A happy challah

By | January 5, 2012

In the last 14 months, I have tried about that many challah recipes. Okay, maybe a few less than 14, but not by much.

I’ve tried recipes from friends, from cookbooks, and from blogs. I’ve baked challahs with 100% whole wheat flour (which is like eating a brick), 65% whole wheat, 50% whole wheat, and just a touch of whole wheat.

There were the recipes that called for applesauce, the ones that called for sugar, and the ones that called for honey. I let the dough rise on the counter, in a warmed oven, and directly underneath our heating unit.

Sometimes the dough was impossibly sticky, sometimes it was impossibly dry. It always seemed to make braiding a nightmare (just ask my husband — he’s braided 95% of our challahs).

I could go on like this for quite some time, but I’ll spare you.

I'm pretty sure my happy dance helped this thing rise.

The point is that I just couldn’t get the perfect challah. Some were bleh, some were okay, some were good…some were even very good. But none were absolutely amazing, and I always felt I hadn’t gotten it right.

Until this week.

The challah dough I made on Tuesday came together easily in the food processor. It actually rose like I wanted. And it was simple to work with!

A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Meg at Peaches and Cake, a new food blogger who posted the recipe.

My braiding skills may leave something to be desired (I’m still new at this since my husband’s been spoiling me) — but the point is that so far, it’s worked! Now all that’s left to do is eat it.

We’re doing that tomorrow night. With guests.

Wish me luck.


MM on January 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm.

And here I was, trying to figure out what could possibly be happier than a chonut. A challah made of chocolate? A challah made of ice cream? A challah topped with whipped cream and sprinkles? But a dough that comes together in a food processor and isn’t too sticky to braid nicely is pretty happy, too.


Tali Simon on January 6, 2012 at 12:31 am.

A challah made of ice cream…you are definitely on to something.


Meg on January 5, 2012 at 11:36 pm.

Amazing! Love the variations! And I’m sure your guests will love it!


Tali Simon on January 6, 2012 at 12:33 am.

I’m banking on their kids filling up on it if they don’t like anything else, so I really hope so. :) Thank you for solving my challah problems!


Meg on January 6, 2012 at 4:39 am.

Hey Tali, I thought you’d enjoy a pdf of the original Los Angeles Times article of this recipe. Send me an email at peachesandcake@gmail.com and I’ll reply back to you with it! -Meg


Tali Simon on January 6, 2012 at 9:39 am.

Ooh, fun! Doing now.


Ester on January 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm.

i make 100% whole wheat challah. only once did i have the “brick” problem you mentioned. really everyone does love it.

Enjoy your challah, though!


Malka on January 8, 2012 at 11:40 am.

So happy that you found your perfect challah!! mazal tov!


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