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Help! Why is my challah crumbly and sticky?

My challah crumbles when we cut it. I don’t know why. This is what I do. I never had any issues with it till now but I changed a few things. I started to use distilled water and self rising flour, maybe one of these is the problem. Not sure. But the challah is so sticky that I add a little more flour. I tried adding oil but it still is sticky so I can’t roll it very well. What should I do?

Tamar’s answer:

It’s hard for me to “diagnose” a challah problem without knowing the entire recipe you are following. However… in absence of knowing exactly what else was in your recipe, I’ll take an educated guess.

Rising agents

You should NOT use “self rising flour” for any challah recipe. The reason those flours “self rise” is because they are laced with tons of either baking soda, baking powder or both. Baking powders are one kind of a rising agent, and yeast is a totally different one.

Self-rising flour is meant for simple cakes where people don’t add baking powder to the recipe and instead use this flour. I bake tons and tons all the time and all I can say is that I have never once in my life ever used such flour. I’m nearly certain that is the problem.

If the flour has all that baking powder in it and then on top of that you have the yeast of the challah recipe, the challah is sure to dry out while it is baking. It can’t be a cake and also a bread at the same time .

Let’s bake it again

Try using ordinary flour that you sift first before starting to make it into a dough. Follow the instructions for any of the recipes in A Taste of Challah. I’m pretty sure your challahs will then come out as you are expecting them to – soft and delicious!

IF, for some reason , this does not solve your problem, please write me again and we’ll try once more to help you! Either way I’d love to know if my answers help you.

Happy baking!

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