How to Bake Your Challahs Evenly
No more doughy middles!
Question: “My challahs rise okay and seem to bake fine but when we slice them open they are too doughy or not done enough in the middle. Other times they seem to sag in the center or fall inwards. How do I take care of this?”
To get challahs to bake evenly, you should check several things, to see which is the culprit.
- 1. Check that your oven is working properly. Get an oven thermometer and insert it into your oven’s central area. Turn the oven on. When the oven is supposed to be at its designated temp, about 15 – 20 minutes into the time after you have turned it on, check what it says.
- 2. Do all of your other baked items bake okay and the problem is only your challahs? If this is what’s happening, it could be that your challahs have simply not been inside the oven long enough. If so, increase your baking time by another 5 minutes for your challahs. Don’t worry if the tops get browner, that’s fine.
- 3. Check with a timer, how long your challahs are rising. Maybe they rose faster than the recipe stated and they are actually a bit over-risen. This will cause challahs to fall inwards once they are egged. If this is your problem, for your next batch of challahs, set a timer for the rising time to be 5-10 minutes less time than you normally would have let them rise.
How to tell if challahs are baked through evenly
Completely baked-through challahs should have browned tops AND, equally important, baked-through and browned bottoms.
To check this, take a long flat spatula and pick up the challahs before your take them off of the tray to cool. If they are firm and browned through on the bottoms as well, they should be done.