Challah also known as hallah or challot is a traditional braided bread eaten during Sabbath and other Jewish holidays. Jewish tradition, Sabbath and holiday meals begin with a blessing over four loaves of bread, two on Friday night and two on Saturday afternoon.
For week five of the Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge, we made Challah. I love Challah and always look forward to the holiday season, when I can find it in our neighborhood bakery. Now, I am happy to say, I do not have to wait any longer. This challenge was incredibly easy and I have to say I was very impressed with how well I did (I kept yelling to Lenny to come see the “Challah”) and how the bread came out. I started the bread late in the afternoon and by bed time we had fresh baked bread for our breakfast. The recipe was very easy to follow and everything happened just as stated in the recipe, from resting times to baking times. The Challah came out golden in color, light in texture and very flavorful, not too yeasty or eggy, just perfect.
If you would like to see what other Bakers from the BBA Challenge are doing be sure to check out the blogroll, wonderful things are coming out of their ovens! Following you will find some photos I took showing part of the process:
Right before braiding the Challah
After egg washing the Challah
Besides eating Challah by itself, it is my choice of bread for French Toast as well as bread pudding. It soaks up the egg batter perfectly. The morning after making the Challah we used some of it to make a golden blueberry French toast and saved the rest (as we are traveling) to make bread pudding later on. I have two French Toast recipes that I love using Challah for, one of them I will share with you over the holidays but for now I will share our traditional French Toast recipe, which is perfect for an easy breakfast or brunch dish.
Recipe: French Toast
3 tablespoons whole milk or half and half
1 teaspoon sugar, prefer raw or unrefined
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
couple grates of fresh nutmeg
slices of challah
1 tablespoon butter
Whisk the egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla and nutmeg and whisk until blended. Dip the bread slices in the challah, both sides for about 30 seconds each side. Heat the butter in a frying pan, be careful not to burn it, add the dipped bread slices and cook until golden, about 3 – 5 minutes per side. Serve. Eat.