making challah bread with Grandma & bObi

I am half Jewish, but never strongly identified with the culture growing up. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s having a daughter of my own, but lately I’ve been feeling the need to get to know my own heritage a little more. so when my mom (children’s book author Gail Karwoski) came out for a visit, it seemed like the perfect time to try making my Aunt Marilyn’s famous “quick & easy”challah bread recipe. and the mess of making of bread in the kitchen was the perfect time to put our new bObsweep bObi pet robotic vacuum, sweeper, & mop combo to the test too!

here’s the ingredients you’ll need if you want to make challah of your own:

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbs. honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbs. cold water
  • poppy or sesame seeds, if desired

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  • In a deep bowl, place the 1/2 cup water, tsp sugar, and sprinkle on the yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Be sure the water is only lukewarm because if it too hot, it will kill the yeast and the bread will not rise.
  • After the yeast is dissolved, stir in the canola oil & honey.
  • Beat in 1 and a half cups of flour (I did this by hand bc I don’t have a beater) and then add1 tsp.salt and beat again.
  • Add two eggs and beat well.
  • Blend in additional cup of flour.
  • Now the fun part! Knead the dough for about 5 minutes- until it’s slightly sticky, gradually adding flour so it is absorbed (about half a cup).
  • Then pull like taffy for about 5 minutes. I didn’t know what this means, but basically you just pull the dough apart a bunch of times to try and add air bubbles. (Good arm workout too.)

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  • Give the dough a final light kneading (1 minute), adding flour (1/4 cup) if necessary.
  • Turn the dough into a ball. Separate the dough into three strips, roll them out and braid them. (You can divide the dough and make more than one challah if you want)
  • Place the shaped challahs on a greased baking sheet. Let rise in a warm spot, until doubled in size. Approximately an hour but it may take more or less time so keep an eye not he dough so that it does not grow more than double.

this was a nap time project for us, and Prairie woke up as the dough was rising. the kitchen was COVERED in flour (I’m a messy cook/ messy person). so this was the perfect time to put bObi to work!

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haha, see the flour all over my shirt too- wish bObi could help me there, LOL! our house is always covered in sand (thanks Mojave desert) and food (thanks baby Praire), & I have been super impressed by bObi’s suction power. I was also really impressed with her ease of use, I had such an easy time setting her up, and I am kinda bad with electronics and technology. a bonus is that she’s quieter then our normal vacuum, so I can run her while the baby naps. and a super unexpected bonus is that Prairie is kind of weirdly obsessed with her and talks about bObi all. the. time. (her name is pronounced Bobby around here). really, she’s been a  game changer for this messy mama. the only complaint I have with her is that she gets stuck on the fringe of our area rugs, so for these areas I have to use her remote control.

anyhow, back to the challah! …

  • once it’s risen, gently brush with the egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle on poppy/sesame seeds if desired.
  • Bake at 375 degrees (400 for gas oven) until golden brown (approximately 20 minutes).

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  • ENJOY!!!!

Prairie aproves! that kid loves her carbs, just like her mama!!

we were so proud of ourselves, we had to call in Dada to join the party! and there’s bObi batting cleanup as Prairie throws half her share on the floor. seriously, she throws so much food on the floor that our dog gets full and gives up.

all in all, I felt like the day was a huge success. our bread was delicious, and I felt some cultural pride as three generations of strong Jewish women broke bread around the table together. and here’s a funny fact for ya, in traditional Jewish culture, people have to rest and can do no work on Saturday (the Shabbat), but according to some it’s okay to let robots like bObi do the work for ya! so thanks b!

** I received bObi in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own***

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