Tag Archives: challah recipe

Balsamic Apple Date Challah for Rosh Hashanah

Yield:
2 medium loaves


I love a good challah challenge and always welcome an excuse to create new flavors for friends and family to try. I tend to favor savory combinations such as rosemary and garlic, za’atar and “everything bagel” challah flavors, although I also make salty chocolate and cinnamon raisin versions on occasion.

For Rosh Hashanah this year I wanted to branch out and try something completely new and perfect for the holiday.

A few months ago I was chatting with my husband’s best friend’s mother, whom we lovingly call “Mama Morley.” She was explaining a technique she uses for round challah that I had not tried before – stuffing the challah dough and rolling it like a cinnamon bun. Brilliant!

This conversation stuck in my head, and so as I was mulling over potential recipes for the New Year I realized I should try this technique and stuff it with something uniquely delicious for Rosh Hashanah.

And thus my Balsamic Apple Date Challah was born. The dough itself is sweet, laced with cinnamon, vanilla and just a touch of nutmeg. And when you break into the round loaf, it is like biting into a challah cinnamon bun.

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I sprinkled the top of the challah with thick sea salt, cinnamon and sanding sugar. But you can leave the salt off if you would rather go all-sweet. Either way, your guests will barely be able to control themselves around this challah. My daughter kept trying to sneak her own bites, as you can see below from her chubby little hands which somehow made it into the photos.

Wishing everyone a sweet, happy, healthy and DELICIOUS New Year.

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Balsamic Apple Date Stuffed Challah

Posted on August 23, 2013

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The Ultimate Gluten-Free Challah Recipe

The first bread I ever learned to bake was challah. My grandmother was a rebbetzin famous for her glorious displays of baked goods, including challah. Once I started baking myself, my favorite time of the week was Shabbat dinner, when we’d lift the cover to reveal my braided loaves. We would all sigh, stomachs rumbling.

A bite of challah

After a year of exploring the wonderful world of baking bread, my one-woman gluten fest came to a rather rude end. I’d been ignoring my chronic stomach pains and bloating, and though I tested negative for celiac, I decided to try a gluten-free diet just to see. Both to my dismay and relief, my pains subsided, my energy level increased, and I began to feel more like myself again. I swore off bread and wallowed in self-pity until I took a shot at baking gluten-free bread. I soon discovered wonderful and tasty gluten-free flours, some made from grains I’d never even heard of.

A pinch of challah

After crafting this basic gluten-free bread recipe, I went off to create a challah recipe that would make my grandmother proud and would even be worthy of hamotzi and hafrashat challah, the blessing over separating and ritually burning a small piece of bread, also known as “taking challah.” (See “Challah Back,” my rabbinic source sheet all about challah baking!)

Challah with salt

According to Jewish law, challah can only be “taken” if made from one of the 5 grains named in the Bible: barley, rye, wheat, oat, spelt. Bread made from other grains can be kosher, but you cannot say hamotzi over it, nor can you take challah from it. Guess what? Those 5 grains are the grains that gluten-free eaters avoid. Oats, however, can be gluten-free if grown, harvested, and processed away from wheat.* A rabbi I consulted suggested that while no teshuva, or responsum, has been written on the topic, the oat flour must be at least 51% of the flour in the bread.

Based on these requirements, I put together the recipe below (using this amazing Kaiser Braided Loaf Pan, and served on my beloved Triassic Industries cutting board). Enjoy!

Vered-with-gf

Gluten-Free Oat Challah

Posted on July 23, 2013

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Challah

Yield:
2 medium loaves

SONY DSCChallah is sort of my thing. I’ve been baking my own and tweaking my recipe since I am 16 years old, and I love coming up with new combinations of flavors whenever I am inspired.

I generally prefer savory challah, since you can use the leftovers for sandwiches. But every now and then a sweet challah with chocolate chips, cinnamon, raisins or chocolate really hits the spot.

Not everyone loves the flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate, and I consider those people crazy. What is better than peanut butter and chocolate!? Well, maybe peanut butter and chocolate in a challah. With crumbs on top. Served with a cup of coffee, and this is what my breakfast dreams are made out of.

There are a couple of other bloggers doing some exciting things with challah which I love to follow, including The Challah Blog and Adventures in Challah so definitely check them out to get inspired!

Tip: baking challah is not a 1 hour process, so definitely give yourself plenty of lead time. And don’t rush the risingthe longer you let the dough rise, the fluffier it will be.

Happy challah baking!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Challah with Peanut Butter Crumbs

Posted on April 10, 2013

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Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding

Yield:
6-8 servings

It’s that time of year again when we go through cabinets, fridge and freezer searching for chametz and rack our brains on how to use them up before Passover. I love this challenge each year, especially because I usually have a few bags full of leftover challah just waiting to be used in a new recipe.

SONY DSCBread puddings are often sweet and served for dessert; while stuffing is usually savory and served as a side dish. But I wanted to sort of combine both these concepts and do something a bit different – a savory, dairy bread pudding perfect to serve for breakfast or brunch! And thus, my Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding with Goat Cheese and Mushrooms was born!

Don’t like mushrooms? Use spinach or peppers instead.Serve with scrambled eggs and some fruit for a perfect, rounded breakfast.

Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding

Posted on March 2, 2013

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2012: Food Resolutions!

Welcome 2012!

I am not one to make lofty secular New Year’s resolutions, but as we welcome 2012, perhaps it might be a good time consider some food-related goals for the year.

Have you heard about Meatless Mondays? Its an effort to help Americans cut out meat from their diets just one day a week, for health and environment reasons. So why not try a dairy meal once a week, like this recipe for Lasagna with Chard, Tomato Sauce and Ricotta.

You might consider substituting chicken or turkey instead for red meat, which I found was a good compromise between me and my meat-loving husband. If you’re looking to switch from chopped beef to turkey, try my own recipe for Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Peppers (the best part about this recipe – you can also make it for Passover!)  Another easy switch is using ground turkey in your chili recipe, instead of ground beef.

Want to try something totally new in the kitchen? Maybe its time to bake your own challah, make your own pickles or take on your grandmother’s brisket recipe. Already mastered challah? Perhaps you might enjoy trying a new twist on challah, such as one of The Challah Blog‘s unique flavors.

Another simple but fantastic food resolution is starting your own counter-top, or windowsill, herb garden! There are tons of herb gardens you can buy ready-to-go, but I just came across these Ceramic Wall Planters from West Elm, and I am already plotting out where I can mount them in our apartment, and fill them with thyme, lavender, mint and other aromatic herbs!

For me? I hope this year I will find a fruit cobbler recipe that never disappoints, and would also love to try to make my own rugelach! Have a good recipe to send me? I’d love to try it out and post the results.

Happy New Year 2012, and happy eating (and cooking, baking, jarring or planting)!

Posted on January 1, 2012

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy