Thursday, June 11, 2009

Third Time's the Charm

Even though I was almost satisfied with the results of my last attempt at challah, when I started the process this week, I made several changes. First, I've given up on the food processor for mixing. Last time, the motor started to overheat, and so I switched to my mixer, which, after all, is really the machine for the job. The entire process was interspersed with a few other kitchen tasks tonight, including shabbat food and tonight's dinner.

Probably more significant though, is I've given up on the idea of the overnight rise. I'm not sure what I thought the benefit would be, but I've learned that the rise time is directly affected by temperature, so I can make the challah work around my schedule. The baking time is only a half hour, so it can be the last thing baked on a Thursday night, and can cool overnight on a rack (which is what the picture shows).

If this batch tastes as good as it looks, I'll post the recipe.

Post Shabbat Review..... The taste is good but the challah still has a cakier consistency than I want. I'm going to do some reading to see what gives bread the chew and pull that I'm going for. All that said though, if you have a good mixer or a good food processor, baking challah is simple, doesn't require a huge amount of time or effort and it's very satisfying to put homemade challah on the table!


  1. Try Maggie Glezer's "The Blessing of Bread." It's a wonderful resource for challah baking. Shabbat Shalom!

  2. I have been baking challa every week for nearly 30 years. i've had my share of successes and failures but i've got a foolproof recipe which works in the mixer: 1 kilo flour (approx. 7 cups) 2 tblsp. dried yeast, 3/4 c. sugar, 1 tblsp. salt (mix dry tog.) add 2 eggs, 2 c. warm water, 1/3 c. oil. blend well till smooth dough forms. Let rise and punch down 2x. Form into braids, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with seeds, let rise. bake 350 for 25-30 minutes till golden brown. Enjoy! P.s. Do NOT leave out overnight,it'll get stale. wrap in saran wrap and freeze if not serving same day.

  3. Debbie - I am going to try next week for shmini atzeret - please tell me though.... you don't proof the yeast first? Bread flour or regular? About how long is each rise?

    Thanks & Shana Tova


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