After months of constant emails from people who have watched my Challah braiding video on YouTube asking for my challah recipe, I decided to reopen my blog. I love blogging, actually, but my life has gotten so hectic I can barely keep up with it.
There are some questions that seem to come up fairly regularly, so I’ll try to address them here.
Bread Machines – I have never used a bread machine. I would rather make Challah each Friday the “old fashioned way” simply because I like to. Nothing against Bread Machines. This means I have no idea how a bread machine might affect my recipe. I’m sorry, but I guess you’ll have to have fun experimenting to see what works for you.
Baking Stones – The baking stones I use in the video are at least 16-17 years old. They are very dark because I’ve used them for so many different things, and of course, I use them every Friday. I bought the round one through a Pampered Chef party AGES ago and the rectangular one from a local store, Fred Meyer. Both have been great and I can’t imagine baking Challah without them. However, I do have silicone loaf pans and they are excellent as well, but for the braided loaves, I use the stones.
Round Challot – I bake round Challot for Rosh Hashanah each year. There is no mystery to it. Take the regular Challah recipe on my blog (or the Cinnamon Raisin recipe) and instead of making two loaves, you separate the entire lump of dough into six very long “ropes”. Braid as you would a giant Challah, but try to stretch it out as long as you can. You’ll need the length in order to bring it around and attach the ends together to make a ring. Having a film of flour under it will help you to move it about on the countertop easily. Transferring it to the stone can be tricky, but don’t despair or think there is some easier way that you should have figured out by now. There IS no easy way. Suffer with the rest of us.
Challah Recipes – I experimented for several years before I settled on our family recipe for Challah. For a while, our family went total “low-carb” and I even had developed a low-carb version of Challah (I think I still have the recipe and pictures, but don’t let my family know this). We were so desperate for something that looked and smelled like bread we put up with it for three years. We suffered, but not in silence. Anyhow, the current recipe is a compromise because some of us unlucky members of the clan experience insulin resistance. Lucky us. Despite it’s obvious high-carb content due to the flour used, it is sugar free. Traditional Challah would normally have honey in the recipe. If you want one with honey, there are thousands of Challah recipes on the internet, just let your fingers Google, or Bing, or…whatever.
Freezing Challot - Challah freezes really well. If you know you won’t have time to bake on Friday before Shabbat, you can bake the Challah any day of the week. Just bake, let completely cool, then wrap it up in foil and freeze. When you want to warm it up, take it out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter all day. Before Shabbat, when your oven is warm, put the Challot in the oven and let it warm up for about twenty minutes. It should come out as fresh and aromatic as if you pulled it out of the oven freshly-baked. There’s no exact science to this, so you may want to open up the foil and check it now and then to make sure it really does heat through and, alternatively, that it doesn’t get too hot and turn hard and crispy.
Challah French Toast – French toasty goodness. There’s NO better French Toast than when it’s made with Challah.
So, there you have it.