Now, lest you start getting all righteous and indignant on me, let it be known that I am well aware that there are actual species of living things that are truly endangered.
The rhino for example is a wonderful animal that is almost extinct, as is the polar bear and the tiger . . .
and of course, a child who goes to bed without being asked . . . also a relatively rare creature –
I have heard rumor though that they found one deep in the amazon rainforest.
Maybe, maybe not.
But I digress. My original premise is that we owe it to the world to save our Challah.
Now, I know that challah is not an endangered species, per se, at least not in our section of the planet, thank G-d, but a challah, anywhere in the world, is a precious thing, and to throw one out borders on travesty.
There are multitudes of customs, encompassing the entirety of Jewish tradition, concerning the disposal of challah. There are those who kiss the challah that falls to the floor (ya, I’m not one of those, much as I adore that dear sweet challah) others who take care never to throw out any challah at all, putting it out for the birds to finish off (I tried that one in Brooklyn, resulting in many creatures making a home in my tiny backyard. Let’s just say, none of them were birds.) and of course, there are those who wrap up the leftover challah reverently and then trash it anyways.
May I put forth another solution?
Here’s how I propose to save the challah.
French toast, Strata, Croutons, Stuffing, Muffins and Crème Brule deliciousness.
And then, because of course I’m supposed to be getting my challah cookbook out into the world, I proceeded to try out all those things, in that order, using my leftover challah.
And then, because I’m a carb addict, and anything made from challah gets top billing in my book . . . I proceeded to eat my way through that entire list. Oy.
But let me just say, forget using leftover challah, this stuff is so good, you might want to make up a special batch just for these heavenly treats. (get the pun? And yes, it was fully intentional – this one’s for you Saul Sudin)
To make a blessing on the separation of the challah piece, (hafrashat challah!*) one needs to make a substantial amount of dough, using at least a 5lb bag of flour. (see my Hafrashat challah chart in ‘RISING! The Book of Challah’) This will result in about 6-8 challahs! Now, while that barely makes the cut in my home—between 4 growing children and lots of guests—for most people, that is way more challah than they need on a standard week.
So, what to do?
Making the blessing is an incredible opportunity for connection, and a deep moment of prayer. Don’t skip it!
Make that enormous batch of challah . . . and then play with your food!
In “RISING! The Book of Challah,” my challah cookbook which will hit the shelves on Sept 10, I offer a great range of recipes using either the leftover dough, (to make insanely delicious chocolate babka, and cinnamon rolls!) or, using the challah that wasn’t eaten over Shabbat.
And so that’s what I was busy with today. Because, you know I’m not going to give you a recipe I haven’t tasted (or eaten all of!) myself. Yes, I love you that much.
See photos for some of the incredible yumminess that yesterday’s challah can become . . . and join me in saving the challah!
and then . . . because it is Chanukah – and I just can’t leave well enough alone –
I went and made this for Shabbos!
YUP. It’s a Jelly Dougnut Challah. And I’m sorry that I don’t have a photo of how it looked sliced – because, if I may be so bold as to say – it was a thing of beauty and yumminess… and there is none left. None at all.
And let me just say, if I’m every crazy enough to write another cookbook – it’s going to be about LETTUCE. ONLY LETTUCE.
so enjoy this one!
May your Chanukah, and all your days, be illuminated and glowing, may it all be delicious and completely non-fattening. And may it Rise.