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What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah??
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medola









  
Post Posted: Fri, Feb 17 2012, 12:04 pm       Post subject: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah??
(If you don't mind my asking...)

I'm about to make a batch, and it's been a while since I made challah because we moved recently, so times were a little crazy and we went out a lot for Shabbos.

Anyway, a friend of mine told me that for special occasions, she substitutes half the water (maybe less) with pareve coffee creamer, to make the challah really rich. Which got me thinking if there are any other secrets out there about the perfect challah?

Some other examples:
Another woman I know sprinkles hers with vanilla sugar on top (it was so yum!).

And yet another woman I her (actually it's her DH that makes the challah) uses a stick or so of melted margarine (AND oil). Also really yummy.

And my good friend always makes hers with rich dark chocolate baked in (she skips braiding) - her kids are going to grow up thinking all challah has to have chocolate baked in it!



So... Spill, ladies!
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sky









  
Post Posted: Fri, Feb 17 2012, 12:58 pm       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
I do the vanilla sugar thing. I put 2 Tbsp of vanilla sugar in my egg wash for painting the challah. It gives it such a good taste.

I have a friend who rolls each strand in lots of cinnamon and sugar. They love it but I find it too sweet to go well with dips that my family likes. But it is delicious, especially warmed.
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celestial









  
Post Posted: Fri, Feb 17 2012, 2:52 pm       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
I really enjoy the grainy, oaty type of challah, so I use oatmeal.
And for sweetness, a very tiny sprinkling of orange rind, plus honey.
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bigsis144









  
Post Posted: Fri, Feb 17 2012, 5:37 pm       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
I make a normal challah dough, but have fun with the toppings. When rolling out the "snakes" of dough, I'll roll them in:

* cinnamon, sugar and raisins
* za'atar and sesame seeds
* dried rosemary, dried minced garlic & dried minced onion
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tsiggelle









  
Post Posted: Sat, Feb 18 2012, 1:35 pm       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
I tried for some time vanilla sugar in the dough, delicious.

sugar in the eggwash. remember to double check that its the sugar and not the salt before pouring.

what I use now is a good recipe, and hashem does it all. bh.
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ewa-jo









  
Post Posted: Sat, Feb 18 2012, 2:19 pm       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
I add honey.

The recipe I have calls for 1/3cup sugar.. so I add the sugar and then add an equal amount of honey.
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Shopmiami49









  
Post Posted: Sat, Feb 18 2012, 4:54 pm       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar in the bottom of the pan before placing the challah in the pan.

Make a streusel topping before you bake the challah.

Another vote for vanilla sugar, both in the challah itself and in the eggwash.
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Blueberry Muffin









  
Post Posted: Sat, Feb 18 2012, 10:13 pm       Post subject: Re: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Cha
tsiggelle wrote:
I tried for some time vanilla sugar in the dough, delicious.

sugar in the eggwash. remember to double check that its the sugar and not the salt before pouring.

what I use now is a good recipe, and hashem does it all. bh.

I do the vanilla - YUM!!!

and - just did the salt on my last batch in the egg wash - what a mistake!!!

I was wondering why my challah looked so goreous and with speckles of sugar.... when I saw my husbands ace as he took a bite of the challah I realized what happened.... oy! (yuck!))
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thekosherchannel









  
Post Posted: Sun, Feb 19 2012, 1:03 am       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
...and of course, our tears and tefillos in the kneading are the best secret ingredient of all.
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IMHopinion









  
Post Posted: Sun, Feb 19 2012, 2:33 am       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
Kosher salt instead of regular table salt.
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Tiale









  
Post Posted: Sun, Feb 19 2012, 2:37 am       Post subject:
I've seen someone put cooked spinach into a loaf of whole grain bread with sundlower seeds on top. It was heaven!
I think the kneading and rising are key factors. Also having good yeast. I have put honey in with my egg and substituted honey with sugar= delicious!! The tefillos & kavanos are really the secret ingred though.
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Arcy









  
Post Posted: Sun, Feb 19 2012, 2:53 am       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
High Glutten Flour & ONLY egg yolks... no whites.

plus, freeze the chala after I make it, take out of freezer to defrost for 20 mins before reheating it on 450 for 20 mins before the zman...

it took me 4 years to figure this all out.... good luck!
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m in Israel









  
Post Posted: Sun, Feb 19 2012, 3:40 am       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
My mother mixes in a bit of onion flakes -- yummy!
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curlgirl









  
Post Posted: Sun, Feb 19 2012, 3:44 am       Post subject: Re: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Cha
celestial wrote:
I really enjoy the grainy, oaty type of challah, so I use oatmeal.
.


Yum! Would you be able to post your recipe?

Can I use white whole wheat flour?

Thanks!
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tsiggelle









  
Post Posted: Sun, Feb 19 2012, 11:31 am       Post subject: Re: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Cha
Blueberry Muffin wrote:
tsiggelle wrote:
I tried for some time vanilla sugar in the dough, delicious.

sugar in the eggwash. remember to double check that its the sugar and not the salt before pouring.

what I use now is a good recipe, and hashem does it all. bh.

I do the vanilla - YUM!!!

and - just did the salt on my last batch in the egg wash - what a mistake!!!

I was wondering why my challah looked so goreous and with speckles of sugar.... when I saw my husbands ace as he took a bite of the challah I realized what happened.... oy! (yuck!))


why do you think I wrote that? I once put in more sugar(than I usually put) in the eggwash , I think it was because we were guests and I brought the challa with me. I took me some time to understand why it was salty.

now I can laugh about it.
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medola









  
Post Posted: Mon, Feb 20 2012, 12:20 am       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
Thanks so much for the replies! (and keep them coming!)

I like the zaatar and seseme idea a lot, as well as the vanilla sugar.

Does using honey really make it taste different? How so, if you can try to describe? It's just that honey can be so expensive!

Sometimes instead of challah I make a loaf of beer bread. No kneeding or waiting to rise required! And I add yummy herbs like thyme, oregano, dill and rosemary. I can post the recipe if anyone's interested. It's a friend's recipe, I believe they do it for every shabbos!

Although I think my very favorite "secret ingredient" that I've encountered are caraway seeds sprinkled on top of the challah. It is so so delicious! They actually don't sell them in stores around where I live. This family that always uses them gets their supply brought over by other family members when they visit. I think I might try to find them online.

Smile
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realeez









  
Post Posted: Mon, Feb 20 2012, 10:06 am       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
Honey definitely makes a difference - makes the challah taste fresher in a way. In my bread machine recipe I put 2 tsp or so and I put closer to 1/4 c in my 5 lb recipe. I also use coarse salt over fine salt.
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checkbefore









  
Post Posted: Mon, Feb 20 2012, 5:48 pm       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
I sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the egg wash for some loaves, and brush on a mix of oil, crushed garlic, garlic powder, parsley, and sesame seeds on the others.
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checkbefore









  
Post Posted: Mon, Feb 20 2012, 5:49 pm       Post subject: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Challah
I sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the egg wash for some loaves, and brush on a mix of oil, crushed garlic, garlic powder, parsley, and sesame seeds on the others.
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thekosherchannel









  
Post Posted: Thu, Feb 23 2012, 1:05 am       Post subject: Re: re: What's the "Secret Ingredient" in your Cha
IMHopinion wrote:
Kosher salt instead of regular table salt.


I also use kosher salt, but you cannot substitue the same amount.
4 tablespoons kosher salt for 5 lbs flour and for some reason in Israel the salt is different so I use 3 tablespoons for 2 kilo flour here. Yes, tablespoons!

We like savoy not sweet, so sometimes I knead dried onion flakes into the dough.

Date syrup for the sweetener is my latest twist.
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