It’s new years eve! Just as Christmas eve presented a great theme opportunity last week, this week I asked myself, “what makes for a good New Years Eve challah?” The answer: Something that goes well with champagne! After pondering further, I decided that one of the all-time greatest champagne accompanists is good ‘ole OJ. Who doesn’t like a mimosa with brunch? The idea was the hard part… The rest came naturally. Beginning with the usual recipe, I replaced the water with orange juice, added some cinnamon and zested a few Cuties (mandarin oranges). We didn’t have any normal oranges, and I didn’t have the nerve to scavenge through the neighborhood and “harvest” someone else’s trees. I then thought to myself, “what would make this different from all the other challahs of weeks 1-16 that were the same old recipe with a different juice and spice?” The answer: raisins! As you might recall, we had a brief discussion about dried fruit being the culprit in dried-out challahs. I decided to try out one of the comments and soak the raisins on orange juice. After a half hour, the raisins didn’t look very different, but I used them anyway. One cup of sort-of orange-infused raisins went into the dough. The results were awesome! One of my favorites so far! Unlike the cranberry and apple juices, which didn’t add much flavor at all, the combination of orange juice and orange zest gave a solid orange flavor and tangy zip on the back end. The raisins dried the challah a little (maybe they need a few hours to soak?), but not terribly. Overall, a very positive outcome! Now, the trouble is, do we call this “orange challah,” “orange jew-lius challah” or “mimosa challah?”
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