Noah’s Favorite Challah Bread

Challah is a bread Jews consume on the Sabbath and holidays and it is surrounded by folklore, tradition, and symbolism. Braided challahs with three, four, or six strands are the most common. And because the braids look like arms intertwined, many people believe that they represent love.

Noah’s Bar Mitzvah

This is Noah’s favorite challah bread and one I now make weekly. This is not my recipe, the original is by Marcy Goldman, and it can be found in her cookbook, Jewish Holiday Baking. I have lightly adapted Goldman’s recipe over the years to fit our families’ tastes. This challah recipe has become especially meaningful for my younger son. I made this challah recipe for Noah’s bar mitzvah which was in December 2020. Like many special life events at the time, the severity of Covid meant we needed a new plan. The inability to gather in groups meant Noah’s bar mitzvah could not be held in person. Instead, we needed to hold it in our backyard, on Zoom, and (for the safety of everyone) without guests.  At first, this was heartbreaking to accept. This was not the plan our son had worked so hard for. But Noah pushed ahead with grace and grit, despite the absence of family and friends and the intimidating presence of cameras, screens, mics, lights, and a full tech crew before him.

Something We All Need

In his speech, my son spoke about food and its significance in life, Judaism, and within our own family. He spoke about how food sustains us and connects us because we all need it.  My son’s bar mitzvah was actually one of the first zoomitzvahas during pandemic life and something most were still unfamiliar with. To make the service feel a bit more special for those viewing, we sent small care packages to guests ahead of the big day. Inside the packages were some service essentials; a program, yarmulkas, candy to be tossed in the air in celebration when prompted once Noah completed his ceremonial duties, and a recipe for Noah’s favorite challah bread.

Noah's favorite challah

Feel the Love

What was so amazing, was on the actual day of Noah’s bar mitzvah, when I welcomed guests online before the service started, I looked up at a giant screen with all our guests, and saw many holding up beautiful, freshly baked challahs, made for the service, using the recipe we sent. I was blown away by this incredibly thoughtful gesture. The challahs, of all shapes and sizes, were incredible and connected all of us, even remotely.

Baking challah, or any bread for that matter, is a labor of love. Baking bread requires patience and flexibility that one obtains through repetition. But bread baking is also cathartic. Baking bread can provide a release of emotions, tensions, and stressors we all have within us, even if we don’t know it.

Noah nailed his zoomitzvaha and this challah bread, both plain or raisin, helped my whole family through the worst of the pandemic. It sounds silly I know, but it’s true. The challah helped calm our frayed nerves at the end of the week, it was truly restorative.

My Challah Tips

This particular recipe makes two very large challahs. Truthfully, when I make it, I typically split the recipe (which is not the easiest thing to do as halving an egg can be tricky), but trust me, it’s doable. I also adjust my flour amounts weekly based on the humidity that day, which one learns how to do with repetition. The main takeaway from this is that challah bread can be forgiving. The most important tip is to always use fresh yeast and activate it properly before you begin.

I hope you give Noah’s favorite challah recipe a try and if you do, please drop me a note and let me know if you enjoyed it. Because this is such a special recipe to me, I’d really love to hear your thoughts.

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comment Policy

Simmer + Sauce reserves the right to remove or restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the topic conversation, contain profanity or offensive language, personal attacks, or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Any post found to be in violation of any of these guidelines will be modified or removed without warning. When making a comment on my blog, you grant Simmer + Sauce permission to reproduce your content to our discretion, an example being for a possible endorsement or media kit purposes. If you don’t want your comment to be used for such purposes, please explicitly state this within the body of your comment. If you find evidence of copyright infringement in the comments of, contact me and I will remove that in question promptly.