Bake A Difference With USC Challah For Hunger

As we all share our favorite ways to fill our tummies, some of us can't help but think about those in our country who can't do the same. Hunger is a pervasive issue worldwide, but it can also be seen in our own backyards. One in every six Americans face hunger every day. Los Angeles County, known for Beverly Hills wealth and gold Amex cards, is the most food insecure county in the nation, with nearly 650,000 children who struggle daily with getting proper nutrition.

With these shocking statistics staring us in the face, college campuses all over the country are rallying against the issue. Clubs and organizations are popping up everywhere, filled with passionate and dedicated people in order to combat this national crisis. One such group is Challah for Hunger, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to food insecurity and other social justice issues.

USC founded its own chapter in the Spring of 2013, and its members have dedicated themselves to raising money and awareness to help stop hunger in the U.S. Specifically, USC's Challah for Hunger Chapter donates a portion of its money to Jewish World Watch, an organization that works to stop genocide in Darfur.

Photo by Ashley Seruya

Photo by Ashley Seruya

Baking every other Thursday evening, USC Challah for Hunger brings the students of our community together, from all backgrounds and ethnicities, with the joy of baking beautiful challah bread in flavors such as chocolate chip cinnamon, rosemary & olive oil, campfire s'mores, banana nutella and many others. These freshly-baked challah, sold at $5 a loaf, help fight an issue close to home.

Photo by Ashley Seruya

Photo by Ashley Seruya

If you are interested in getting involved with USC's Challah for Hunger Chapter, please contact

Thoughts of study days and finals already getting you down? Support USC's Challah for Hunger Chapter by attending our Challah French Toast Brunch on Monday, May 5th, 10:30 am to 1 pm. Just in time to shoo away the Monday blues, as well as that Monday-morning-study-days-hangover. Fresh french toast made with our handmade sliced challah bread will be served, along with fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, coffee and tea. Hosted by USC Hillel, entrance will be $5 per person, or free with the purchase of a "Can I Get a Challah?" tank.

USC's Challah for Hunger French Toast Brunch is brought to you by Cups Coffee, Hillel at USC, Challah for Hunger National and Jewish World Watch.

To see other food insecure counties, check out Feeding America's interactive map here.

Check out Spoon University's Northwestern Chapter's Challah for Hunger article here.

Interested in more challah? Check out Spoon's archives here.

Photo by Ashley Seruya

Photo by Ashley Seruya

Make your own challah at home with MIT's Challah for Hunger Chapter's challah dough recipe:

This recipe makes approximately four 1-lb loaves.


2 ½ cups warm water

1 tbsp active dry yeast

½ cup oil

¾ cups sugar

½ tbsp salt

6-8 cups all-purpose flour


Add to a large bowl: 2 ½ cups warm water, sprinkle 1 tbsp yeast over the surface of the water. Wait a couple minutes for the yeast to soften; the yeast will not look dry anymore.

Mix in: ½ cup oil, ¾ cups sugar and ½ tbsp salt

Mix in: 1 cup flour

Measure: 5 cups flour

Mix in the additional flour a cup or two at a time. The mixture should start to resemble dough.

Mix in: up to 2 additional cups flour, a little at a time. Once the dough becomes less soft and sticky and more solid, remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 10 – 12 minutes. If the dough is sticking to your hands or the table, add more flour.

How to tell if the dough has been kneaded enough: The dough will look smooth and have a consistent texture all the way through (it's ok if the dough isn't perfectly smooth, it will get smoother after rising), the dough will slightly push back at you as you are kneading it, it won't feel so soft anymore, and will hold its shape, the dough shouldn't be too sticky, the dough should be stretchy.

Photo by Ashley Seruya

Photo by Ashley Seruya

Return the dough to the bowl: cover it with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in volume (make sure the bowl is sufficiently large for this).

To Bake: Separate the dough into 10 oz portions and braid. Top them with egg wash. Place them onto a greased baking sheet, and bake in an oven set at 450 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top starts to brown.



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