ordinary and oddinary

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Challah Bread

I think it’s probably about 7-8 years ago.

One Friday morning, I went to a local bakery to get myself a bagel. There were quite a few Jewish people in the bakery and all of them were collecting bags of bread. They gave their names and the assistant went inside of the kitchen to get a white plastic bag of bread for them all.

I couldn’t see what was inside very clearly, but it was an oddly shaped loaf. I got intrigued and asked for the same (you know..like ‘THAT’ one please lol). She looked at me and asked if I had ordered already. I said I forgot to order and asked if she had anything extra left in the kitchen. She didn’t sound very convinced but told me that she would go in and check. Then, luckily she did have some extra. And I asked what this bread was called. She said it was called ‘Challah’ bread and only sold on Fridays on a pre-order basis.

Anyway, I was quite happy with my new discovery. I went to work and tried some of the bread that I accidentally bought. It looked pretty and tasted nice.  It tasted clean, simple, not sweet or salty. But you could tell it contained lots of eggs in the taste/smell and the colour. Its egg wash made the outside distinctively golden brown and gave a stronger egg smell. Depending on a day, this egg smell isn’t always pleasant I must admit. I’ve found a photo from google and done some research about this bread on the internet.

 

 According to Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals (Friday night, Saturday lunch, and Saturday late afternoon) and two holiday meals (one at night and lunch the following day) each begin with two complete loaves of bread. That’s why I could only see this bread on Fridays.

All Jewish family, which usually has 4-5 kids or more, need to have three meals out of challah bread, no wonder all Jewish mums and dads come collect bags of challah bread every Friday morning from the local bakery.

Traditional challah recipes use a large number of eggs, fine white flour, water, yeast, and sugar and must not contain either dairy or meat. Each single loaf is woven with six strands, both loaves have twelve which represent each tribe of Israel.

Since then, I’ve become a regular buyer of challah bread. The fact it’s not available every day and it must be baked at a kosher-certified place is quite attractive. Now one of my colleagues has become a fan of challah bread and buys it every Friday. I don’t think I will convert to Judaism, but I’m very happy to live in a place where I can come by lots of Kosher food.

You can click here to find more about challah bread.

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