Now Inducting into the Challah Fame: Lindsay Young
The Challah Fame is a OneTable series that celebrates someone who loves to make challah (or other delicious food!) and does so as a form of self-care, self-expression, as a business, or for any other reason.
Throughout the pandemic, for most of us, lockdown meant more time at home, and in turn (maybe?!) more opportunities to cook. We got the scoop on how OneTable hosts have used this unusual time to level up and try new recipes and traditions at their Shabbat table. Now, we’re sharing their dishes and stories to celebrate the power of Shabbat during *an unprecedented time* and inducting them into the Challah Fame!
Then, we invite you to make this dish or one of your favorites and tag us @onetableshabbat.
Now Inducting into the Challah Fame: Lindsay Y!
We’ve been drooling over pictures of your challah for a while, but where can other people see your creations?
How can we taste your amazing challah for ourselves?
DM @LalasChallah for local Southern California orders – pick up only!
Where do you do your baking?
Lake Forest, CA
We hear you’ve been making challah for about a decade. How’d you first learn?
A LOT of trial and error. I got a recipe from my mother’s mother-in-law, and have learned as I go. For different ways to braid, Youtube is the best resource.
Throughout your baking tenure, what’s been your most delicious creation?
The first time I put ‘Everything but the Bagel Seasoning on top of challah – it was amazing! Then, using that challah to make grilled cheese for dinner was LIFE CHANGING!
If you could make challah with (or give your challah to) anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
I would want to make challah with my maternal grandparents and great-grandparents – all either Jewish immigrants or the children of Jewish immigrants, who lived in New York in the 1920s-1960s.
How has your challah baking practice served as a *pause* in your life?
Baking challah is such a mental health exercise for me. First, it takes about 8 hours from beginning to end; so it forces me to slow down and be patient. Secondly, it is a way to be creative and productive, which helps ease my anxiety. I also get to connect with people who are receiving the challah and enjoying it (some for the very first time) – and it makes me feel so much closer to the humans in my life.
How did you get into baking challah?
I’ve always loved baking, and about 10 years ago started making Challah as a way to celebrate the holidays while being away from my family.
What does a typical Shabbat look like for you?
A typical Shabbat is me lighting the candles on a little table in our living room, using antique copper candlestick holders from my Great Aunt, and taking a pause to reflect and give thanks.
How else do you *pause* from all of the chaos and work of the week?
Intentional Pause’ is my intent for 2021. I am finding a need to pause more and more, so I’m finding it in 30-min movement activities, nightly meditations, and diving into a great book.
Any baking tips or tricks that you’d like to share?
Using a pastry scale to weigh my ropes before I braid has helped the look of my challahs – more uniform and professional.
½ cup water
2 pkg fast-rising yeast
3 tbs. Sugar
3 eggs beaten
¼ cup of canola or other mild-flavored oil
½ cup sugar
1 tbs. Salt
2 cups warm water
3 cups bread flour (must be bread flour)
2-4 cups additional bread flour to knead in
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon cold water
- Combine ½ cup warm water with yeast and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Stir together until all is dissolved. Let this proof for about 10 minutes.
- In the larger bowl, mix together the 3 eggs, ¼ cup oil, ½ cup sugar, 1 tbs salt, 2 cups warm water, and 3 cups bread flour. Stir to combine. After 10 minutes, stir in the proofed yeast mixture until combined.
- Now begin to add the additional bread flour, 1 cup at a time. After each additional cup of flour, knead bread to work in the flour. After about 2 additional cups of flour, you can turn the dough onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. You’ll know when the dough has enough flour added. The dough will be smooth and elastic in texture and will be easy to knead but won’t stick to your fingers.
- Form the dough into a ball
- Now take the larger bowl you used to mix the ingredients and clean and dry it. Once you’ve done that, lightly oil the bowl. Place the ball of dough in the bowl and roll it over so all sides of the dough are covered in oil. Cover the bowl and let it ride in a dry, warm place until it has doubled in size (about 2 hours). You’ll know the dough has doubled when you lightly poke it with two fingers and it springs back.
- Next, take your fist and punch down the dough. Knead it and reform it into a ball.
- Place the covered bowl back in the warm, draft-free place and let it rise for another 45 minutes to an hour.
- Take the biggest cookie sheet you can find and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper.
- After the 2nd rise, divide the dough and braid as you wish. You can do a 3-strand traditional braid for one massive loaf, or divide the dough into thirds and then braid each third into its own loaf for 3 1lb loaves.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the loaf(s) with the egg wash, making sure to get it in all the cracks and crevices.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle portion of the oven since this one massive loaf is truly massive.
- Let the bread rise, uncovered, for another 45 minutes.
- After the last rise, brush the bread all over with the egg wash again. At this point, you can also top with any toppings you wish: Maldon sea salt, everything but the bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, etc.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes in the oven, rotate your sheet pan 180 degrees to ensure it is cooking evenly. Continue cooking for an additional 20-25 minutes.