Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs – Review

Many thanks to BookSparks & She Writes Press for the chance to read and review this book early!img_8454

If someone would have told me a memoir about baking bread would be one of the most exciting books I would read all year, I would’ve told them they were crazy. Thanks to Beth Ricanati and the BookSparks Magic of Memoir 4.0 blog tour my world has been turned upside down!

As the author’s routine encourages, I was planning to bake my bread on a Friday. However, when my kids and I sat down to begin our day of homeschooling, my daughter noticed a holiday was written on the calendar. Rosh Hashanah – it felt like Providence! We started an impromptu lesson on our Jewish friends’ new year and I decided to make my first challah. Let me tell you, baking this bread is everything the author hopes it will be for the reader. I felt relaxed and had so much fun learning something new and baking with my kids. One of my favorite things about making this bread was being able to learn about every step through reading this memoir and the history that brings us to the present day. This bread has been made by countless generations of women. Such a simple recipe, but the act of praying as the food is being made makes it feel as if this bread is not being made by my hands but by God’s instead.

Before reading this book, I didn’t have a lot of knowledge of Jewish practices and had never heard of challah before. My goodness, I have been missing out. This bread is the probably the best bread I have ever eaten! My family ate the first loaf in record time and even begged me to start making challah every Friday for them to enjoy fresh from the oven. Since I’ve read the book, I have made challah twice and it has become a part of my Christian home. What a blessing Beth Ricanati has given my family through her book, unifying people of various backgrounds and beliefs through food.

This book could not be more perfect for busy mothers looking to find a moment to slow down and take a moment for themselves in this fast-paced world. I love feeling the connection to other women I’ve never met, knowing they’ll be making challahs in their own homes to nourish their families on the same day as I am. As the blurb says, this simple act does bring a sense of peace and wellness to the heart and mind, even for me, a woman who often loathes cooking!  I can’t recommend this book enough and hope others will pick it up when it releases tomorrow!


What if you could bake bread once a week, every week? What if the smell of fresh baking bread could turn your house into a home? And what if the act of making the bread―mixing and kneading, watching and waiting―could heal your heartache and your emptiness, your sense of being overwhelmed? It can. This is the surprise that physician-mother Beth Ricanati learned when she started baking challah almost a decade ago: that simply stopping and baking bread was the best medicine she could prescribe for women in a fast-paced world. Braided chronicles a journey of a thousand challahs and one woman’s quest for wellness and peace.

Purchase on Amazon!


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