Now Inducting into the Challah Fame: Laura Florick

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. 

Where do you do your baking? Fayetteville, Arkansas

How did you get into baking challah?

My grandfather back in Pennsylvania used to bake bread and surprise friends, neighbors, and even total strangers with a freshly baked loaf! When he passed, I regretted not baking bread together with him more often, and decided to start baking challah to share with my own community!

What does this ritual/practice add to your week and your life? Has your challah baking practice contributed to your wellness?

Even though there are only a handful of Jewish families here in the Arkansas Ozarks, I have never experienced my Judaism as strongly or as proudly anywhere else I have lived! I love my small, tight-knit Southern Jewish community! It can be tough out here, but baking challah and sharing with friends that don’t know a lot about Judaism (or hadn’t met a Jew before me) is one way that I can share my culture and traditions and make connections with people in my town. Bread is eternal and universal – sharing what I bake is both a way to connect with my ancestors and a way to connect with and care for my community here and now.

lflorick1 - Laura Florick

How’d you learn to make challah?

My mom is an amazing sweets baker, but I am more the bread baker. I love channeling my creativity into baking challah – I try to experiment and pair tastes that sound good together or just use whatever I’ve got in my garden or in the pantry (sweet potato with baked sage, marshmallow stuffed pumpkin with toasted pumpkin seeds, garlic and rosemary, cinnamon toast stuffed, etc). My experiments don’t always succeed but when they do, there’s such a feeling of accomplishment!

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