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Monday, April 13, 2015

A-Z Challenge K is for Kosher

I know what you're probably thinking. What's a little Italian girl know about Kosher cooking? It just might surprise you how much I know about cooking and keeping Kosher. My cousin Holly had severe allergies when she was young. She could barely eat a thing. Believe it or not, we found that the one thing she could eat was all the Kosher treats she wanted and they never, ever made her sick. We visited a lot of Kosher delis, food stores and bakeries hunting around for that little Parve symbol. Thankfully, my family has A LOT of Jewish friends and they helped us out. Especially, my Aunt Lynn.
This is the symbol to look for!!
These chocolate jelly rings are amazing!!

Although we have a lot of Jewish friends, I have to say my Aunt Lynn has been the most instrumental in helping me learn all about Kosher foods and Jewish cooking. Since I was born, we have always celebrated the Jewish holidays with her and her family. She has taken me under her wing and showed me just how she does it. There is no where else like my Auntie Lynn's kitchen, it's always a party at her house. We have a ball celebrating all the holidays with lots of laughs, food and so much joy. Whether we're rolling matzo balls or layering up some noodle kugel, my Aunt Lynn's house is the place to be.
Manischewitz is my favorite brand of mix to use for making matzo balls.
How do you like your matza balls- chewy, soft or hard? I prefer mine to be chewy but not too soft. 

Here's one of my favorite recipes for Challah bread. It's kind of a pain, but nothing tastes or smells better than a loaf of freshly baked Challah.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 ounce package of dry yeast
3/4 warm water
2 tablespoons of light cooking oil
2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
4 cups flour
poppy seeds are optional- I am allergic so we always leave them out

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Add oil, salt and sugar. Separate 1 egg reserving the white at room temp. for a final glaze; beat the yolk into the remaining  2 whole eggs. Add beaten eggs to the yeast mixture. Stir in flour and knead on a floured board until firm and elastic. Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover with a plastic bag or a clean cloth, and let dough double in bulk for one to two hours.

Turn dough out onto floured board and knead again. Divide dough in half; then divide 1 of the halves into 3 sections. With well-floured hands roll the three sections into long ropes; press the ends of the three ropes together; braid and press the other ends together. Divide remaining half of dough into 2 sections one larger than the other. Make 2 more sets of braids. You know have 3 braids, in three sizes. Place largest braid on greased baking sheet. Place medium braid on top of large one, and smallest braid on top of the medium one. Let loaf stand at room temp for 1 hour. Then brush with the egg white to get a shiny looking crust on top. Sprinkle with poppy seeds (if desired and you're not allergic to them, like me) and bake your loaf of Challah in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown. This recipe yields one large loaf.

Enjoy!!

6 comments:

  1. I wonder what's in (or not in) Kosher food that allows your cousin to eat it without a reaction?
    I could make that bread, but my wife would have to braid it.

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    1. Yeah I really don't know that allows her to eat it. Hahaha- I can barely braid the bread! :-)

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  2. Oh I love Challah. Unfortunately I was recently diagnosed with an auto immune disease and a general grain allergy, no flour or at least not grain flour, for me. I wonder if it would work with coconut flour, probably not. I'm learning to bake in a whole new way.

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    1. Oh my gosh, that stinks. I don't know what I would do if I could not eat bread... :-( :-(

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  3. How special i it that you have your Aunt Lyn. I think it would be neat to know all about the Jewish traditions and holidays.

    I may not be enough of an expert in the kitchen to pull off such a beautiful, delicious looking bread.

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    1. My family really does enjoy having her and my aunt's family. And it is so cool to be a part of the traditions and cultures. I can never make the breads look good, you have to have a knack for it.

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