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Friday, December 4, 2020

12/04/2020 05:00:00 PM


Erica Bobrow

Weekly Zoom Session Wrap-up

This week during Challah Time we heard wonderful news! Kathy's grandson, Ryder Dylan was born at 4am, Friday morning. All are doing well, and Kathy and Bill are masked up for their 14-day quarantine so that they can meet their new little one. Mazel Tov!

Kathy was sharing a screen with Lynn, who introduced us to her holiday Yum Balls recipe in process. Lynn has also sent us images which are posted below in the Extra Finds & Fixin's section. They look amazing!

Baker's Images


Send in your images on Friday once your challah has baked, along with your notes to challahtime@gmail.comWe'll admire your work and learn from each other. 

Alexis was experimenting with a humid proofing, by adding a pan of water to her warm oven. We'll have to catch up with her this week to see how that went. Alexis also suggested the FB page, Challah Baking for Dummies, as a resource. I joined and found it was deep with valuable challah-making information. Thank you, Alexis.

Deanna was working on a pullman loaf which she explained was a sandwich style loaf. Her dough consisted of 50/50 white whole wheat and oats. Her additional notes are below.

Cecily provided advice to Kathy regarding replacing whole wheat flour for white, and adding vital wheat gluten proportionally, as well as additional water

We welcomed Julie and Paul for their first time with us. We look forward to seeing them again soon!

To demonstrate for those new to challah baking, I started from the very beginning. I bloomed my yeast, mixed ingredients, and kneaded. I also shared some images of Challah hanukkiahs I'd found online. I've been searching for inspiration for what will be my first attempt at a hanukkiah this week. This is the image I found that has inspired me the most. I'll work on this Friday during Challah Time.

On the subject of Hanukkah, the time of the latke, this is a reminder that coming up next week is a favorite event of mine, the University of Chicago Hillel's 74th Annual Latke Hamantash Debate on Thursday, December 17, at 5:00 PM in Pacific Time.  More info on the LvH Debate below. 

Looking forward to our next Challah Time! together this Friday. 


Weekly Challot Images

Send in your images on Friday once your challah has baked, along with your notes to

We'll admire your work and learn from each other.


Helene's Challot

(These were submitted on 11-27-20. Sorry for missing them and the delay to post.)

Helene's Notes: "My experiment with what to do with 2 cups flour, use of grape seed oil, and brown sugar. Ended up with these. I sliced them, did a egg wash, and used Everything But The Bagel blend. Tasty!"



Karen's Challot 

"I used Erica’s Basic Challah Recipe. I forgot to put the egg wash on so I used olive oil to give them a shine. They tasted really good. I still want to work on my braid. "


Erica's Challah


Erica's Notes: "I wanted to practice my braiding and use a pan again for a taller sandwich loaf. I was inspired by Deanna's work with her pullman loaf. I used a ramekin to hold the braid strands instead of mushing them down. When I was finished with one end, I removed the ramekin and turned the entire braid over on it's back and braided through to the end. The technique worked well. I had to extend my baking time by 10 minutes or so in the baking pan."

Extra Fixings and Finds


Lynn's Holiday Yum Balls

Lynn's Holiday Yum Ball Recipe



Lynn's notes: "Hi everyone: Here's my recipe for Yum Balls.  When I was growing up, we made rum balls every year at holiday time.  This is a new variation, with lots of chocolate.

"You will need a full box of vanilla wafers and a box of chocolate wafers.  You will turn both of these into cookie crumbs.  You can make chocolate crumbs from Oreo cookies also.  The dough will be dense and paste-like.  We rolled the Yum Balls in chocolate sprinkles, flaked coconut, and finely chopped walnuts.  Choose whatever you like as a topping.  They do have a pretty strong rum flavor.  Hope you have fun with this!"


Deanna's Pullman Loaf

Deanna's Notes: "The bread was delish. I failed to take any pictures. I sliced both loaves up for sandwiches and toast, and they both made it into the freezer. We finished the first one today. 

"I will be making more, so I will get pics next time. I might try another recipe or use the same one and do more WW flour. I did 50/50 this time around. 

"I read a bit about pullman pans which I don’t have. They have a lid you slide on which serves to keep moisture in making your bread soft, and it aids in the square shape of the slices. I don’t know if I want a pullman pan yet as I am trying my hardest not to buy/accumulate too much stuff in my kitchen. The Corningware meatloaf pan worked quite well, and my loaf had a nice muffin top. 

Here is the recipe I used. Mine was dairy-free, "


Robin's Apple Pie

Robin's Dough Recipe:




More on the Great Latke vs Hamentash Debate 

If you're not familiar, the first Great LvH Debate was held at the University of Chicago in 1946. I, however, was introduced to this great tradition just a few years ago when TOR held one of its LvH Debates. In fact, I learned recently that Lynn's husband, Mike,  once defended the latke during a TOR LvH debate!

If you're looking for a humorous way to pass the time on these shorter days and longer winter evenings,  may I suggest you pick a past debate and enjoy! Who knows? You may be swayed to reconsider your position after listening to one of the many ingenious arguments.  For example, University of Chicago Chemistry professor Aaron Dinner, argued in 2014 from a standpoint of energy efficiency, that the latke is eight times more fuel efficient than the hamentash. Or, a few years earlier, Alan Dershowitz, during a debate at Harvard University with Steven Pinker, accused the latke of increasing the United States' dependence on oil! You never know what these advanced thinkers will come up with, but you can expect it will be most diverting when these clever Ph.D.'s apply their minds to this terrific tradition of ours.

Wikipedia: Latke Hamentashen Debate

The UnivofChicago 68th Annual Latke-Hamentash Debate (2014)

Harvard University Latkes vs. Hamentashen, The Promised Food (2007)


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