Thursday, September 22, 2011


If you want to make good challah, I learned last night, you need to use good flour, good yeast, and water just the right temperature (not hot!). Recipes vary in proportions, method, and additions such as toppings and fillings. The finished loaf is brushed with egg which can be mixed with honey to make the crust sweet. Some people add chocolate chips, chopped apple, cinnamon-sugar, chopped onion, olives, and more either to the top or within the strands that are then braided.

Here are a few photos of some of the women who were also learning:

Forming strands of dough after first rise:


Shaped dough topped with apples:


My finished loaf, baked after I got home:



Jeanie said...

You are ever so much more brave than I! Yeast and I don't seem to have much of a love affair going on -- but boy, that looks terrific!

~~louise~~ said...

I'm with Jeanie on this one. I too have "yeastaphobia" which by the way I plan on conquering this winter!

Your Challah looks heavenly, Mae!

Thanks for sharing...

RJM said...

To Jeanie and ~~louise: My step-mother-in-law once said "Yeast is very forgiving." She's right. Your phobias are misplaced. Fear pastry crust instead. It shows no mercy.
Meanwhile, Mae, the single most imporgtant factor for good challah, and thus the reason for my 7-year(and counting) campaign to get Zingerman's to improve its challah by using the recipe I inherited from my grandmother-in-law, is TIME. Zingerman's understands about TIME for all its breads EXCEPT challah. My challah - I'm making a batch as I type; it's resting - takes a minimum of 6 hours and I rarely do it in less than 8 or 9. And mine looks, tastes, smells, has better texture, lasts, re-heats, freezes, slices, crumbles and does everything else WAY better than Zingerman's, which is closer to yellow Wonderbread than to MY challah. With all due respect.
I plan to post the recipe for Baba's Challah on r3a2recipes.blogspot soon. When I do, I'll (1) let you know, and (2) link to your beautiful post.