So for a few weeks now I have been baking challah on Fridays. A lovely little tradition to start - perhaps one better suited for the summer months when Shabbos starts on the later side, say after Ruff Ruffman is over, but nu nu, it's all good. We really like how the house smells on Friday afternoon when the challah is still hot. Okay, all very nice, you might be saying, but still a little crazy. But you see, there's really an ulterior motive in play here - because challah baking is such an event, making the challah on Friday means that everything everything and everything has to be cooked on Thursday night. And I have been pretty good about doing that, until this week.
I think this week's Shoprite Adventure took place on Tuesday. Part of this week's saga (and if you have been following along, that would mean the milk in the seltzer bottles) was getting a free turkey - lord knows we spent way more than the $300 needed to get that free turkey. But of course, the kosher turkeys are no longer free. Last year Josh made a big thing about that in Shoprite and walked out with a free turkey. This year, he just didn't have it in him. It was late at night, the shrimp-guy-announcer-man-manager wasn't there and he isn't on a first name basis with the other managers. He also didn't want to be too greedy because the manager that was there let him have half off all the meat that was there because it was expiring the next day. Perfectly good for the freezer. Josh took some of it and a chasid standing around heard the conversation and said, "whatever he doesn't take, I'll take." Josh and his fellow Jew got to talking and this chassidish guy is from Manalapin. Why he was hanging around Shoprite, very far from his home, at 10:30pm is still a mystery.
Anyway, so the free turkey rules are all very complicated, evidenced by the fact that it takes half a page to print them in the circular each week. And so at the end of the day, the rule that was in effect that night (and I'm pretty sure it's all about who you ask) was that a percentage of the price of each pound of turkey was deducted from the price. Got that? I'm just happy my math guy was at the supermarket and I wasn't because I probably would have just left the turkey there. After scanning everything, the turkey wound up costing only $7. Free, $7, it's all the same.
Why am I talking about this turkey when I was just talking about challah? Excellent question. You see, I was so distracted by leaking milk (the container, not me) on Tuesday night that I negelected to freeze the turkey when it came home. It had just been sitting in the basement fridge so at this point I had no choice but to cook it for Shabbos. Which is fine, except that turkeys monopolize the oven for like forever, so I could not cook that turkey on Thursday night. And so the turkey is now in the oven, doing its thing. And I still need to bake challah, which does its own monopolizing of the oven.
The turkey has about an hour or so to go and the challah dough should be done rising about the same time the turkey comes out of the oven. Oh, and the boys should be home from school at the exact same time that all that will be taking place. I guess challah baking will be a group activity today. Fun for all.
Here is the challah recipe that we have been using.
My cousin, Chani, gave it to me months ago and we have been loving it ever since. I promised to post it here before Succot and I forgot, so with apologies, here goes nothing:
2 packets of dry yeast
2.5 cups of warm to hot water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp salt
7 cups of flour
(Notice that the recipe has no eggs. It's not a mistake. It really doesn't have any. I'm not messing with you by leaving out an ingredient like some relatives I have like to do).
Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Once it has proofed, add sugar and oil and salt and mix in the mixer. Add flour 2 cups at a time and mix all for about 6 minutes, until a dough has formed. At this point just stop the mixer, cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit someplace warm for 2-3 hours, until it has doubled in size. Shape challahs and let them sit out just until the oven has preheated to 350 degrees. Do the egg wash thing and you're good.
Bake for about 20 minutes and then check them because the whole thing really depends on what size challahs you make. I find that I can get 4 very nice size challahs from one recipe, but I have also made 8 smaller challahs from one recipe. Many times I double the recipe so that I can take challah with a bracha. One batch does not allow for this, although taking challah without a bracha is a good idea. But I am not a local orthodox rabbi and it's always a good idea to consult one about these kinds of things.
Ooh, I hear the timer. I must rotate my turkey.
Oh, and here's the recipe for the turkey. I didn't play around with it, I followed all the directions so my commentary is not needed. Well, except for the fact that I did not sew the turkey as Martha suggests. Nor did I make stuffing. But we are having sweet potato kugel this Shabbos if that helps.
If it comes out pretty, there will be a picture here. If not, not.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)