Thursday, April 28, 2011

Right after Pesach (Passover) we have a custom of baking fresh challah (braided bread) with a key embedded into the dough.  There are several reasons why we do this. Some say it's because during Passover the gates of Heaven are open (Pesach being the 'key' and literally meaning 'open'), and now we're asking for the gates to remain open for the rest of the year. A more popular reason for this custom is to remind us of when the Jews were wandering in the desert after they were released from slavery and they became completely dependent on Hashem (God) for their sustenance. We ask Hashem to PLEASE provide sustenance (read: LOTS OF INCOME) for the coming year because we know that everything ultimately comes from Him.

And I, being a completely random, outside of the box thinker decided to do a blog featuring some cool items with keys in their design. But if this seems too superficial for such a topic....hang on. At the end I am including my no fail, heavenly challah recipe too (with a how to video on braiding a six strand loaf)!

Tiffany Wonderland Keys Scarf $275
House of Harlow 1960 Over sized Cocktail Ring
Juicy Key Canvas Tote $89.60 (on sale!)
Anthropologie Key Hook-Rack $24
The coveted Tifanny Key Collection starting at $1,500
Now if you haven't baked your challah yet (like me)...let's get started!

My No Fail Heavenly Challah

4 cups of warm water (warmer than lukewarm but not too hot either)
1 five lb. bag of high gluten flour (like Heckers)
5 packets of dry yeast
2 cups of sugar
3 extra large or 4 medium eggs warmed in a bowl of warm water
1 cup of oil
2 tbl. salt
1 egg beaten well for egg wash
sesame seeds (optional)

Pour 4 cups of warm water into a the largest mixing bowl of your heavy duty mixer (I use the Bosch mixer which is a top pick for this type of recipe). Add the two cups of sugar and then sprinkle all the yeast on top of the water. Let sit for about 5-15 minutes until bubbly. Add the oil and approx. 1/3 bag of flour and begin mixing the dough on a low setting.  Add the eggs and the salt and then slowly add the rest of the flour. At this point the machine may slow down and you can raise the setting. Let mix for a few minutes until dough is soft and fluffy.

Let rise in a warm, moist spot for 1 1/2 hrs. Spread some flour on the counter and re-knead the dough by hand. Try to put some love into this really makes a difference. Let rise for another half hour to an hour. 

Take challah and have in mind any prayers you would like to say. Divide the dough into five pieces, then each of those into three pieces (or six if you're an advanced braider-see how to video below) and braid each challah. 

Place each challah in a well greased and floured bread pan, paint the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.  At this point I allow the challahs to rise a drop more while the oven is heating and then bake on 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Be prepared for the most heavenly aroma to fill your home!

Have a beautiful Shabbos!

If you enjoyed this don't forget to like fashion-isha on facebook by clicking HERE and follow on twitter by clicking HERE.
And don't forget...I love your support and comments!

  • Share:

You Might Also Like


  1. Your after-Passover tradition sounds Heavenly because I am SUCH a bread whore. Baked bread? I am so there.

    P.S. Totally in love with key accessories right now. I have two key necklaces, and I expect that collection to grow soon.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  2. Wow, I am so in the mood of baked Chalah now.

  3. Hey Sharon! It's Sharon! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I cannot believe that you have 5 kids and look so darn hot. You give me lots to aspire too! I am following you as well and really look forward to reading your future posts. I also love challah bread (who doesn't!) and will attempt to make it!!! Thanks for the post!!

  4. This web site is unquestionably instead useful given that I’m with the minute making an online floral site - even though I'm only commencing out as a result it is actually rather tiny, absolutely nothing similar to this web site. Can hyperlink to some with the posts right here because they are fairly. Many thanks considerably. Zoey Olsen

  5. Thanks for the recipe!
    Does this come out fluffy and airy or more dense? I have tried some recipes that rise and bake beautifully but are so dense by Shabbos morning...

  6. To anonymous. Yes this is a pretty dense recipe, meaning that it's more cakelike, but it's really heaven. Try not to bake it for too long!

  7. Good article! Thank you so much for sharing this post. Your views truly open my mind. I will share it with other people.