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Tag Archives: challah techniques

Keter Crown Challah Video Tutorial

Follow along as you shape your challahs, and enjoy beautiful, delicious results!

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Let me know how your challahs turn out… I can’t wait!

To keep the challah excitement going, you will receive additional challah tips, techniques and insights that I share throughout the year as well.

A reader named Esther sent in her favorite of Tamar’s challah tips:

I have been baking challahs for more years than I can remember and have tried all sorts of tips light and fluffy.

I have tried:

  • Soda water
  • Punching down the dough in the middle of rising
  • Using “meshaper”
  • And many more

The winner is:

Tamar’s recommendation to knead for 10 minutes, then rest the dough, then knead again for 4 more minutes in order to fully activate the yeast.

My challahs and rolls are rising considerably more than they used to and are consequently lighter too. This
also means an increased yield per kilo. Thank you!


Esther
Jerusalem

Two-tone Flower Challahs

I love making these for Shavous. They are so easy to do, look so nice and even come out sort of flower-y shaped. There’s no specific “minhag” to make challahs like a flower for Shavous; it’s rather just something I enjoy doing in honor of Shavous.

Make a batch of white dough and a batch of whole wheat dough.
Grab some round pans.
For each round pan, make 3 balls of equal sizes white dough and 3 balls of whole wheat dough.

I do something like 70 grams of dough for every ball; if your pan is large you will need more balls of dough. For the center ball I did ‘half and half’!

Space the balls slightly apart so they have room to grow together as well as upwards. Let them rise for 35-40 minutes.
Brush with risen egg and then choose toppings to put on the different sections of the ‘flower’.
I did two sections poppy, two sesame, two oatmeal and the center with sunflower seeds.

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

Slide the topped challah into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until browned top and bottom.
Let it cool on a wire rack and freeze until the day of use.

Beautiful, and delicious! The sections will just slide apart when you pull on them, or you can cut slices with a challah knife too.

Flower Shaped Challah

Here’s a quick flower shape for your round challahs… a nice idea for Rosh Hashana as well as for Shavous.

Ingredients

Line a round pan with baking paper. An 8-10 inch round pan is a good idea and size.
Cut your dough into six – eight equal parts. Roll each one out to be identical round shapes, sort of like small balls.

Method

Place them inside your lined pan in the shape of a flower.
Cover the pan lightly with plastic and allow it to rise until it is double in size, about 45 minutes.

Mix one whole raw egg in a glass and use it to glaze your challah. Add on seeds of choice, or add in a bit of honey to your egg glaze, to remind us that Torah is sweet and that we are asking G-d for a sweet new year. Slide the challah into your preheated 375°F / 195°C oven and bake until it is dark golden brown on both the top and bottom. Remove it from its pan to a wire rack to cool.

Another benefit to this shape is that it can also be used as a ‘pull-apart challah’!

Freeze in a good quality freezer bag until the day of use and enjoy.

Easy and Elegant Round Challah Shaping

One quick idea that I can share with you here is a very simple but beautiful knot:
Make three long strands of dough and then braid them into a simple, regular braid of three. Then, holding this now long braid, knot it into a circle and bring the end up and through the hole of the circle. Leave it to rise. It looks elegant and beautiful when baked and is more unique than the typical plain knot or twirled challah shapes that are usually done.

There are several other round ideas that are also quite nice; they can be viewed in chapter 3 of the book, or see them in action on my challah video (coming soon to this website)!

Many make their challahs sweeter as well, to symbolize our hope and prayer that we be inscribed for a sweet New Year. I like to do that by sprinkling a cinnamon/sugar mix on top of the challahs when they are finished rising and just after I glaze them with egg. So, oftentimes, instead of sprinkling them with seeds, I sprinkle them with the cinnamon/sugar mix.

Slide your shaped and risen challahs into your preheated oven and let them bake until golden brown and firm on both the top and bottoms of the challahs, about 40 minutes for an average sized challah. Enjoy!

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