View Full Version : Can I vent about my Challah? TIA

10-23-2003, 05:55 AM
We are having a birthday dinner party for my DS who is 2 tomorrow. We are doing a shabbat dinner with 33-40 people mostly adults, but 9 kids/babies. I am making all the food. DH has a list of things that are his responsibility of which he has completed 1. Although he has done some of his other household stuff (garbage, etc.)

This weekend I made 2 loaves of Fine Cooking's Challah from last years holiday baking issue. The kids really wanted some, so I said we could eat one loaf and I would make another before the party.

I started the dough yesterday evening and stayed up till 11:30 to get it baked. I left it on the counter, lightly covered, to cool and put the baby gate on the stairs to keep the dog away. Our dog loves Challah and eats it if it is left out. I told DH last night and this morning that the dog could not go downstairs (and why).

Needless to say, he didn't put the baby gate back up when he left and I was in the shower. The dog ate the entire loaf (which I am sure will make him sick, he has a very sensitive stomach and can only have a certain kind of food)

So now I have to make another loaf today, which is totally not on my time schedule.

I just needed to vent, I am feeling completely overwhelmed with everything that I need to do for this party, and some of the people still have not decided if they are coming (why can't people RSVP?). I have called everyone and several said "I'll let you know soon". The party is tomorrow night. I have 8 that are not decided about coming or not.

Thanks for letting me get this out, now off to start a new Challah!!


10-23-2003, 06:08 AM
So sorry to hear about your Challah mishap. I can relate since we have a dog that is a counter cruiser too. Hopefully it will all turn out wonderful. When you get a chance could you post the challah recipe that you used. I really want to try and make it one day and a trie and true recipe would be great.
As far as DH's actions go I thik it is in their genes. My father left a chocolate bobka on the counter one time, my family bassett got iinto and ate the whole thing. So my father goes out buys a second one and leaves it on the counter in the same place. End of story- two bobkas gone and one very sick bassett hound.:D

10-23-2003, 06:31 AM
my parents have a dog with similar tendencies. the funny part is that she will only do it when my mom is out of town. she (the dog) is quite positive that my dad is a wuss with no control (and since she succeeds in eating whatever is left out on the counter, he must be ;)). the dog also knows that if my mom caught her on the counter, she'd be in serious trouble...
good luck with your new challah... and with dealing with the sick dog:rolleyes:

10-23-2003, 07:14 AM
Oh Lisa, how frustrating! I'm sure everything will be lovely tomorrow night, though.

Heather, thought I would save Lisa some typing. The Fine Cooking challah recipe is posted on page 3 of this (http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=336399&highlight=fine+cooking+challah#post336399) thread. I have made this and it is very good, but I think we actually prefer the recipe from Bread Bakers Apprentice (which I can post later if you don't have that book).


10-23-2003, 07:32 AM
Thanks everyone,


The Bread Baker's Apprentice is on my want list, it seems to be a favorite of those on the BB, and I have been baking much more bread lately. I'll have to find it at my local bookstore or ask for it for Hannukah.

What do you like about the recipe in BBA over FC? I like the FC recipe, but I have had some issues with the overall product, everyone raves about it, but I am not a huge fan of the texture of the finished bread. I do however like that the recipe showed me how to do the 6 strand braid. I would like to learn how to do a round Challah.

If you get a chance I would love the BBA recipe.



10-23-2003, 07:51 AM

Sorry to read about your challah woes. A couple of things...

First and foremost -- Get your dog to the vet's ASAP! Eating a whole loaf (or more) of bread can be fatal for a dog. I know of 2 who have died because of that. I am not trying to scare you or be overly dramatic, but it is important for your vet to be on top of this. Please call your vet's office and let them know what happened.

When you get a chance to do a more peaceful challah baking, please try this recipe (http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=46056&perpage=30&pagenumber=2) that I posted just before the Holidays. It's from the first Jewish Catalog and makes a really nice bread. There is also a very rich challah recipe from that book that I will post if anyone is interested.

Best wishes for a wonderful birthday party for your DS.

Shabbat Shalom!

10-23-2003, 07:56 AM
Originally posted by syzygy
There is also a very rich challah recipe from that book that I will post if anyone is interested.

Leslie, I'd love the really rich recipe!! :D Challah is my very favorite bread. I have several recipes and I'm trying to decide which one to make.


10-23-2003, 09:01 AM
A. First, I hereby absolve you of any guilt and urge you to go to a bakery and pick up a loaf a Challah. For goodness sake, you have 40 PEOPLE coming to dinner...give yourself a little break!

B. Grrrr to DH; I can relate to the phenomenon of list-ignoring-until-an-hour-before-the-party husbands. DOuble grrrrr.

C. A GIANT hex on people that cannot decide if they will grace you with their presence 48 hours or less before the event. Oy.

Good luck with everything, and happy birthday to your 2 year old!

10-23-2003, 11:23 AM
Here is the recipe from BBA:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Challah (from BBA)

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 c unbleached bread flour -- (18 ounces)
2 tbsps granulated sugar -- (1 ounce)
1 tsp salt -- (.25 ounce)
1 1/3 tsps instant yeast -- (.15 ounce)
2 tbsps vegetable oil -- (1 ounce)
2 lg eggs -- slightly beaten
2 lg egg yolks -- slightly beaten
3/4 c plus 2 tablespoons up to 1 1/8 cups water,
at room temperature -- (7 to 9 ounces)
2 egg whites -- whisked until frothy
sesame or poppy seeds for garnish

Stir together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and yolks, and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Mix with a spoon (or on low speed with the paddle attachment) until all the ingredients gather and form a ball. Add the remaining water, if needed.

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and knead for about 10 minutes (or mix at medium lough speed for 6 minutes with the dough hook), sprinkling in more flour if needed to make a soft, supple, but not sticky dough. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register approximately 80 F.

Lightly oil a large bowl . Form the dough into a boule and transfer into the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Ferment for 1 hour at room temperature.

Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 2 minutes to degas. Re-form it into a ball, return the ball to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and ferment for an additional hour. It should be at least 1 1/2 times its original size.

Remove the dough from the b owl and divide it into 3 equal pieces for 1 large loaf, or 6 pieces for 2 loaves. Regardless of the size of the loaves you decide to make, form each of the pieces into a boule, cover them with a towel, and let them rest on the counter for 10 minutes.

Roll out the pieces into strands, each the same length, thicker in the middle and slightly tapered toward the ends. Braid them using the 3-braid method. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment and transfer the loaf or loaves to the pan. Brush the loaves with the egg wash. Mist the loaves with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or place the pan in a food-grade plastic bag.

Proof at room temperature for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the dough has grown to 1 1/2 times its original size.

Preheat the oven to 350 with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Brush again with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking for 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf. The bread should be a rich golden brown and register 190F in the center.

When done, transfer the bread to a rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.

"Bread Baker's Apprentice, p. 133"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 621 Calories; 46g Fat (67.2% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 799mg Cholesterol; 2367mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Lean Meat; 8 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

I think the texture was one of the things we really liked about this recipe -- it is nice and substantial but still seems light (if that makes any sense). The flavor was really good too. To be honest, I'm not a huge challah expert having never eaten it until I married DH (and most of what I have had since then has either been from the bakery, or S-MIL's, which he says is too heavy). I really liked this bread though, and DH said it is "what challah should be like."

Here are some directions for making round loaves, from The Jewish Holiday Cookbook :

Method 1: On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a very smooth 24-inch-long "snake" of even thickness. Bring one end around to form a circle that is about 5 inches in diameter. Continue winding the rest of the snake on top of the circle so that it spirals inward and upward, finishing in the center. Tuck the end of the "snake" into the center.

Method 2: On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a very smooth 24-inch-long "snake" that is much thicker at one end and tapers down to the other. With one hand, raise the thicker end of the "snake" so that it points upward, and use your other hand to neatly wind the rest of the "snake" around it in a spiral fashion. Tuck the narrow end neatly under the bottom.

Method 3: Divide the dough into 3 pieces and, on a lightly floured surface, roll each into a smooth narrow strand about 18 to 20 inches long. Braid the strands; then bring the ends of hte braid around to form a circle and attach the ends tightly together.


10-25-2003, 08:10 PM
Claire, thank you for the recipe and the info on a round loaf.

The party was fine. My girlfriend and my mom came over around 4:30 and helped me get everything done, and people were late which gave me more time.

The food was good, although I of course forgot to do a few little things, like croutons on the salad and cut up fruit for dessert, but no one but me knew, I just now have some extra stuff to be used up.

I stopped at Costco and bought some chafing dishes, that worked out really well.

Everyone but my babysitter (who is an old family friend) raved about everything, and she always finds faults, so too bad for her!!!

DH was wonderful and helped tremendously on Friday (even ended working at 1 pm to help with everything).

Of course it all worked out, but I always get all worked up about these things ahead of time, my perfectionist side coming out.

Thanks for all your support everyone.