Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mommy's Challot

Chodesh tov and happy Adar! New week, new month, new challah recipe. I thought I was done with my challah exploits, but it seems I can't resist trying a new recipe. These challot are special to me because the recipe is none other than my own mother's. Growing up, I can't remember a time when we always had homemade challah. It was very rare that my mother baked them, but when she did, it was a special treat. At some point in high school, I remember her making a honey whole wheat challah for Sukkot, and it was very shortly after that I started to bake challot myself. I have very warm memories of my mother's kitchen- she's a fantastic cook and baker. When the smell of these wafted from the oven and even more so when I took my first bite, I was brought back to her kitchen. I don't know why it took me so long to make them, but they turned out so well. The texture was so nice and fluffy, but the flavor was all water challah, just like I like it. I made half a recipe but doubled the salt and switched from fresh yeast to dry, as that is what I use these days. I also cannot overstate the importance of sesame seeds on top of challot. I don't know why I didnt insist on them all the time. They are delicious! This bake is also unique in that it's the first time I tried this brand new flour type, Stybel #18, flour especially for challot, hence the picture on the bag. I stumbled on it in the supermarket, and unable to resist anything challah related, I bought a bag to try this time.....

The bag is labeled in Yiddish, and the side offers a challah recipe in Yiddish as well. For some reason, I found this to be so nostalgic and cause alone to buy it! So how did it do? This dough is enriched with vitamins in minerals and although I couldnt detect any change in flavor, the texture sure was great. I dont know if this was due to the flour or my kneading, but it was one of the best textured challot I've produced. At seven shekel a bag, I dont know if I would go out of my way to buy this flour, but if I found it while I was shopping, I'd pick it up again. Not a crumb of these challot remained. This post, however, is off to Yeastspotting!

Mommy's Challot
1 kilo flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp instant yeast
2 cups water
1/2 cup oil
1 egg plus 1 for glazing
sesame seeds

Make dough as per your usual challah directions. Allow to rise overnight in the fridge.
Allow to proof.
Glaze with beaten egg and top with sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated 350 oven until golden brown and delicious.
Cool on wire rack. 


Isreview said...

Wow those look AMAZING! No surprised that "not a crumb is left"

zorra said...

Yes, indeed they look amazing!