Costco… There’s no better place for challah variation inspiration. Am I right? Well, no better place for inexpensive inspiration in large quantities, that seems like a good idea to buy, but really will go bad before you can use it all. And such is my introduction to blueberry challah — the product of new giant bags of fresh-frozen berries in the freezer section at Costco. They say don’t shop while you’re hungry… The same might be said about shopping on the morning of the test-challah bake. The goal with this one was a blueberry muffin, challah style! The thing to keep in mind is that a blueberry muffin isn’t blueberry dough with blueberries… it’s normal white/yellow/vanilla dough with blueberries mixed in. So, don’t expect blueberry challah to be much different. I took a heaping cup of frozen blueberries (actually, three heaping third-cups, since the half- and full-cups were already in use), and added them to the dough with the first cup or two of flour. As the dough was kneading, the blueberries started to break down, giving the challah that traditional flecked blueberry muffin appearance. I found that the dough needed at least an extra cup of flour (maybe more than that) and was still a little sticky, thanks to all the juice the frozen blueberries began to leach as they defrosted while kneading. When it came time to braid the challahs, I added a few more whole blueberries into the middle — an important step to make it clear that these were real blueberries, and that this is blueberry challah… not purple speckled challah. How did it turn out? Excellent! Got rave reviews from many folks! It wasn’t too berry-y, but every few bites you’d get a whole berry and hear an “Mmmm” from the crowd. Blueberries — winner of the “best mix-in so far” award!
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