Labor of Love

Christmas doesn’t have to be a time of consumerism, impatience and expectation. Rather than maxing out your credit cards, try giving gifts of laborious love.

Challah is a decadently rich Jewish bread consumed on holidays such as Sabbath, or in my non-Jewish case, on Christmas.  This particular recipe was passed down to my mother, years ago from a petit Jewish woman named Barb Michell.  Though rather time consuming, this authentic recipe will guarantee rave reviews!

Here’s How:
1 cup organic whole milk
1/2 cup organic unsalted butter
1/3 cup raw sugar
2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
2 pkg. fast acting instant yeast
3 large organic eggs
6-7 cups unbleached, organic white flour
Poppy or sesame seeds (optional)

First, scald the milk (bring to a simmer and remove from heat).  While scalding, melt 1/2 cup butter.  Once scalded, pour the milk over the melted butter.

In a separate bowl mix sugar, salt and yeast. Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients and stir until smooth.  Next, add 3 beaten eggs, followed by 3 cups of flour.  Stir until smooth.  Add flour, little by little until the mix becomes a stiff dough.

Once the dough is of consistency you can begin kneading (roughly 10 minutes).

Be careful not to overdo it.  The dough should be firm, yet maintain elasticity.  Over-kneading will alter the density of the loaf.  When finished, it should resemble this…

Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours). Punch down dough and divide into 2 loafs, each in 3 equal pieces.


Braid, brush with butter, sprinkle with seeds, and bake at 325 degrees until golden brown (30-35 min).

Happy Holidays!


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