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Friday, November 20, 2020

11/20/2020 06:00:00 PM


Erica Bobrow

Weekly Zoom Session Wrap-up

This past week Challah Time! was prepared to walk through the basics in a demonstration for a couple of beginner challah-makers. Although they weren't able to attend, we nonetheless reviewed the basic steps of blooming the yeast and mixing ingredients in case anyone had questions. I'm glad we took the time to do so because there were a few. Thanks everyone who contributed with questions and advice in the conversation.

Weekly Challot Images 


Send in your images on Friday once your challah has baked, along with your notes to challahtime@gmail.comWe'll admire your work and learn from each other. 


Through the rest of our session, we kneaded, proofed, baked, reconnected, and covered the following: 

Robin was spotlighted to share her experience using a loaf pan in making her challah following Cecily's/Evie Lieb's recipe, which was demonstrated last week during Challah Time! Robin's success inspired me to give it a try. See the rosette challah wreath images below.

At Helene's request, Karen kindly did the math to split the basic challah recipe. Helene had only 2 of the 4 cups of flour in her pantry that the recipe called for. Thanks again, Karen!

We had guest bakers, Karen's visiting daughter Amy and toddler granddaughter Ariella were baking with us. What a treat!

Recipes and demonstrations were discussed. In particular, the Federation's Connections program earlier in the week featuring Jamie Geller and her twist on Thanksgiving. Per the group's request, I've forwarded the email I received from the Federation that includes links to the recipes Jamie demonstrated. 

As a reminder, we will have a session this Friday, 11/27.  I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. I'll be asking about your favorite dish of this year's holiday.

Looking forward to our next Challah Time! together!


Weekly Challot Images

Send in your images on Friday once your challah has baked, along with your notes to We'll admire your work and learn from each other.


Karen's Challah

"I used olive oil [in the dough mixture]...and it has an egg wash. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes. I remembered to do the second rise this time!! I'm still wanting my challah to be less dense so I'm going to let the yeast (proof) with ... sugar longer before mixing in the rest of the ingredients."




Lori's Babka and Challah


   "The babka was made with chocolate and  pumpkin. The  challah was made with kalamata, rosemary and  parmesan.  The babka  cooked in 40 minutes. Both were baked at 350  degrees."  






Lynn's Challot

"Both are 4 strand braids. They were delicious according to the feedback that I received. I gave the raisin to my mom and she made French toast. We shared the olive on Friday night and it was yummy. Here were my difficulties. They did not seem cooked on the bottom because I used the insulated baking sheets. So I put them on regular baking pans for an extra five minutes and they browned. Baking time was about 30 minutes total. Egg wash was mostly yolk with a little white mixed in. I made one in the bread machine and did one by hand. I always check the yeast before I combine it with anything. First rise takes about 1-1/2 hours. Second rise was about 45 minutes. It still takes a long time but it seems to be getting easier."


Nancy's Challah

"This is the challah I was shaping during this morning’s Challah Time. Usually, after shaping, it rises for 25 minutes in a 100-degree oven. Since our kids had just a half day of school, I had to go pick them up while the challah was rising. Well, as there are sometimes unexpected consequences of our decisions, when I got back, the challah had been rising for about 50-60 minutes. But, that was a good thing. It came out bigger and, I think, better with the longer rise. So, even though I have been following the directions of the recipe, I am going to go for a longer rise from now on. (You can’t really tell from the picture that it’s bigger than my past challahs, but it is.)"


Alexis' Challot

"4-braid & 7-braid before baking, 4-braid, 6-braid & 7-braid baked, challah rolls- plain & everything bagel seasoning.

"All the same recipe - my grandmother's recipe that I tweaked with using half bread flour / half ap [all purpose] flour. I increased knead time on my KitchenAid  to 6 minutes, which improved the texture."


Erica's Challot

       .  . 

"I used a spring pan, inspired by Robin's success. I tried the rosette wreath I'd mentioned a few times during Challah Time!  I encircled the wreath with a jam-filled 2-strand braid. I just wanted to have some braiding in the challah. The jam was an apricot-fennel-pomegranate-orange concoction. I created the jam on the fly in a saucepan over a very low heat. It was sieved once and cooled before using. The circular release pan kept the wreath and braid together beautifully.  Although the color on top was very light, the internal temp was over 200 degrees at 30 minutes when baked at 350 degrees on the center rack without turning. I'll definitely use the pan again when I'm looking for a more refined look with my round challahs. The challah looked terrific on my cake stand.

"I also made a savory challah in a mini-loaf pan with my leftover dough. I was inspired by Lori's babka talk. I hand-rolled a single strand, then used a rolling pin to flatten it out. I added a kalamata and za'atar filling, using halved kalamatas, and sealed the strand's edges. Then, I cut down the center of the strand and twisted it just as you would for a babka. It took the full 30 minutes to bake at 350. The next time I use the this mini loaf pan, I'll dice the olives so they'll integrate better into the small amount of dough."

Tue, October 3 2023 18 Tishrei 5784