How a Herts-based choreographer’s homemade Challah bread is warming hearts and tummies
PUBLISHED: 13:28 28 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:47 28 July 2020
When coronavirus hit and theatres shut, choreographer Tim Claydon needed something to satisfy his creative side and turned to baking. He shares his story and tells us why gifting Challah bread is the perfect way to lift spirits and say ‘thank you’.
Q: What is Challah bread?
A: Challah is a ceremonial Jewish bread that is usually eaten on the Shabbat. It’s amazingly tasty, but difficult to buy commercially in Hertfordshire.
I would compare it to a brioche – it’s slightly more savoury, but is made with honey so still has that sweet undertone.
Plain Challah bread goes with everything, but I think it’s best enjoyed with just butter so you can really appreciate the taste.
Q: Why did you choose to make Challah bread?
A: I have worked in theatre for 30 years and was deeply distressed to find that I would be out of work for a long period of time. I’m not good at staying still, so knew I needed to find something to fill the time. My friend told me about their grandmother’s Challah bread and sent me the recipe.
Once I tried the bread, I loved it and shared loaves with friends. Their positive reaction inspired me to make a small business out of it.
I experimented with new recipes, and now have a range of different types of baked goods – such as chilli and sea salt Challah, chocolate Challah, garlic and rosemary rye bread, and cinnamon buns - that I hand deliver. People are loving it, and many of the loaves have been ordered for nurses from people in their care. It’s a great way to show your appreciation for someone.
Q: What bread is your favourite?
A: If I had to pick it would be the chilli and sea salt Challah – it goes well with both sweet and savoury foods. It took me a while to perfect the balance of the chilli – I now make my own chilli vegetable oil to bake it with. A lot of love and work has gone into the recipe.
Q: What makes bread such a good gift?
A: Bread is a very comforting food, and nobody dislikes it! Receiving lovingly homemade, warm bread or cinnamon buns at your door from a friend or someone you’ve helped is such a touching gesture.