Bread on a fast day

Yesterday was the 17th of Tammuz, a minor fast day on the Jewish calendar. It might seem like a smart decision to avoid all thoughts of food on a day of abstention, but I went in a different direction and instead made fifteen loaves of challah.

It was clay challah,¬†though. I didn’t have to worry about good smells from the oven or the temptation of little leftover lumps of dough.

15 unbaked challot

This was my first attempt to mass-produce. Of course, mass production is relative when you’re dealing with something like hand-braided miniature challah. Just blending the colors, prepping the dough and dividing the clay into twenty-ounce sections was fairly time-consuming.

And then of course, there was braiding, finishing and painting. Painting is important; who wants raw challah on their doll’s Shabbat table?

15 challot, baked

That’s better.

Now that I know how long it takes to make fifteen challot (answer: most of an afternoon), I can divide the time by fifteen and have a good idea of how long it takes to make a single challah. (Answer: about fifteen minutes. Not bad, I think?)

raw challah and exacto knife