This was a busy week. My desire to adventurate (is that the correct usage?) in challah was trumped by my desire to meet deadlines in my real job, so I was only able to make one quick batch, just to see how maple challah would work. And work we both did! I replaced sugar with brown sugar, added a tablespoon of maple flavor and around a quarter cup of maple syrup to the standard challah dough recipe. The dough turned a rich mahogany and smelled of IHOP. I made one large challah and a bunch of minis, and after 15 minutes (the usual mini baking time), the minis were still pretty raw. Left ‘em for another 3 minutes. Still not looking done. Left another few minutes. Still not quite there. When all was said and done, I think the maple minis cooked for somewhere between 22 and 25 minutes, and weren’t at all overbaked. The full-size challah was a different story… Since I put it in with some other flavored challahs, which cooked in the normal amount of time, the full-size maple came out raw in the middle. The problem is, until you’ve had raw challah, you probably have this notion that raw challah = raw cookie dough. It doesn’t. It’s pretty gross, actually. I think the full-size challah probably would have taken somewhere around 35 minutes, which is kinda crazy. Nevertheless, maple is delicious. It’s subtle, like the peanut butter was subtle, but definitely worth making again. And, like many of the flavored challahs, the essence comes out when the challah is completely cooled. I might even venture (venturate?) to say that they benefit from a relaxing overnight stay in a ziplock bag. Can’t wait to see how maple challah french toast will taste!