We know many of you choose gluten free lifestyles for various reasons so it was important for us to offer you a gluten free Challah. You receive all of the blessings and benefits of traditional challah without sacrificing texture, taste and your healthiest, happiest Self. This lovingly written recipe includes Challah Prayers.
3 C. dry raw 0at groats (without husks)
1 1/2 C. filtered water
1/2 C. Raw Mesquite Meal
3 tsp. Himalayan Salt or Transformational Salt (or to taste)
2 tsp. combination of sweet spices of choice, such as cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla powder, nutmeg, cloves, or Allspice.
2 C. flax seeds, ground in a coffee grinder or high-speed blender
1 C. cold-pressed sesame oil
Optional: Stevia to taste
To Sprout the Oat Groats
In a large bowl or sprouting jar(s), soak the oat groats in purified water for 6-8 hours. Drain soaked groats, rinse, and drain again. This can be done in a colander if you not using a sprouting jar with a screened lid. Set aside to sprout, rinsing 3 times a day for 1-2 days. When oat groats have grown small tails they are sprouted and ready to use.
To Prepare the Bread
Combine sprouted oat groats, filtered water, salt, stevia and spices in a food-processor and process until smooth. Stir in the oil, mesquite meal, and flax seed meal. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes in order for flax seed meal to bind the dough.
Sprinkle working surface with additional mesquite flour and cinnamon or flaxseed meal to prevent dough from sticking while forming into braided loaves. Dehydrate at 145°F for one hour. Reduce heat to 115°F an additional 5-7 hours. (If using a conventional oven turn to lowest heat, place the loaves onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place in oven, leaving the oven door open a bit, if you have an oven fan please use that as well, check the loaves after 3 hours. You want the outside to be firm and, when you press down, you want the inside to be moist.)
The moment of separating challah is an especially propitious moment for praying for family and loved ones. You may, of course, offer a personal prayer in your own words or you can say one of the following.
Prayers to be recited before separating challah:
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁתְּבָרֵךְ עִסָּתֵנוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁשָּׁלַחְתָּ בְּרָכָה בְּעִסּוֹת אִמּוֹתֵינוּ שָׂרָה, רִבְקָה, רָחֵל וְלֵאָה, וִיקֻיַּם בָּנוּ הַפָּסוּק: “וְרֵאשִׁית עֲרִיסוֹתֵיכֶם תִּתְּנוּ לַכֹּהֵן לְהַנִּיחַ בְּרָכָה אֶל בֵּיתֶךָ”
May it be Your will, our G-d, the G-d of our Fathers, that You bless our dough, as You blessed the dough of our Mothers, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah. And may we be blessed as in the verse: “You shall give the first yield of your dough to the kohen to make a blessing rest upon your home.” (Ezekiel 44:30)
Some have the custom to recite the following verse twice before reciting the blessing for separating challah (Sefer Chukei HaNashim):
וִיהִי נׁעַם אֲדׁנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ.
May the pleasantness of the L-rd our G-d be upon us; establish for us the work of our hands; establish the work of our hands (Psalms 90:17).
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, our G-d, the G-d of our Fathers, that the mitzvah of separating challah be considered as if I observed every one of its details. May my raising of the challah be considered as the sacrifice that was offered on the altar, which was willingly accepted. Just as giving the challah to the kohen in the past served to atone for sins, so may it atone for my sins and I shall be like a person reborn, free of sin and transgression. May I be able to observe the holy Shabbat and Festivals with my husband (and our children), and be nourished from the holiness of these days. May the influence of the mitzvah of challah enable our children to be always nourished by the hands of the Holy One blessed be He, with His abundant mercy, loving-kindness, and great love; and the mitzvah of challah be accepted as though I have given a tithe. And now, as I am fulfilling the mitzvah of challah with all my heart, so may the compassion of the Holy One Blessed be He be aroused to keep me from sorrow and pain always, Amen.
Throughout the entire Challah making process:
Lichvod Shabbat Kodesh / Yom Tov – May all who eat from the Challah be blessed with the Beracha it contains. May it nourish their bodies to be healthy to do Mitzvot.
Sift flour – Just as I separate the good from the bad, Hashem please help me to discard the negative influences in my life and the lives of my family. Remove the Yetzer Hara (bad inclination) so that only good remains. As I feel the flour I am now partners with Hashem.
Sugar – Hashem please sweeten my judgment with mercy. Help me judge others favorably and see everything with an Ayin Tova (good eye). Help me act with love and Chesed (kindness). Bless me with a sweet life and enjoyment from relationships. Its sweetness symbolizes loving/kindness (חסד) and softness. May we always be sweet to others, develop a good eye to see the positive in everything! May Hashem forgive us and sweeten the judgment!
Salt – Salt has natural boundaries. The right amount of salt preserves and enhances; too much is unhealthy. Hashem, help me to know my limits (just like you must limit your salt intake) and to hold back, to think before I speak and act. Help me watch my Tzniut (modesty). Let me live according to the boundaries of Halacha that You have set up as guidelines for me. Hashem let me have patience, and let me be satisfied with my lot.
Yeast (Flax) – Hashem please help me to do your will with happiness and excitement. Yeast in Hebrew = Shemarim. Shemira=guard. Hashem grant me your protection and protect us from all physical and spiritual harms- from the Yetzer Hara (bad inclination), from Lashon Hara (bad speech), and from all bad things. Just as yeast rises, let me rise and get excited to fulfill my role in life. Help me to have Simcha (happiness) in my home and in my life. Please bring Refuah Shelema (speedy recovery) for all (include names of sick).
Oil (Coconut Oil) – Oil is a symbol of Beracha (blessing). All Beracha comes from Hashem, and “Birkat Hashem Hi Ta’ashir” – The blessing of Hashem will make us rich. Hashem bless me with the oil of life and all of life’s blessings, such as health, success, and wisdom. Pray for Parnassah (livelihood). Hashem please bless me to use my time productively and to learn Torah Lishma (even without reward). Shower us with blessing from your hands. Bless me to know that everything is from your hands. May we merit in the anointing of Mashiach.
Warm Water – “Ein Mayim Elah Torah” (there is no water except for the Torah). As water unifies and connects all ingredients, Hashem please help me connect to you, your Torah.