Posts Tagged ‘challah recipe’

Week 33: Low Calorie, Fat Free Challah

Evan enjoying fat free, low cal challah with dinner

It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for!  No fat, and more importantly, half the calories, means you can eat twice as much!  Why aren’t you more excited?!?

Well, you’re not alone.  No one ordered challah this week.  Not a single person. [insert social commentary about the US being the fattest country here]

Week 29: Beer Challah

I’ll be honest — I’m not a huge fan of beer bread.  I think I’ve only had it twice in my life, and twice was enough.  So, I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to make beer challah.  It was late. I didn’t know what I should make.  It was the tail-end of a two-hour beer tasting event.  It happens.  Let’s make the best of a bad situation.

the fancy shmancy beer for the beer challah

So, beer challah.  Pretty simple recipe – replace the water with beer.  Of course, the recipe calls for a combination of hot and cold water, so I microwaved the beer for a little while.  Otherwise, it was the normal recipe. You could definitely smell the beer.  I suppose if you close your eyes and think about beer, and take a swig of beer with each bite of challah, you might be able to taste the beer as well.  But, really, you couldn’t taste much beer.  It’s the beauty of this recipe — most small changes are overwhelmed by the sweet awesomeness of the basic recipe! The moral of this story: if you want a beer challah recipe that has a distinct beer flavor, start with a challah recipe that isn’t as awesome.

Week 28: Peanut Butter-Cinnamon-Banana Challah

Peanut Butter-Cinnamon-Banana Challahs

Call it what you will… I call it a cop out.  A delicious cop out, but a cop out nonetheless. Cop out cop out cop out. What’s the origin of that word? Anyway, take the Peanut butter challah recipe, mash in some bananas from the banana challah recipe, and add a dash of cinnamon, and there you have it! Some claimed it was “oddly delicious”.  I don’t think there’s anything oddly about it.  It was delicious.  How could it not be… I made it :)

Week 27: Indian Masala Challah

I believe that if you look up the phrase “Indian food” in the dictionary, it should say “See ‘foods that will never come out the same when made at home'”.  The same applies to Masala Challah. It’s doubtful I will ever be able to match what you will find at the traditional Kosher Jewish-Indian bakeries in the Pico-Robertson area.

Masala Spices used in today's challah recipe

Masala, a term describing a mixture of spices used in South-Asian cuisines, could actually indicate any number of flavors.  You may find masala in the form of a powder or paste, and masalas tend to lose quality and flavor when not fresh. The masala chosen for this experiment (right), is a Tandoori variety, intended for chicken baked in a clay tandoori oven.  Not shown is the use-by date, which, if this packaging had one, would have probably been some time in 2009.  Lofty dreams of Tandoori chicken never having come to fruition, this particular packet of exotic spices will serve a greater good — week 27 of 52 of challah flavor experimentation. One tablespoon + one teaspoon of the masala spice was added to the standard five-pound challah recipe prior to the flour addition.  The kitchen quickly filled with the mild yet distinct aroma of the spices that many will identify as uniquely Indian.  Even though the amount of spice was minimal, the dough turned a bright orange — most likely the result of the paprika, which, to date, has never been used in an Adventures in Challah recipe.

Masala Challahs in the traditional 6-braid style

The dough rose and braided exactly as expected.  As you can see by the image to the right, six-braided challahs have made a triumphant return!  Round braids had been the norm for quite some time, but realizing that the only way to be taken seriously in the experimental-challah-baking arena is to perfect the standard braids, I have decided that each week I will practice the horizontal six-braid that we all know and love. The final product was better than expected.  The challah has a great smell and very mild taste.  There is a hint of heat on the back end, but nothing overpowering.  Perhaps the next time I will add a little bit more masala spice, or purchase a new package to see if the freshness makes a difference. This was a very simple variation on the traditional challah recipe — something I would recommend you to try with your favorite spice mixture!

Week 16: Orange Challah

Orange challah with raisins

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?”