My children and I were thrilled when PJ Library UK asked us to create a special Challah Mummy Challah for Shavuot and decided to make a Mount Sinai Challah. G-d chose Mount Sinai to receive the Torah because it was ‘humble’ unlike the other boastful mountains, and covered it with beautiful flowers. Here’s our challah recipe so you can join in the fun at home and make your own Mount Sinai Challah for Shavuot!
1.5 kilos of plain flour (approx.)
1½ cups of lukewarm water
1 portion of fresh yeast (approx. 40g, otherwise 1 tablespoon of active dried yeast)
6-8 tablespoons of caster sugar (plus one more teaspoon to mix in with the yeast)
2 eggs (plus one more egg white for the egg wash)
1 tablespoon of salt
¼ cup of sunflower oil
Green, pink, red and yellow food colouring
Flower shaped cookie or fondant cutters
Pour the water into a bowl, add the extra teaspoon of sugar and dissolve the yeast into the water. Once bubbles start to appear on the surface of the water, pour in about a third of the flour, followed by the two eggs, the rest of the sugar, the salt and the oil. Get your hands into the dough and combine the mixture, adding flour little by little as you go, until you get a big ball of dough which doesn’t stick to your hands. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and knead the dough about for 5-10 minutes, adding a bit of flour if it gets too sticky again.
Separate your kneaded dough into four pieces of dough, with one large piece and three smaller pieces. Add drops of food colouring to each piece of dough (green for the largest piece), mix it into the dough and place each piece in a separate cling film covered bowl to rise for about an hour and a half or until it has doubled in size.
As you can see from the photos, make the basic structure of your Mount Sinai challah by stacking three foil covered bowls on top of each other (two larger bowls at the bottom and a smaller bowl on top). Roll the green dough out flat on a floured surface using a rolling pin and then cut long thin strips of dough using a sharp knife (children should always ask an adult for help).
Take a long strip of dough and place one end in the middle of the small bowl at the top of the structure and let it fall down the side of the structure in a vertical direction. Repeat this step using another three or four strips of dough going vertically round the structure so that the ends all join in the middle of the small bowl at the top of the structure (as shown in the photos). Then take another strip of dough and, starting near the top of the structure, weave it horizontally through the strips which are falling down the sides of the structure using an “under and over” motion. The horizontal strip should go under the first piece of vertical dough and then over the next piece of vertical dough, continuing all the way around the bowl and joining back where it started. Repeat this step with horizontal strips of dough weaving “under and over” the vertical strips at intervals all the way down the structure.
Before making the flowers, add a few drops of green food colouring to some egg white and green-egg wash the green Mount Sinai structure. Roll out your other three coloured doughs on a floured surface and use flower shaped cookie or fondant cutters to make coloured dough flowers. Egg wash the flowers (with a few drops of the pink/red/yellow food colouring added to the egg white first) and stick your flowers all over your Mount Sinai Challah!
Bake the challah for 20-30 minutes at 180 degrees.
About the Challah Mummy!
My name is the Challah Mummy! Each week in the Challah Mummy Kitchen, my two children suggest a new, fun shape and we make it out of challah. We have made fire engine challah, red London bus challah, green turtle challah, blossom tree challah and even helicopter challah. Check out all of our unusual and interesting designs at #ChallahMummy on Instagram, challahmummy.wordpress.com or the Challah Mummy Facebook Page. We would also love to hear your suggestions for fabulous challah shapes so please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 1, 2018