Passover has now passed and the matzo madness has ended. While I love Passover desserts, I’ll take almond or quinoa flour over white flour any day, I was very excited to get back to baking challah in my kitchen. As the first Shabbos since Passover, there is the custom to bake challah, or “shlissel challah” with a key in it. I actually covered this topic back in 2009. Always use with tinfoil, but if you would rather make challah in the shape of a key, that is fine too. So, why are the challahs we eat the first week after Passover different than all others? After all, isn’t Shabbos really the key to a more meaningful life? In our home, the preparation and participation in Shabbos is the key to everything else. Once the candles have been lit and the all of us are unplugged from our gadgets and technology, we enter the Shabbos zone. This is a place mentally and physically that is just bliss. Sure, kids may fight and the house may be as clean as desired, but there is Shabbos. Shabbos doesn’t care if things are perfect at home, it will come anyway, every week. This is the key to everything to me! So, what happens if you never have time to bake? You want the spiritual experience, yet there is no time to be found anywhere. The process of making the challah dough from scratch is time consuming and messy. All of that shifted from me when I learned about the meaning behind each step in the challah process. One of the most beautiful things is that women bake challah together to help change situations. There is so much blessing power in this act and the names of people in need of help are thought of in each step. Just recently, my community was looking for 40 women to bake challah together. Each person was asked to provide names. Even if the prayers aren’t answer for that person, those prayers will go somewhere else. Whether you are happy to spend time baking in your kitchen, or not, today’s modern advances in kitchen gadgetry have help. While I use my own hands to mix because our KitchenAid broke, I know that the super KitchenAid 6 Quart Professional 600 Stand Mixer or a Bosch Universal Plus Mixer are saving many people time and labor in the kitchen.
No matter how you dough it, challah on and share your challah happiness and tag me on Instagram.