How to Challah For Hunger
  • The rope is curled and rolled into a finished, braided knot shape.
  • The bakers cross their two “cables” in an X and proceed to twist them into a thick rope.
  • The next step is to add oil, salt and honey.
  • An indent is pressed down the center of the flavored loaves, and toppings are carefully nestled and sealed inside.
  • Making the perfect roll of challah takes practice. The first step is to divide the dough in half and flatten it.
  • The executive board and loyal volunteers weigh portions of dough and form them into rolls.
  • When there’s extra dough and toppings, some linger behind and play with their own creations.
  • Although many volunteers are of Jewish descent, the club welcomes non-Jewish club-goers as well.
  • After adding flour and kneading the dough with the help of volunteers, the dough is allowed to rise overnight.
  • A group of regulars prepare the dough by activating the yeast with warm water and sugar in smaller bowls.
  • Each braid is packaged in clear plastic bags with custom paper orders, and it's sent off with love.
  • When the baked rolls are pulled out of the oven, shiny loaves are set out to cool.
  • They glaze their rolls with egg wash and pop their dough braids into the oven Thursday nights.

Photos by Ally Mark / North by Northwestern

Northwestern University's Challah For Hunger chapter is a club on campus that bakes challah loaves, which they sell to raise money for the American Jewish World Service and ARK. To aid efforts against world hunger, they sell dozens of loaves to loyal customers and attract many volunteers, people who either appreciate the cause, enjoy baking bread or both. Two days, two and a half bags of flour, three to four jars of yeast and at least seven dozen eggs per week later, the club distributes plain, cinnamon sugar, Oreo and "flavor of the week" braided rolls. Popular flavors include Birthday Cake, Nutella and "Dillo" – which essentially means everything you could possible want in a roll of challah. Here's the whole process.


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