Tag Archives: challah

Summer Pesto and Gruyere Stuffed Challah

Yield:
1 large challah

There are few things better than a freshly baked challah. But sometimes even perfection needs a little shake-up. Or perhaps more accurately, a little stuffing.

I have experimented stuffing challah with sweet combinations like my Balsamic Apple Date Challah and super savory varieties like my Pastrami Sandwich Challah. But I had been hankering to try something with a little summer flare to it.

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This latest stuffed challah is a bit lighter than both my previous stuffed challah experiments, with brightness from fresh herbs and just a touch of richness from the cheese.

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And the truth is you can stuff your challah with any pesto variation you like: kale pesto, fresh herb pesto or a traditional basil-pine nut pesto.

Don’t want to include cheese? Just leave it out. You will still have a deliciously unique stuffed challah experience.

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Pesto and Gruyere Stuffed Challah

Ingredients

For the pesto:

1 bunch fresh garlic scapes, trimmed

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup fresh spinach, steamed

2-3 Tbsp fresh parsley

2-3 Tbsp fresh basil

1/2-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the challah:

1.5 Tbsp yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 1/4 cup lukewarm water

4 1.2-5 cups King Arthur flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 Tbsp salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup shredded gruyere or crumbled goat cheese

1 egg yolk + 1 tsp water for glaze

Thick sea salt, sesame seeds and dried herbs (optional)

Directions

To make the pesto:

Place garlic scapes, garlic clove, spinach, basil and parsley in a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Start pulsing. Drizzle olive oil and continue to pulse. Scrape down sides with rubber spatula, add salt and pepper to taste and pulse until desired smoothness.

Place in an air-tight container until ready to use.

*Note: after steaming spinach, make sure to remove excess water very thoroughly. 

To make the challah:

In a small bowl, place yeast, 1 tsp sugar and lukewarm water. Allow to sit around 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with oil. Mix thoroughly.

Add another cup of flour and eggs until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.

Add another 1 1/2 cups flour and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead remaining flour into dough, continuing to knead for around 10 minutes (or however long your hands will last).

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise 3-4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

After the challah is done rising, roll out dough into a large rectangle about ½-1 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. The challah dough may need an extra dusting of flour to work with at this point.

Spread a thin, very even layer of pesto all over the dough. You may have extra pesto leftover.  Sprinkle gruyere or goat cheese in an even layer on top of pesto, leaving ½ inch border all around.

Working quickly, start rolling up the dough towards you. Try and keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Pinch the end and tuck under when you finish.

Create a pinwheel shaped-challah by snaking the dough around and around in a circle around itself. When finished, tuck the end under the challah neatly and pinch lightly. This doesn't have to be perfect.

Allow challah to rise another 30-60 minutes, or until you can see the size has grown.

Beat 1 egg yolk with 1 tsp water. Brush liberally over challah. If desired, combine 2 tsp thick sea salt with 1 tsp sesame seeds, 1 tsp dried basil and 1 tsp dried parsley and sprinkle on top of egg wash.

Bake for 26-27 minutes, or until middle looks like it has just set, and the color is golden.

Posted on July 10, 2014

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

Key Challah

Have you heard of the tradition of baking a shlissel challah, or key challah, the Shabbat after Passover? I hadn’t either until last year when I started noticing pictures of key-shaped challot and challot with keys baked somewhere in the loaf last year on Facebook and instagram.

Liz key challahI googled and finally found out the reason. A shlissel challah is a good omen, or a segula, for livelihood, parnassa.

Melinda from Kitchen Tested has a great explanation of this tradition:

The key challah is supposed to bring “segulah for parnassah” or a blessing to their home. Why right after Passover? On the high-holidays, we ask G-d to open the gates of heaven for our prayers and on Passover, we ask G-d to recall how He opened the gates for the entire nation of Israel in the days after the Jews left Egypt and were welcomed in to the “promised land.” When the challah is made to represent a key, we are asking for the key to unlock the gates for us as well.

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So what do you think – will you try your hand at making a key challah as a good omen? Koshereye has video instructions to help if you’re up for the challenge.

A special thank you to Liz Morley, aka mama Morley, for sharing her picture of shlissel challah with The Nosher.

Shabbat Shalom!

Posted on April 25, 2014

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

Scrumptious Southern Sweet Potato Challah

Passover’s over; challah week is here! Yesterday we gave you dessert challah with our Double Chocolate Chip Challah and today we’re offering you this delicious Sweet Potato Challah devised by our friends down in Jackson, Mississippi.

Want to see how these…

sweet potatoes

…can be turned into this?

sweet potato challah

Click here to find the recipe on Southern & Jewish.

Bon apetit, y’all!

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Posted on April 24, 2014

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

Double Chocolate Chip Challah

Yield:
One large loaf or two smaller loaves

I always say that I loathe Passover, but there is a part of me that also enjoys it. Or at the very least, appreciates its value. It’s a week where we are challenged to be even more thoughtful about the food we eat and where it comes from. And it’s almost like our own version of a Spring cleanse. Bye-bye carbs, hello vegetables and creative use of potatoes. I do feel lighter after a week without bread and pasta, despite my bitching and moaning all the way through. And believe me, my husband can vouch for my constant kvetching.

choc-challah-stamp2But the time has come to indulge in some carbs once again, and I can’t wait to get back to my Friday routine of baking challah with my daughter.

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And do you know what’s better than challah? Chocolate chip challah. And perhaps even better than chocolate chip challah? Double chocolate chip challah laced with cinnamon, vanilla and dark cocoa powder.

I swear by Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder and highly recommend you keep it stocked for cookies, cakes and sometimes even challah.

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Double Chocolate Chip Challah

Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast

1 1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 tsp sugar

5 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 Tbsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

1 egg yolk

thick sea salt (optional)

Directions

In a small bowl, place yeast, 1 tsp sugar and lukewarm water. Allow to sit around 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and vegetable oil. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Add another cup of flour and eggs until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.

Remove approximately half the dough and place in a large bowl. Add cocoa powder and 1/2 cup flour and mix. Add half the chocolate chips another 1/2 cup-1 cup of flour and knead on a lightly floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more floured if needed. Set aside.

Add the remaining chocolate chips and 1/2 -1 cup flour to the plain dough and mix into dough. Add another 1/2 cup flour and continue knead on a lightly floured surface for around 10 minutes or until the plain dough is also elastic and smooth. Add more flour if needed.

Place both doughs in separate greased bowls and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combining dough from both the plain and chocolate challah, braid into one large loaf or two smaller loaves. If attempting a six braid, I like this video tutorial.

Allow challahs to rise another 30-60 minutes, or until you can see the the size has grown and challah seems fluffy and light to the touch.

Beat 1 egg yolk and brush liberally over challah. Sprinkle thick sea salt on top if desired.

Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until middle looks like it has just set, and the color is golden.

Posted on April 23, 2014

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

Beyond French Toast: Recipes for Leftover Challah

I don’t know about you, but whenever I peak into my freezer, I am overwhelmed by the immeasurable number of bags of leftover challah that I have put away. I hate wasting the leftover challah slices and scraps after Shabbat, and yet I so infrequently find uses for them.

So I decided it was high time to put all that challah to delicious good use, beyond just bread pudding (delicious) and french toast on Sunday (the perfect breakfast).

Here are a variety of ideas for how to use up those leftover morsels that may actually get you excited about all those bags of bread in the freezer.

leftover-challah-recipes-co

Berry Cream Cheese Stuffed Challah French Toast

Challah Panzanella Salad with Butternut Squash, Dates and Hazelnuts from Food52

French Onion Soup with Challah and Munster Cheese

Baked French Toast

cgctoast


Cheesy Garlic Challah Toast

Challah Croutons from The Domesticated Wolf

Challah Bread Crumbs from Granoladox

Chocolate-Chocolate Bread Pudding

Mushroom Challah Stuffing from Amy Kritzer

challah dressing

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Posted on February 14, 2014

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

Berry-Stuffed Challah French Toast

Yield:
4 servings

Having leftover challah has never been a bad thing. Sunday morning brunches, Shabbat afternoon sandwiches; the options go on. Since I am hosting most Friday nights and am constantly left with challah I decided I needed to be a little more creative with the leftovers.

This past weekend I also happened to have a bowl of mixed berries left over and knew right away this was the week to leave my comfort zone and make stuffed challah french toast using both these delicious remains.

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French toast is one of my favorite foods and eat it any time of day. And now that I have created this challah masterpiece, I may never stop.  I even went as far as to make homemade blueberry syrup to go on top, but you can leave this step out if you prefer plain maple syrup.

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Berry-Stuffed Challah French Toast

Ingredients

For the French toast:

1/2 loaf leftover challah

½ cup mixed berries

4oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1 ½ tsp vanilla

3 eggs

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp maple syrup

½ cup milk

Butter or oil for pan

For the blueberry syrup

½ cup of sugar

1 Tbsp cornstarch

½ cup water

½ cup of fresh blueberries

½ tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp butter

Pinch of salt

Directions

To make the French toast:

Slice the challah into 2-inch thick pieces. Using a paring knife, cut a deep slit across the top in the middle of each slice, approximately 4 inches long - This will form your “pocket.” Once you’re done, set the bread aside.

Put the room temperature cream cheese, vanilla and mixed berries in a bowl and combine using a wooden spoon. The berries will crush a bit and that is good. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, add 2 eggs, cinnamon, maple syrup, and milk. Mix well.

Take the fruit-cream cheese mixture and stuff into the "pockets" of the challah.

When done stuffing each piece of bread, completely coat each piece in egg mixture. Make sure all sides are covered.

Put butter or oil into a hot skillet and melt completely. Add the stuffed challah to the skillet and cook roughly about 3-6 minutes on each side, until it reaches a nice golden brown. You want to make sure the cream cheese mixture heats through.

To make the blueberry syrup:

Combine sugar, cornstarch and water over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the blueberries and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the butter, cinnamon and salt simmer for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Top the stuffed French toast with berry syrup.

Posted on February 8, 2014

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

French Onion Soup with Challah and Munster Cheese

Yield:
6 servings

Most weeks it’s hard to find a crumb of challah leftover after Shabbat, especially since my husband and I love hosting our friends for Shabbat dinner whenever we can.

But every few weeks or so we like to enjoy a quiet Shabbat just the three of us, and when this happens, there is inevitably part of a challah loaf leftover.

veggie-french-onion-soup-stOf course, I make French toast. I make croutons, bread crumbs and even bread pudding. But sometimes a gal just wants to try something new.

I found this recipe from the Inventive Vegetarian and knew I wanted to use up some of my challah to finish off a rich bowl of French Onion Soup. Topped with bubbling, melted munster cheese and you have a Jewish version of this iconic soup. The onions make the soup sweet, and the richness of both the eggy challah and gooey munster cheese make each bite practically sinfulveggie-onion-soup-stamped

French Onion Soup with Challah and Munster Cheese

Ingredients

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

½ tsp sugar

1 ½ Tbsp all-purpose flour

½ cup white wine

6 cups vegetable stock

1-2 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

6 pieces leftover challah

6 pieces sliced munster cheese

Special equipment: individual ramekins

Directions

Heat the oil and butter in a large pot over medium-low heat.

Add onions and allow to cook for 12-15 minutes. Don’t worry about fussing with them too much right now, you will be stirring later.
After 15 minutes, add the sugar and stir. Allow the onions to caramelize for the next 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently. If the onions are getting crispy make sure to lower the heat.

After the onions are fully caramelized, sprinkle the flour over them and cook for about three minutes, continuing to stir.
Next, add the wine, deglazing the bottom of the pan as you stir.

Add the stock and the water, continuing to stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a simmer and allow to cook another 30 minutes.

Add several ladles full of soup to each individual ramekin.

Toast your challah pieces and place on top of soup. Add a slice of Munster on top of challah round and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and just beginning to brown.

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Posted on February 4, 2014

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

Pastrami Sandwich Challah

Yield:
1 large challah

When I was in high school, I had the most wonderful English teacher (that’s you, Mr. Scanlon!) who quoted Emerson, roughly, saying that we all contradict ourselves.

I often feel like I am the epitome of contradiction where eating and cooking is concerned. I strive to keep a mostly vegetarian diet, but sometimes I can’t help it. I relish making something fatty and delicious using red meat. And my Pastrami Sandwich Challah fits this bill precisely.

Pastrami Sandwich ChallahStuffing my challah with meat all began with my famous challah dogs (stay tuned for that recipe!). But recently I had a hankering to stuff my challah with something else. Ground beef? Seemed messy. Chicken? So dry. But then I thought of the North American classic deli roll—a dish I did not grow up with, and which I find both disgusting and delicious. And the idea for this crazy new challah began to take shape.

Pastrami Sandwich ChallahIf you have a local butcher as an option, please please please go get freshly sliced pastrami. Thin is best—a thick-cut pastrami will not result in the same consistency.

Make sure not to spread the Russian dressing on too thick, or you could end up with a leaky challah. I know that sounds delicious, but it might not make for such a pretty-looking challah.

Pastrami Sandwich ChallahLet us know if you try this. I’d love to hear modifications!

Pastrami Sandwich Challah

Ingredients

5 cups of all purpose flour

1/4 cup vegetable oil

½ Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp onion powder

½ cup sugar

1 ½ cups lukewarm water

1 Tbsp yeast

1 tsp sugar

2 eggs plus one egg yolk

1/8-1/4 lb thinly sliced pastrami

3 Tbsp ketchup

1 Tbsp mayo

Poppy seeds

Dried minced onion

Thick sea salt (optional)

Directions

Proof yeast by placing yeast, sugar and lukewarm water in a small bowl. Stir gently just once or twice. Allow to sit around 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, onion powder and sugar. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with oil. Mix thoroughly.

Add another cup of flour and 2 eggs until smooth (save extra egg yolk for later). Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.

Add another 1 1/2 cups flour and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead remaining flour into dough, continuing to knead for around 10 minutes (or however long your hands will last).

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise 3-4 hours.

After dough has risen, roll out dough using a rolling pin until it is about ½ inch thick. Mix ketchup and mayo in a small bowl and spread a thin layer all over the dough.

Lay pastrami down in a single layer overlapping pieces only slightly.

Working quickly, start rolling up the dough towards you. Try and keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Pinch the end when you finish.

Create a pinwheel shaped-challah by snaking the dough around and around in a circle around itself. When finished, tuck the end under the challah neatly and pinch lightly. This doesn't have to be perfect - remember, as long as it tastes good, almost no one will care what it looks like.

Allow challah to rise another hour. This extra rise will ensure fluffy challah.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush challah with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with poppy seeds, dried onion and a touch of thick sea salt (optional). Bake challah for 27-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Serve warm.

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Posted on January 30, 2014

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

Challah with a Chinese Twist

Love challah? Love Chinese food? You can’t believe the luck you’re in: Challah with a Chinese Twist!

scallion-challah-dough

Hold onto your challah covers, Noshers!

braided-scallion

Molly Yeh, a rocking young Chinese-American Jew and world-class baker just came up with an incredible recipe that celebrates her mixed heritage. And we’re so glad she did!

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Find her gloriously easy and delicious recipe here. “Inspired by the scallion pancake,” she writes.

We’re in food-love!

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Posted on January 22, 2014

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

Enter Our Winter Giveaway to Win Fresh Kosher Nosh!

Bagels, rugelach, and babka, oh my!

The most delicious giveaway of the winter is officially on until Thursday, December 19, and four of you are about to win a selection of incredible kosher goodies from our friends at Kosher Gift Box, our favorite online purveyor of Jewish nosh. For FREE.

The grand prize—get ready for it—is the NYC Brunch Basket, full of fresh bagels, rugelach, lox, and cream cheese ($119.99 value) sent overnight straight to your front door.

bagels and lox

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And the lucky runners-up?

One will get this Collector’s Tin of Rugelach ($44.99 value).

rugelach tin

Another: this Fresh Challah Variety Pack with four delicious flavors ($34.99 value).

challah pack

And the third: this amazing Babka Two-Pack with cinnamon and chocolate loaves. (Because why choose?) ($27.99 value).

Babka Set

Scroll back up to enter today!

Update! The winners are in! Congratulations to Jeff of Nashville, Tennessee; Natali of Hollywood, Florida; Erin of Niagara Falls, New York; and Alicia of West Bloomfield, Michigan. Happy noshing!

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Posted on December 12, 2013

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

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