Sunday, October 29, 2017

Abraham`s Journey, and a Challah Tutorial!

The Parsha this week  is Lech Lecha! which is where God tells Abraham (whose name is Abram when he sets out), to Go from his father`s house and leave everything behind.

I wanted to make a special challah to mark the occasion.

The Challah is a Red Bean Challah!
(an Original Challah, begun here @Challah and Cherry Blossoms!See posts HERE!An-Pan Challah and Lech Lecha Parsha, and HERE! A Challah for Abraham for why a Red Bean Challah!)

So in this post I would like to attempt to put the two take you through the steps of making the challah, while relating it to the Parsha this week.  Any questions?!

Are you Ready?   Set , GO!!!
The LORD said to Abram,
"Go forth from your native land and from your father`s house to the land that I will show you."
--Genesis 12:1

1.  God tells Abraham to Go!  Lech Lecha!  Go forth!  Abraham leaves his father`s house with no specifics about where he is going, but in complete faith set out in obedience.  Abraham came from a family of idol worshippers (his father had a business of selling idols) and  found for himself the truth of the One true God. And as such he becomes the first `believer`, the one who we model our faith on!

At this point in the challah making, you start out with preparing the yeast and water, and wait a few minutes for it to become foamy so you know it is activated.

These are some of the ingredients I gathered --- the flours (white and whole wheat), eggs, salt, and the red beans.  The red beans are a product of Hokkaido, the north of Japan.  The oil I use is Grapeseed oil, it makes a smooth texture and dough that is easy to work with.
This sugar is called `tensai-to`. It says `sugar that is kind to the stomach`.  I like this kind of natural sugar, made from Daikon radish.  I don`t know if you can find it outside of Japan, but if you can, I highly recommend it! Or you can find the sugar that is local to where you are!
The yeast is starting to get foamy
Like me, this ingredient is from America. Oatmeal.  I was able to find it at a local food shop.  Am I stretching the Abraham comparison to say that like Abraham, I too set out to a land far from my father`s house!  Though to be honest, when I set out I didn`t know the LORD so I didn`t yet know the meaning of Faith and obedience.  Thus the only part of the comparison that sticks is that of leaving my home country for another land!!

Mixing in the flours (local from Japan) and making a dough
Knead until it looks smooth and arrange into a ball like this. Now we introduce the red beans!

  While the dough is in it`s first rise,

2.  Prepare the Red Beans
When I look into the bowl of red beans, I see all the beans, I can barely count them.
I think of God`s promise to Abraham that his offspring will be as countless as the stars in the sky.

I will make of you a great nation,
And I will bless you:
I will make your name great,
And you shall be a blessing.       ---Genesis 12:2

He took him outside and said,
"Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them. "  And He added, "So shall your offspring be."  And because he put his trust in the LORD, He reckoned it to his merit.
---Genesis 15:5~6

And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham`s seed--
heirs according to the promise.   
--Galatians 3:29

This recipe is an oral tradition passed `up` by my daughter!! When she was very young, maybe around six years old, she loved to cook, and she asked my husband`s sister how to make red bean paste!!

3.  The dough has doubled

Abrahams descendants will be multiplied.
Now when God made His promise to Abraham---since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "Surely I will bless you, and surely I will multiply you." ---Hebrews 6:13~14

Now we will make the bean paste and fill it,  roll it into the strands, and begin the journey of making.
From one , make it into 6 parts.

 God changed Abram`s name from Avram to Avraham.
From one, a multitude, a Father of nations..

In Japan, red beans are used for celebratory `Red bean rice` on special occasions like weddings, graduations, etc.  Today`s Red Bean Challah is made in Japan, and is a celebration of our forefather Abraham who went forth in obedience to God, and the Faith with which he set forth ! 

notes on the Challah:
The recipe I used for the dough is this WHOLE WHEAT CHALLAH
Follow the recipe,  up to the second rise, with the substitutions or your own variations.
The substitutions I made are as per the post, instead of butter>Grapeseed oil, and for brown sugar>Japanese Tensai-To (sugar made from daikon radish)
After the second rise, divide the dough for your strands, and then roll them and put in the filling.
Add about 5 or 10 minutes to the baking time, as the filled strands might need the extra time.
Tent with foil as needed during baking if the outside gets done quickly.

To be continued....


  1. This looks so good! I’ve never had it made with beans.

  2. Thanks Sandi! It`s an original Challah, made especially for the Parsha, I too never saw a red bean challah:)) Please let me know if you try it... my first tutorial, so I wonder how it is to follow along with, feedback welcome if anyone tries it!!

  3. Frankly I try, as far as possible, to keep away from dough and bread, for dietary reasons. However, I like to read about that , especially if it's written so smoothly like your posts, and has such nice photos to sustain the writing.

  4. Hi Duta, Thank you for sharing. I am glad you can enjoy the bread here, by reading and not having to worry about the dietary concerns. Can you eat gluten-free breads or any type of breads? I have thought to make a gluten-free challah for people who can`t eat bread products, but I wonder if it would still be of concern...
    Thank you always for your kind words!

  5. This is so beautiful ! The pictures are helpful and interesting and I love the story about the recipe being passed UP from your daughter, and of you coming from America, and afterwards finding your faith..........blogging, and incorporating so many wonderful analogies from scripture to real life here now!

    1. Thank you Tammy! Yes, I treasure that recipe from my daughter:)) Blessed by your reading into the fine print of the post and thank you always for your kind comments!!