My Motley Challah

My Motley Challah

This past Friday my neighbor, Miriam, came over with a box full of partially used bags of flour.
Miriam, I know, loves baking and she had just hosted a retirement party for 2 colleagues from work and had baked up a storm. “But I’m not going to be able to use up this much flour before Pesach,” Miriam told me, “maybe you could use it?”
I definitely could! I had just noticed that I didn’t have enough flour in the pantry to make challah for my family plus the family with a new baby I had volunteered to cook for.
Thank you, Hashem! This timely delivery would save me a last-minute trip to the corner store.
I proofed my yeast and then weighed my neighbor’s flours. Just enough for my regular recipe!
I emptied the first bag of flour, and was a little surprised to notice it was rye. Miriam is French, so I’d assumed she uses mostly regular white flour for pastries and breads. But I was wrong. The next flour was whole wheat. The next was pizza flour. And the next was challah flour with the yeast already added (just add water, mix, braid and bake!)
What kind of challah would come forth from this motley crew of flours? I didn’t know. But I wasn’t about run to the corner store and start all over again. So I added extra sugar and hoped for the best.
After baking, I tasted some rolls I’d made from the dough. It was different than my regular challah. Moister, denser, chewier with a taste similar to rye. But yummy, b’H!
I packed up the food for the family with a newborn and when I arrived at their apartment, I was a little surprised to see that they were Ethiopian Jews, since there are only a few Ethiopian families in my neighborhood.
The mother thanked me profusely, and I felt happy that I had made the meal for them.
Right after Shabbat ended I received a call from the mother.
“Shalom Chana, all Shabbat we were enjoying the food you brought so much! Especially the bread! We were remarking about it all Shabbat! How did you make it?”
I was a little embarrassed to tell her about the motley crew of flours I’d used, so I just told her, “I used rye and whole wheat and white…”
And then she said, “We loved it because it tasted just like Ethiopian bread, Dabo! This is the kind of bread I make every Shabbat, so my family was so happy!”
I was stunned. Who would have guessed that my motley Challah would hit the spot so perfectly? What could I say but thank you Hashem. Again:)



  1. Wow wow! Channa, if you tell then the whole story of how this patchwork challah came about, this family will get to see the sweet gift that H’ sent them. & you had the zchut to be the shali’ach! & the challah reminds me of Am Yisrael. Different sorts come together as beautiful whole nation

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