Let’s talk about challah, weddings, and Rosh Hashanah #VeganMoFo

In September 2011, I made my first (vegan or otherwise) challah. I remember it because, 1. I blogged all about it, and 2. It was really nerve wracking, because I had never made challah before, and I was going to JC’s family’s house for Rosh Hashanah dinner (though we had all met before then for the first time at a different High Holiday… Passover… no pressure.) For those of you that might not be familiar with what a challah is (pronounced “hallah”), traditionally it is eaten on the Jewish sabbath and on holidays that allow for leavened bread. It’s also known as – egg bread. Yes, egg bread. Many of the recipes I’ve seen call for 8 or more eggs. Yes really. And to top it off, there is also usually an egg white wash on top. Now, this (obviously) isn’t impossible to veganize, but it still seems to really surprise people. (which gives me a sense of extra delicious satisfaction.) This does tie in with my Vegan Wedding MoFo theme, in that it is a tradition at the reception of Jewish Weddings to have a “Wedding Challah” aka a GIANT super challah (I’m imagining a challah with a cape now). Before the meal is served, there is wine and a blessing of the bread, and in some cases, the bride and groom pass out pieces of challah to their guests, or just save the challah eating to the head table. We’re not religious people, but JC is Jewish (culturally/secularly), and celebrating…

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Time to party like it’s 5772 – Rosh Hashanah, vegan style

I’m not Jewish, except by association. But I am a huge fan of exploring food traditions, and veganizing them whenever possible, especially when they are important to people that are important to me. I started thinking about what Rosh Hashanah dish I could bring to the family get together, and poking around on the internet. So other than planning to eat apple slices with maple syrup (sure, some people are using agave, but I’m on team maple,) I also decided I wanted to try my hand at challah. For those not familiar with challah, it’s also sometimes called… egg bread… since the original recipe often has 8 or more eggs in it. Yup. 8. Plus an egg white wash. I found a couple of great recipes, some that I probably would have attempted if I had more experience with baking challah, like this one from Creative Jewish Mom (because making 4 loaves of braided bread is much more ambitious than I had in mind), but the one I opted to do was the Egg-Free Challah off of VegKitchen by Rachel Ornstein Packer. I wish she had a website (EDIT: she does! – Lick the Bowl – minimal recipes, but still fun to read,) because all of the recipes I’ve seen from her have been great (and easy!). While I didn’t end up using Creative Jewish Mom’s challah recipe, I did find her guide on “How to Braid a Round Challah for Rosh Hashana” really helpful. I’m really visual, so her step…

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