Sunday, March 4, 2012

"This Tastes Like Cake" Fresh Yeast Challah

Another week, another batch of challot. Last weekend, I tried out this recipe from Marcy Goldman's A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. (Let me just say- if you're interested in recipes of the sort, buy this book. Everything I've tried has been a winner!) The recipe caught my eye because she says it tastes like cake and it uses fresh yeast. How does it fare? Well, it doesnt quite taste like cake (a really good thing!) but it is delicious. Crumb and texture is fantastic and the color is quite beautiful. I baked them in loaf pans to get more color all around. I've also discovered that I love sticking them on the hot plate on Shabbat so that their bottoms get nice and crunchy/toasty. I didn't notice that the fresh yeast gave this any unique flavor, but it is fun to switch things up a bit, especially since fresh yeast is so easily available here. Try this egg challah recipe- it's giving Joan a run for her money! This made two large loaves and a roll but I'm sure that you could three smaller loaves.

"This Tastes Like Cake" Fresh Yeast Challah
from Marcy Goldman

1 cube fresh yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 yolk plus 3 eggs
2 3/4 tsp salt
1 kilo flour
egg for glazing

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for ten minutes. Add the sugar, oil, eggs and salt and blend. Add the most of the flour, stirring to make a shaggy dough. Let the dough sit for ten-fifteen minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading, adding flour in as needed to make a smooth satiny dough. At this point, I placed it into a greased bowl, covered it and refrigerated it overnight to rise. 
The next morning, remove the dough from the fridge and braid. Set aside to proof. Preheat the oven to 350 and brush the challot with egg glaze. Bake until deeply golden, about half hour. If serving these Shabbat afternoon, slightly underbake so they wont dry out by then. Remove from the oven and cool completely on wire racks. Store in plastic bags.


Mendy said...


I have found that fresh yeast does not change the flavor but adds a certain 'fluff' to the rise.

Beautiful challot!

Mendy said...


Marcy Goldman Rocks!

We are going to make her hamentash recipe. :)