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. penina elouze says

    We used to buy challah when we lived in New York near many bakeries now the past two years I’ve been baking yummy challah now that we moved to Connecticut and there are no bakeries around. I love making challah it comes out so yummy my husband loves it too! I make the usual 3 braided challis!

  2. suzi brozman says

    Nothing in the world tastes as good as freshly baked challah. Can’t wait to see this book and its new ideas.

  3. I love my bread machine for making challah and I would love to expand on the recipes I have for it to try something new!

  4. Eva Sandorfy says

    I don’t usually bake challah but I would love own this cookbook about challah maybe it would come out great.

  5. My almost 11 year old makes the most beautiful 6 stranded challot she learned from her Savta.
    She would love a book on Challa making.

  6. I bake two strands, flowers, and round Challah. I also baked a eggless Challah from a recipe I found on line and it came out great!

  7. I used to be a baker, but since I started working full time again I’ve become much more of a buyer. I would love to start baking again, and hope to have the time to do so in the summer when school is out (I teach). When I do bake I vary between 3 and 6 strands, depending on how many guests we’re having.

  8. I always bake it!

  9. I make my dough in the bread machine, then braid & bake the loaves. (I found a couple extra punch-downs/rises before braiding makes a better challah.) I braid 4 strands – I’m sort of OCD about stuff like this, and it’s easier to get four equal sections than three!

  10. Naomi Rosenman says

    challah baker
    6 braids

  11. Beth weller says

    I bake Challah with my preschoolers every Friday.

  12. My husbands grandmother makes challah for the family every week. They are so delicious. She does 4 strands.

  13. I bake every week, 6 braid most of the time.

  14. Baker, six strands. But I leave the braiding to my daughter whenever I can.

  15. I usually buy but when I’m feeling ambitious I’ll bake. I’ve tried a few recipes but have yet to gain the confidence I have when baking cakes or cookies. I guess I’ll get there one day.

  16. I am a buyer which is why I could definitely use a challah cookbook like this!

  17. would love to win. Bake challah every week.

  18. Rachel P says

    I’m a baker. I usually put my challahs in loaf pans or round pans for chagim. I also only bake whole wheat nowadays.

  19. I used to be a challah buyer but so wanted to become a baker. I decided to try one year for Rosh Hashanah and the whole family was hooked! It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, made the house smell divine and was much more delicious than anything store bought!

  20. Michael rapp says


  21. I love to bake challah (6 or 3 braids) but rarely have the chance. My sister makes more often and we can’t get enough of it! I would love the gluten-free recipe in this book for my brother who has Celiac (rather, I am sure he would love if I got this cookbook and the gluten free recipe!).

  22. I bake 4 strand challahs and one strand rolls. The one strand looks braided, but it’s a twist.

  23. I have never baked challah but would love to learn

  24. I am defiantly a baker love to bake cakes bread challa always on the hunt for new recepies

  25. Ayelet May says

    I failed at every baking attempt for many years. Shopping for my first Shabbat at home in Palm Beach, I was delighted to find that the local Publix sold beautiful challahs. As I was setting the table on Friday afternoon, I realized the challah had no hechsher!! Who ever heard of unkosher challah?! (Forgive me. I grew up in Brooklyn.) Thankfully, I located some frozen Kineret loaves in the freezer section. Of course there was no time for the hours of rising required, so my guests (including the synagogue president – groan) were treated to two small, hard challah loaves.

    Since buying challah required a forty-five minute drive, I decided it was time to nail down the baking thing for good. After a year baking every Friday with my preschool class, I was baking the most delicious challah ever. And ever since, I can hardly stomach the taste of store-bought challah.

    So, I’m a baker. Four strands.

  26. I’m a buyer. I am ashamed to say I’ve never baked challah, though my husband does from time to time. I would love to learn how though.

  27. When my kids were young I was definitely a challah buyer, with the exception of Yomim Tovim when I would get the kids involved in baking. Once I had more time, I became a challah baker. I enjoy the process, the smell and the taste (as well as the compliments when eaten). I generally make 3 braids, with a smaller braid on top or I like to do round pull aparts. I often add vanilla sugar to the dough and sprinkle some on top of the egg wash before baking. It’s a big hit.

  28. I like to make Challah with 4 braids.

  29. I am a buyer, having only baked Challah from scratch 3 times in my life, but would like to become more of a baker. Maybe this book will help 🙂

  30. I bake, using a breadmaker, with the dough cycle. I’m still perfecting my technique and always trying new recipes. When I have time, I do 4 strands but when I want to be fast, it’s 3 strands all the way. 🙂

  31. Brenda Fishman says

    I learned to bake Challah from my Bubbie.She never followed a recipe,but it was delicious.I now use a bread machine,sometimes I buy Challah at BJ’s.

  32. I am a buyer.
    I baked challah just once and it was not successful, but I am an optimistically looking forward to try again if I win a book!

  33. My husband is the challah baker. I would love to give him this as a gift.

  34. I bake but I use the bread maker to make the dough. I only know how to braid with 3.

  35. DEfinitely bake! 4 strands…

  36. Randi Schulman says

    I just started bread making and cant wait to try to make a Challah.

  37. Jeanette says

    I am a challah buyer but winning the cookbook may change my ways!

  38. I usually buy. Would love to have more time to experiment with Challah baking.

  39. I wish I was a baker, but I’m a buyer. Hoping one day to be a baker.

  40. Sara Leah says

    I’m a baker – I generally do three strands – though for Rosh Hashana I do 4 or 6

  41. I bake 5 lbs every week. I have tried more than 3 braids but have only successfully done 3.

  42. karen sanker says

    I am a buyer who has attempted to bake but has had no luck. I have hopes that one day that will change:)

  43. I’m a baker, and I typically do 4-strands, but occasionally get lazy and do a crown in a round pan.

  44. Linda Howard says

    I am a baker. At present I use three or four strands. I would love to find out about more strands and different flavors.

  45. Florence says

    I am a baker! My kids and husband are very opinionated when it comes to challah and most definitely prefer home baked. As it turns out so do I, for taste and because it really makes the house smell like Shabbat. I can only do 3 strands now but am working on learning more intricate braiding.

  46. I am a baker, I make the dough in my bread machine and make a 6 braided challah.

  47. I am a baker, however not so good at braiding challah.

  48. Judi Dimbert says

    I’m both. But my 11 yr old daughter does the challah baking now. She started about a year ago when she was “bored” one Thursday night. While she has done a chamsa and a Magen David, we usually stick to a 3 braid.

  49. penina w says

    I don’t have time to bake but my husband love home baked challah. We are lucky enough to get homebaked challah from family members