Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Challah

The smaller of my two braided loaves.
 I made some Challah for Christmas dinner. I was not planning on making any bread at all because I have not yet had a successful loaf that I have made since I graduated from college, but my mother sweetly encouraged and convinced me to make an easy bread recipe. My favorite no-hassle bread recipe is a Challah recipe from a blog I stumbled across called Tupper Cooks.

Until I ran across this recipe, I had never trusted no-kneed recipes. The first few that I tried produced thick, heavy bread and I decided that "no-kneed" was an altogether bad idea. However, I really wanted to make Challah for some friends for the end of passover, so I decided to try it out. It was perfect! It also made a great impression at Christmas dinner. My braiding is not very practiced, so my loaves are kind of misshapen, but they taste good.

In the oven, on my baking stone.

A picture of the crumb.

The larger loaf.

The smaller loaf.
This afternoon, I had a snack of toasted challah with left-over double-creme brie. Yum!

Note: you may notice, looking at Tupper's recipe, that this bread requires a much lower heat (350 degrees Fahrenheit instead of a more usually 450 degrees Fahrenheit). This, according Wild Bread, is because enriched breads (that include fats-- like eggs and oils-- and/or sugars-- like honey) brown faster and must be cooked at a lower temperature (Rayner 104). I thought that was pretty cool.

Update 12/29/10: I put half of the recipe in the refrigerator to make later (this challah can be toasted to heat it up, but it is much better fresh) . The recipe said that it could be refrigerated fro up to 5 days. I made the second half of it today. It turned out great but there are a couple of notes. First, I braided it right out of the refrigerator. After an hours, the bread had hardly risen at all, so I let it rise for another hour (for a total of 2 hours rising time). It did not rise very much-- only to about half the size of the original loaves. However, when I put it in the oven it had lots of oven spring (i.e. it puffed up a lot in the oven) and was about the same size as the original loaves. It tastes just as good. I highly recommend it!


  1. I think you would like a book I got for Christmas...On Food and Cooking--- the science and lore of the kitchen...I'm just starting it, so I'll let you know if it's interesting.

  2. That sounds fabulous! Definitely let me know.