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Challah recipe and the prayers associated with it

B’H

 CHALLAH WITH SPECIAL PRAYERS

BAKING CHALLAH WITH SPECIAL PRAYERS AND SEGULOT

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 I received this recipe from a community member named Janet Chana Esses.

Leilui Nishmat my father of blessed memory: Yitzchak Ben Monavar A”H

In honor of my mother a true Eshet Chayil Sonia Bat Frieda who should live a long healthy life.

 When you make Challah you are partners with Hashem!! Pray:

Thank you Hashem for all the blessings you have given me and my family. Thank-you for always protecting us and doing what is best for us.

Please Hashem help me …..It is an “Et Rratzon (an opportune time) to connect with Hashem.

 5lbs. of lbs. flour:   While sifting the flour  pray;  Please Hashem help me to separate the good from the bad ,help me to get rid of my negative character traits and my Yetzer Hara, help me to focus on the positive and incorporate positive character traits just like I am doing with sifting the flour.

 14tbs. of sugar:  As you add the sugar pray;  Please Hashem, help me to have a sweet din(judgement) help me to have Ayin Tova ( a good eye) help me and my family to have a sweet life, to always be able to love. Help me to help others and to do chesed (acts of loving kindness).

 2 Tbs. of salt:   As you add the salt around the flour pray; please Hashem help me to know how to set limits in my life, how to balance my own needs, my work and my family life. Just like you made our bodies rely on salt for existence allow me to work for purposes of our existence as well. Yet just as overdoing salt is detrimental to us, so too allow me to know when my work is sufficient and to take proper rest and rejuvenate.

 3 or 4 packages of dry yeast:  Create a hole in the center of the flour in the bowl that you have all the above ingredients in. Then in a separate bowl, add the packages of yeast, 2 more tablespoons of sugar and 1 cup of warm water. When it begins to bubble, add the yeast mixture to the larger bowl with the hole in the center of the flour. Pray; help me to have simcha (happiness) in my home, in my life. Grant us your protection (as yeast in Hebrew is called shimarim which translates to protection) now and always. Please Hashem, allow me to feel joy for others as well. Bless me with tranquility, inner peace so I can continue doing mitzvot.

 1/2 cup of oil   (I prefer olive oil):  Bless us in with good health always. Help us to recognize that everything comes from your hands. All our blessings come from you as well as our hardships. Help us to grow stronger from the hardships and appreciate all that you have blessed us with. Let us be zoche (merit) to see the geula (redemption) and the anointment of Mashiach with oil (shemen hamishcha) speedily in our days amen! 

 4 and 1/2 cups of water (add more if you need to for the dough to be elastic): as you add the water and knead by folding the dough over and over, pray; Please Hashem help me to connect to you, strengthen my emunah (faith) in you. Help me to connect to the Torah which you blessed us with. Help me to connect to your children and to everyone around me. Help us to have unity among one another and thereby connect to you as you stand for unity. ( water, is a connector, it is a key ingredient to life sustenance).

 Making challah, or any bread for that matter allows us the women to make tikun on the sin of Chava. By completing the process of challah (bread) baking, we are in essence allowing our neshamot( souls) to feel complete and whole again.

 3 eggs (optional):  if you add the eggs continue to mix it into the bowl and pray: Please Hashem as this egg represents fertility, so too help me and my children to be blessed with fertility. Help everything I do with my hands to have beracha and remain fertile always.

Most importantly thank you for the life you blessed me with. I realize that this egg is a reminder of my humble beginnings, thereby help me to feel this humility always. 

After completing the process of kneading, cover the dough with a large paper towel and a regular towel over that. Allow it to rest for an hour or more to rise.

It is tremendous mitzva for anyone to separate the challah. Many have the tendency to allow: a woman who is not married yet, to do this mitzvah, so she may find her spouse with ease. You can allow a woman who did not have children yet to separate the challah so she can have children in this merit. Some separate the challah in the merit of certain individual/individuals for refuah shelema (complete healing). Whatever the reason now is a great time to pray for any personal needs you may have as well as anyone else's needs.

Now you are ready to complete the mitzvah of challah. Married women please cover your hair and make this beracha:

Ashkenazim:   

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Sefaradim:

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The piece of dough you detach can be of any size. The custom is to separate a kazayit 28 grams (approximately one ounce), or the size of a ping-pong ball.

Detach the challah and recite:  

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  (then continue reciting this prayer)

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁהַמִּצְוָה שֶׁל הַפְרָשַׁת חַלָּה תֵּחָשֵׁב כְּאִלּוּ קִיַּמְתִּיהָ בְּכָל פְּרָטֶיהָ וְדִקְדוּקֶיהָ, וְתֵחָשֵׁב הֲרָמַת הַחַלָּה שֶׁאֲנִי
 
מְרִימָה, כְּמוֹ הַקָּרְבָּן שֶׁהֻקְרַב עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ, שֶׁנִּתְקַבֵּל בְּרָצוֹן. וּכְמוֹ שֶׁלְּפָנִים הָיְתָה הַחַלָּה נְתוּנָה לַכֹּהֵן וְהָיְתָה זוֹ לְכַפָּרַת עֲוֹנוֹת, כָּךְ תִּהְיֶה לְכַפָּרָה
 
לַעֲוֹנוֹתַי, וְאָז אֶהְיֶה כְּאִלּוּ נוֹלַדְתִּי מֵחָדָשׁ, נְקִיָּה מֵחֵטְא וְעָוֹן. וְאוּכַל לְקַיֵּם מִצְוַת שַׁבַּת קֹדֶשׁ וְהַיָּמִים הַטּוֹבִים עִם בַּעֲלִי (וִילָדֵינוּ, לִהְיוֹת נִזּוֹנִים מִקְּדֻשַּׁת
 
הַיָּמִים הָאֵלֶּה. וּמֵהַשְׁפָּעָתָהּ שֶׁל מִצְוַת חַלָּה, יִהְיוּ יְלָדֵינוּ נִזּוֹנִים תָּמִיד מִיָּדָיו שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, בְּרֹב רַחֲמָיו וַחֲסָדָיו, וּבְרֹב אַהֲבָה, וְשֶׁתִּתְקַבֵּל
 
מִצְוַת חַלָּה כְּאִלּוּ נָתַתִּי מַעֲשֵׂר. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהִנְנִי מְקַיֶּמֶת מִצְוַת חַלָּה בְּכָל לֵב, כָּךְ יִתְעוֹרְרוּ רַחֲמָיו שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְשָׁמְרֵנִי מִצַּעַר וּמִמַּכְאוֹבִים כָּל
 
הַיָּמִים, אָמֵן:

"May it be Your Will, Eternal, our G-d, that the commandment of separating challah be considered as if I had performed it with all its details and ramifications. May my elevation of the challah be comparable to the sacrifice that was offered on the altar, which was acceptable and pleasing. Just as giving the challah to the Kohein in former times served to atone for sins, so may it atone for mine, and make me like a person reborn without sins. May it enable me to observe the holy Sabbath (or Festival of...) with my husband (and our children) and to become imbued with its holiness. May the spiritual influence of the mitzvah of challah enable our children to be constantly sustained by the hands of the Holy One, blessed is He, with His abundant mercy, loving-kindness, and love. Consider the mitzvah of challah as if I have given the tithe. And just as I am fulfilling this mitzvah with all my heart, so may Your compassion be aroused to keep me from sorrow and pain, always. Amen."

 Burn the separated dough or wrap it in two layers and discard it.

It is preferable to burn the piece of dough that has been separated, but not in the oven. If the challah is burned on the gas range, it should first be well wrapped in aluminum foil so that the dough does not touch the grate. Another option is to place the piece of dough inside a tin-can and burn it on a lit gas range.

If burning the challah cannot easily be done, it may be wrapped in two layers of a material such as aluminum foil or plastic bags and discarded.

Now you can braid the dough into two or more large loaves. Invite your kids to make any shape they please. Some people have the minhag- custom of placing their house key within the shape of the dough prior to baking (segula for parnassa).

Allow to rise for another half an hour, then brush the dough with an egg and bake at 350 degrees F. until golden brown. Please make the beracha of Hamotzi prior to eating.

TIZKU LEMITZVOT AND BON APPETIT!

  

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ

Barukh atah Adonai Elohaynu melekh ha-olam ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universewho brings forth bread from the earth.

When is Challah Separated?

In order to determine whether our dough requires separating challah, and whether we should separate challah with a blessing or without a blessing, we must consider the type and the amount of flour used and the liquid contents of the dough.

Type of Flour: The obligation to separate challah applies to dough made with flour produced from one of, or a combination of, the following five grains: wheat, barley, rye, oat and spelt.

Amount of Flour: The amount of flour used determines whether challah is separated with a blessing or without a blessing, or is not separated at all.

Separate challah with a blessing: When using at least 1,666.6 grams (3 lbs. 10.8 oz.) of flour.

Separate challah without a blessing: When using flour weighing between 1,230 and 1,666.6 grams ( between 2 lbs. 11.4 oz. and 3 lbs. 10.8 oz.).

Do not separate challah: When using less than 1,230 grams (2 lbs. 11.4 oz.) of flour.
All flour used when preparing the dough, such as flour used when rolling the dough, should be included in the calculations.

When Measuring Flour in Cups: It is preferable to measure the amount of flour in units of weight (grams, pounds, ounces) rather than in cups, because different types of flour have differences in moisture content, and the manner in which the flour is measured affects the measuring results. When flour is measured in cups, it is best to avoid the “dark areas” in the diagram below.

The Amount of Flour Required for Separating Challah – in Cups*

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* The figures were calculated with a standard 8 oz. (230 cc) measuring cup containing sifted white flour. The figures were calculated based on the opinion of Rabbi Chaim Naeh.


Different Types of Dough: The mitzvah of separating challah applies not only to challah or bread dough, but also to any dough that meets the requirements of flour and liquids as detailed above, such as the dough of cakes, cookies, and pizza.
       If one prepares a dough or batter with the intention of cooking or frying it (such as doughnuts or blintzes), challah should be separated without a blessing. However, if one’s intention is to bake even a small part of it, challah should be separated with a blessing.
Combining Doughs:  When preparing more than one dough, and each dough does not have the required amount of flour needed to separate challah, the doughs may be combined, and challah can be separated.
       If one is concerned that the different doughs should not get mixed together (such as bread dough and cake batter), they should not be joined.
To combine the doughs, lay them next to one another so that they touch, and separate challah with a blessing. If it is difficult to combine the doughs, one may leave them in their bowls and cover them with a cloth or some other covering so that they appear to be one mass of dough.

Separating Challah after Baking: Challah is usually separated from dough before it has been divided or shaped. In some cases, however, challah needs to be separated from the finished product, after the baking is done.

  • When separating challah from cake batter, challah may be separated after the cake has been baked, since it is difficult to separate a portion of unbaked cake batter.
  • If you have forgotten to separate challah from any type of dough before it was baked, you can separate challah after baking.

If you are separating challah from baked goods, cover them all with a cloth or place into one container. Then take a piece from one of the baked goods and say the blessing if required.

Remember not to partake of the baked goods until challah has been separated.

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