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Friday, April 25, 2014

The Key to Good Hollie

Hollie is what my Grandpa Al called the traditional Sabbath bread also known as challah.  You know, that gutteral "ch."  Hollie to me is actually Holly, who is a new friend of mine.  (Hi, Holly!)

This week is the first Shabbat after Passover and an old but only recently popularized custom is that of the "shlissel challah" or , key challah.  The idea is that you bake a challah in the shape of a key, or, alternately, bake a key directly into the challah.  One of the explanations given is that the key will open up the gates of heaven for the next 7 weeks until the holiday of Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. 

Early this morning I remembered the shlissel challah, whipped up some dough, and even got the big kids to shape some loaves.  Glad they fit it in before the bus. 

I wonder if Grandpa Al knew of this custom or learned about it during his youth at Chaim Berlin Yeshiva.  For some reason, I doubt it.  But I know he would have chuckled at the joke my dear husband Stango offered up this morning as I pulled out the last loaves from the oven.  Something that I should do more often.  Shlissel while you work. 


no keys in here, but these are the loaves shaped by the 3 children shown above.  Nistar's is the top.  Ezra's is the bottom left, with help from his big sis.  Eli's is the bottom right.

Kinderlach's challahs baked and finished product

will be needing this spare house key!

for those who care about sepsis, indeed we wrap the key

I do the traditional three strand braid

wow, I had a manicure last week!

peekaboo, I see you, key!

I braid from the center.  See the key?

moving right along...


almost there
I flipped it over after braiding
I also shaped one in the shape of a key.  I brushed the loaves with an egg-oil-chopped onion-salt mixture.  Yummy onion taste, thanks again to dear Leah Shemtov for that tip

Whelp, that's all folks.  Thinking of Grandpa Al, and Grandma Martha, all of blessed memories, since I mentioned Grandpa Al above.  Hope they enjoyed my handiwork!  Good Shabbes to everyone on the planet and in the past in the future and all the energy bodies everywhere.

Here are my Grandma Martha and Grandpa Al, at my bat mitzvah, sitting in center.  Other dear family members include, from left to right, by couple:  Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Murray , Aunt Henny and later husband Dave, aforementioned Grandma Martha and Al , and Grandma Mayme and Grandpa Archie .  May all their memories be for a blessing.  Miss all these good people.  What a nice representation of families.