Friday, May 04, 2007

Challahsaurus חלהזאַװער

At least one member of my family is much more likely to eat food if it is shaped like a dinosaur, and I understand he is not entirely alone in this position. The key challah discussion made me think of other shapes that might be interesting and appropriate for other shabosim of the year and it seemed that a challahsaurus, or khalezaver, would be particularly well-suited to shabes emor, when we read that the olive oil bread consumed in the temple was to be “lekhem-azkore” or “dinosaur-bread” (or possibly “memorial-bread;” translations differ, or at least they do now).

חלהזאַװער Challahsaurus

¾ cup warm water

3 packets active dry yeast

4 ½ eggs (leave over part of one egg for the glaze)

4 yolks (so that you have about 10 ounces eggs and yolks, combined. You can make it more or less yolky depending on your plans for the whites)

1/4 cup olive oil

¼ cup honey

6 ½ cups flour (30-32 ounces)

4 teaspoons kosher salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add eggs, oil, honey, flour and salt and work into a still dough. Knead the dough for about fifteen minutes and allow it to rise, covered, in a warmish place until doubled. Punch down the dough. At this point you can begin shaping the loaves, or allow the dough to rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Divide the dough into two portions, one twice the size of the other. The larger portion is for the challahsaurus. With the rest you may make your second challah in the shape of your choice.

Heat the oven t0 350F.

Divide the larger dough piece into six balls, two large, two medium, and two small. Roll the the dough balls into six ropes.

Use aluminum foil to make a dinosaur-shaped (sort of L-shaped) armature for your baking pan. Lay the two shorter dough ropes across the lower leg of the “L”. These will be your dinosaur legs.
Now braid together the remaining four ropes so that parts of the longest pieces extend out of either end of the braid. These will be Dino’s head and tail.

Lay the dinosaur-braid over the legs so that the head is resting on the upper leg of the aluminum-foil armature. Make eyes with pumpkin seeds or whatever is handy. Shape your second challah, and brush both challahs with egg glaze, made with the half-egg remaining from the dough and a teaspoon of water.

Bake the challahs to a deep golden brown. This will take about 25 minutes. You may need to remove one of your oven racks to make room for everyone to stand up.

Ooh! I just can’t wait. You can make a dinosaur challah from this pumpkin challah recipe as well.

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8 Comments:

Blogger zp said...

I just brought a kind of challah to a house with kids and next time I do this, it's challahsaurus for sure. I cannot wait for the day.

Although, sometimes kids puzzle me. I cut a princess crown out of a cylindrical ice cream box once and they could not recognize it as an ice cream box anymore. And it's not like I painted it. It just had sparkles on it.

Can they see the dinosaur? Will they eat the bread?

3:41 PM  
Blogger zp said...

ps. Plus the crust is my favorite part and the challahsaurus has lots of crust. But then, kids don't like crust. Oh, the paradoxes.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Ulrike said...

Wow, challasaurus rex, great idea! But there is too much crust and less crumb for my kids...

4:01 AM  
Anonymous avigayl said...

OMG, genius!

8:30 AM  
Blogger Miriam said...

oh!!!! my mom made these when i was a kid! only she made giant lizards and turtles with spikes and tails and shells. she made the dough green by using spinach-puree colored water as the liquid. these fearsome beasts with their raisin eyed-glare and their sharp, scissor-cut spikes were sure to grace our shabbat table at any of the birthdays of my brothers and quite a number of birthdays of their small friends.

1:12 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

zp,
Let us know how your challahsaurus comes out. The Wee'an immediately recognized the challasuarus as a dinosaur and even agreed to eat some heart-shaped tempeh pakoras. Regarding crust. . .

ulrike,
an acrocanthosaurus has a higher crumb-to-crust ratio, but the middle might come out half-baked.

avigayl, thanks!

miriam,

Those sound great. Turtles and lizards, are particularly challahgenic, since all of them is close to the ground. Snakes too.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Pille said...

What a great & fun idea. I've got two small nephews, I'm sure they'd love a saurus bread like this:)

2:28 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Pille,
I hope you'll try it!

8:52 PM  

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