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Baker's Gallery

10/01/2020 12:41:56 PM


Erica Bobrow

Alexis, aka Bubbe Alexis, has a goal to teach everyone in her synagogue to bake challah. She is an accomplished baker, experienced caterer, and has contributed greatly to the collaborative collection of zoom cooking programs through the pandemic. She has shared many of her recipes with the joined congregations and they are found in the Resources section of the TOR website.



Ben, TOR's Erev Cantor, joined the collaborative congregations during the summer of 2020, well into the pandemic. He began showing his beautiful challot during Friday Shabbat services. Our group admired and wondered at his creations until he joined us one day in March, 2021 with his partner, Shinae, to show us their technique and take on stuffed challah and embracing the process. Truly a wonderful session to remember.



Cecily has decades of experience making challah and is a TOR challah go-to resource. She is always ready to offer help to newbies to challah making and to provide advice whenever asked. She is a staple of the Challah Time group and one of the initial cheerleaders for the idea. She demonstrated how to make challah with adaptations to Evie Lieb's recipe in November, 2020 for Challah Time.

October 2, 2020         



Deanna, who does her own preserving and a lot of interesting baking, brings that creative energy to Challah Time. She is curious about different breads, ingredients, and ways to make her baking healthy and delicious.


Ellen joined Challah Time after the New Year having never made a yeast bread and she took to the process as a true artist. She's curious and becoming an accomplished challah baker. Shaping is her current focus. She makes lovely challah covers and other Judaica textile art.

Ellie is another great cheerleader of the group. She had a tough time with some challenging challah recipes from the beginning. But her tenacity kept her coming back to master the process. Ellie has a scientist's mind, and with that approach, was able to determine ultimately how to make challah she was proud of. I have to say I was proud of her for sticking with it and so glad she's part of the group.

Helene will tell you that she cooks from recipes, sort of. She will bake a recipe as she knows it should be done, but that can't really be written down, one has to learn it, know it. Helene bakes extra for the TOR freezer for whatever needs arise, she's truly a generous spirit and a delight in Challah Time. Helene uses her brother's or the basic Challah Time water challah recipe and plays with all sorts of sizes and shapes each week.

Kathy had made challah prior to joining Challah Time. She makes beautiful challot on alternating Friday's. She has a great interest and enthusiasm for the Challah Time community that can be felt through the screen. Her questions are spot-on and lead to good discussions. She, along with Lynn, pair up to make amazing challot which we all enjoy seeing and hearing about.

Karen had never made challah on an individual scale prior to Challah Time. She had mixed the dough for 500 soldiers in the Israeli army on an exchange program there, working in a kitchen on a base. Nonetheless, she took to small-batch challah baking during the pandemic very quickly. Her grandchildren now have a favorite mix-in flavor for her challah-cinnamon and brown sugar.

Laura has made many challot with a tried and true recipe. When she's joined in, she has been fine tuning her recipe's knead time for different results.  She has a wealth of knowledge on baking and cooking, especially Israeli cuisine. Laura and her husband, Rabbi Alan, provided many Zoom cooking sessions during the pandemic, and their recipes can be found on the Resources page.

Leslie has joined in recently and we are just getting to know her. I look forward to learning more about her baking experience and what her challah making interests are.

Lori uses an adapted brioche recipe for her fluffy gorgeous challah. She is creative with her shaping sometimes showing us interesting abstract artistically shaped loaves. Lori is also a glass artist so it's no wonder she's using challah shaping as a creative outlet as well.

Lynn was making challah on alternate Friday's prior to Challah Time. We are so glad she and Kathy decided to stop by and have continued to join in since then. Not only does Lynn make beautiful, large challot, she also shares with us other delectable recipes, like her rum balls, which we watched her make this past Winter. Both she and Kathy have fabulous minds that have proven wonderfully helpful at figuring out challenging recipes. 

Nancy loves to bake and it shows with her participation in Challah Time. She has demonstrated 2 recipes for us, her scones and bagels. Both were delightful to watch and informative. She's been a tremendous resource for ideas and ongoing enthusiasm for our group. I'm so fortunate to have her joining us each week.

I'm Erica and I lead Challah Time each week. I'd made challah 10 or so times when I started Challah Time. During the pandemic, I was looking for a way to establish connection once a week through our ritual of making challah. And what do you know? It worked!! The bakers joined in wanting the same. We've been going strong since October 2nd, 2020, meeting via Zoom at 11am PST on Fridays. Sometimes our sessions last an hour usually 80-90 minutes. We have a lot to talk about.  

I personally have explored a variety of shaping projects. Currently I'm focussing on fine tuning a sourdough vegan challah recipe that meets my taste. I'm also curious about how our ancestors made bread, how it differed from our current challah, and what I can learn from those past culinary traditions.


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