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Today! Bake Your Challah With A Key Inside the Dough For A Prosperous Year !

6 Comments 18 April 2012

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Every year, the day after Passover, my friend Marylin would collect house keys from friends and family, wrap them in foil, and stick them into the challah that she was kneading for the coming Shabbat. As an extra bonus, she would also collect $20. from each key-owner and donate the proceeds to Sephardic Bikur Holim.

Her explanation was that it was her family custom each year to bake their house-key inside the challah for financial success and prosperity. Whenever I had the opportunity to give her my key for that day, I figured “what the heck, it can’t hurt”, and it was always a memorable experience running over to her kitchen each year to try to find my aluminum covered baked house key under the baked challahs.

Tradition holds, that our ancestors in Syria and Turkey  put wheat kernels in all four corners of the house on Motzei Pesach as a sign of prosperity for the coming year. There are mishnayot that say that there is a connection between Pesach and parnasa (financial income). It must also be an Askenazi  custom because its called “Shlissel Challah”, which means “key challah” in Yiddish. Many people actually bake their challah in the shape of a key. If you would like to read more about this interesting tradition, then please click on over to this site.

This Friday, April 30, 2012  is the day that challah should be baked with a house key tucked in for good luck and prosperity. I wish all of my Jewish Hostesses tons of good luck with this custom! Please call me when you win  LOTTO!!!!!

Shabbat Shalom! Marlene

p.s. don’t forget to separate an olive sized piece of challah dough in remembrance of the portion given to G-d  in ancient times. Please CLICK HERE to find out how.

Recipe for delicious Challah from a close relative who wishes to remain anonymous:

  • 1 5 pound bag of flour
  • 4 tablespoons of salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cups of safflower oil
  • 4 cups of water- (2 cups boiling, mixed with 2 cups of ice cold water)
  • 6 packets of Rapid Rise Yeast plus 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Directions for Making Delicious Challah:

  1. Mix Rapid Rise yeast packets with the 4 cups of water (2 cups boiling, mixed with 2 cups of ice cold water) with 1 tablespoon of sugar in a glass bowl.  The yeast mixture should bubble.
  2. Note*-the water should be mixed to form a lukewarm temperature BEFORE adding the yeast.
  3. Mix dry ingredients in a Bosch or large mixer.
  4. Add wet ingredients plus bubbled yeast mixture.
  5. Mix on a medium speed for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Put dough into a large oiled bowl and let rise in a warm area for 1 and 1/2 hours.For best results shut off air conditioning in the room that your dough is rising . Punch down.
  7. Separate into 8-10 balls of dough.
  8. Separate each ball into 3 smaller balls and roll all three balls into long pieces and braid evenly.
  9. Brush with a beaten egg and top with sesame seeds, zaatar spice, or everything spice from the bagel store. Sprinkle with a little salt.
  10. Let rise another 1 1/2 hours.
  11. Bake at 350 degress for  22-30 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned and challah looks baked.
  12. Check out these recipes for Whole Wheat ChallahGauranteed Hamotzei Challah and Honey Eucalyptus Challah.


Your Comments

6 Comments so far

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  3. I love this post! I have posted the link on my Kosher Blogger Facebook page for my readers to see. Shabbat shalom, and a prosperous and successful year to you all.

  4. Miriam Kairey says:

    I have to admit when I first read your post about baking keys into the challah I thought it was a really strange thing to do. Then I asked a friend of mine who is from Syria and she said that she does it every year. So then I also figured, “what the heck.” I prepared my usual challah recipe, which is less sweet and eggy than the one you published (not mezonot)but otherwise the same. I separated a piece of the dough to burn on the bottom of the oven and I said the prayer.

    I forgot about the part where you wrap the keys in foil. I washed the keys well and stuck them in the dough. I made a wish. Now my family comes home and sees keys sticking out of the challot. They thought I had lost my mind for sure.

    Gd willing my wish will come true and everyone I know will be healthy and sound during this coming year.

  5. Marnie Levy says:

    Hi Marlene- I was just reading this post and I wanted to alert you to something very important. The challah recipe you posted is, I’m sure, very delicious-although quite possibly considered MEZONOT for Sepharadim. The stipulations are different for Ashkenazim & Sepharadim when it comes to measurements for “cake” (MEZONOT) & “bread”
    (HAMOTZI). Best to check with your “local Rabbi” but the egg/sugar ratio makes all the difference in most recipes. My recipe is 2 eggs (considered the MAX for HAMOTZI al pi Sepharadim) and a scant cup of sugar. Happens to be out of this world delicious but I believe it’s my method that ensures perfect results each time!

  6. Yeah we had this tradition in my family too but I had not seen challah baked in the shape of a key, very cool:)

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