I braid anywhere from
    3-6 strands depending in my mood.

  36. Hannah Arlette says

    I just moved into my own place and would love to learn to make Challah!

  37. I bake and I’ll do a few 6 strands each batch and the rest little kaiser rolls, as I hate throwing out leftovers!

  38. Well, I used to be the baker, and then my husband took over. Now I can’t bake a decent challah to save my life! We always do 3 strands only because we haven’t ventured into the larger strand territory yet. But they sure look beautiful. Would LOVE this cookbook.

  39. Judy Jacks Berman says

    I love baking challah every week.
    I always put a little extra honey and white raisins in my challah.
    I use a bread machine and it is an easy wonderful way for my to get ready for Shabbat.
    I also love that my family loves my challah!

  40. I bake and I’ll do a few 6 strands for each batch and the rest little kaiser rolls, as I hate throwing out leftovers!

  41. My husband bakes delicious challah every week in four strands.

  42. I find the thought of challah-making very overwhelming. Then when I finally make it I think, oh that wasnt so bad!! So I have only made my own about 5-10 times!! Would love to start making on a regular basis.

  43. Baker – usually use six strands.

  44. I am a baker via the bread machine..I would love to learn how to braid the challah..I am a pull away girl..

  45. Arielle Sax says

    I am a baker and I braid 4 strands.

  46. Meira Lebedinsky says

    Sometimes bake, sometimes buy. When I bake- I keep it simple with just 3 strands.

  47. Baker all the way. 6 or 3 and the kids help too!

  48. Pamm Peterson says

    I’m a baker. I’d love to start baking challah for my Shabbos table each week .

  49. I am a buyer who would like to be a baker. Coincidentally my oldest daughter just asked this week if she could bake challot. It was such a pleasure to see my two daughters baking and braiding together. They made several varieties, 3 and 6 strand, round, individual rolls etc. I hope this is just the beginning!

  50. I make challah, but have never been successful at making beautiful loaves, so my husband does the braiding (usually three braid).