Meal Planning for Batsheva Hays & Eggy Challah Hamel, Rosh Hashanah & Hanukkah



This blog post will be about the history of batsheva hays eggy challah hanukkah. The first mention of the use of eggs by Eastern European Jews in the Ashkenazi tradition is in a German-Jewish cookbook, “Ein curiöses Kochbuch” (A curious cookbook) by Elisabeth Christa Ebner, published in 1779. The recipe calls for a boiled hen’s egg to be placed in a loaf of braided challah dough before baking.
Batsheva hays eggy challah hanukkah is one of the few Ashkenazi dishes that has remained widely popular in Central and Eastern Europe. By the 1840s, there were special egg bakes for every Jewish holiday.
As with all baked foods, eggs are at risk of “Thawing”, where the egg decomposes and produces a foul odor. However, because eggs are part of the ingredients for borscht and other cold soups, and because they are used as fillers in other cold salads (e.g. potato salad), they were frequently included in foods that were cooked and served hot.
It was not until the 1840s overall that “Batsheva hays eggy challah hanukkah” became popular in Eastern Europe. It was first mentioned in a Yiddish newspaper in 1846, and was popular among Jews from “pogrom-torn Russia” who came to America.
In the 1860s and 1870s, Jewish cooks in the United States began to try recreating this old favorite for their American customers. By the early 1900s, almost all North American Jews knew about it.

batsheva hays eggy challah hanukkah
batsheva hays eggy challah hanukkah

Batsheva’s Bathes Rav Shlomo Caro Inspired Me to Write “A Guide to Bathes”

I AM DOING THIS STORY FOR THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON: I am getting married to my long-time girlfriend and we both love challah bread. We wanted to make some that our parents would recognize.
We looked for recipes online and none of them seemed quite right. I was even buying a challah bread cookbook from a Jewish bookstore the day before our wedding but we still couldn’t find anything that really matched-up to what we wanted. We were beginning to panic, but fortunately my good friend’s sister who is a world famous chef (and also Jewish) had an idea just in time!

batsheva hays eggy challah hanukkah
batsheva hays eggy challah hanukkah

Chicken Hamel for Rosh Hashanah

My father-in-law is a great cook, and my wife and I really enjoyed the chicken hamel he made for Rosh Hashanah. It is a chicken soup made with a whole chicken, ground beef, beans, onions and spices simmered in an oven that was constructed from three clay pots. It is eaten with dumplings called hamelach.
Like many Jewish people, I’ve never thought to use hamelach on a holiday other than Passover. However, the hamelach are fun to make and tasty. We grew up eating chicken soup on Friday nights and I remembered my mother making hamelach for Passover.
After receiving the recipe for chicken hamel from my father-in-law, we decided to try it this year. Instead of using clay pots, we used a large batch cooking pot (a Dutch oven).
We used a whole chicken and half of a pound of ground beef. Starting with the pot on the stove, we browned the meat in the bottom of the pot. When it was cooked through, we added the hamelach. We sauteed them in butter until each dumpling was golden brown and cooked through.
When all of the hamelach were in place (and still piping hot), we added two cans of beef broth to the pot. We let the soup simmer for an hour, checking to make sure the pot was not boiling. Boiling would ruin the texture of the dumplings.

batsheva hays eggy challah hanukkah
batsheva hays eggy challah hanukkah