Thursday, December 29, 2011

Finally! A Gluten-Free Challah

We are fortunate to run with a lively group of observant lesbian Jews. They are among my most favorite people in the world. They are the most inclusive, the most loving and the most interesting in my circle of friends. To say they are my favorite would not be understating how I feel about them. We get invited to celebrate all of the Jewish holidays, Pesach, Purim, Hanukkah, and Sukkot to name a few. I look forward to these events like a three year old in a candy story. My enthusiasm is palpable. My favorite however is the weekly festive day of Shabbat, the seventh day of the Jewish week and the Jewish day of rest during which Jews recall the Biblical Creation account in Genesis in which God creates the Heaves and the Earth in six days and rests on the seventh. I love the deliberateness of being freed from the regular labors of everyday life.

So when Friday rolls around and we are invited to Shabbat dinner I get giddy. What I like most is the ritual and the prayer that is the center of the Friday evening meal beginning with Kiddish and a blessing recited over two loaves of Challah. According to Jewish law, Shabbat starts on Friday, a few minutes before sunset. Candles are lit and a prayer welcomes the arrival of Shabbat. Two songs are sung one greeting the Shabbat angels into the house and the other thanking the woman of the house for all the work she has done during the past week. After a blessing over the wine another blessing is recited over the bread, the Challah is broken, dipped in salt and eaten. It is all very spiritual and each step is significant. I always bring my own bread, usually a piece of Udi's and I always feel, well a little left out which is really silly because I have been invited to this table. I just always want to be having some Challah, just like everyone else.

So when a favorite blogger of mine posted a recipe for Gluten-Free Challah last September I thought, next Shabbat, I am making this for myself. To be completely traditional my loaf should be braided, not round. The only time a loaf of round Challah appears is for Rosh Hashanah, representing the circle of the year. I don't think anyone will mind my Challah isn't braided tomorrow night and quite frankly I don't think I am up to braiding gluten free dough. Personally I am just happy to show up with the real deal in hand for myself. It took 6 hours which I can not imagine doing every single week but I know that is exactly what my friends do every single Friday before the sun goes down, they make two loaves of Challah!

You can google gluten-free Challah and you will get a plethora of results. I am a fan of The Gluten Free Canteen which is where I got my recipe: I am simply delighted with the results and I can't wait until sundown tomorrow evening.

1 comment:

GF Gidget said...

6 hours?!!!! That is insane! Your challah looks beautiful though.