Fine Cooking’s Challah

Pear Challah
Pear Challah
 
Marble Challah
Marble Challah
 

Recipe by Maggie Glezer from Fine Cooking, December 2002

Notes: I made challah using this Fine Cooking recipe twice while I was in Florida. The first time, I made a double batch: a plain six-strand loaf, and the second, a simple braid with fresh pears. To make the latter, I diced a fresh pear and then blotted the cubes dry with paper towels. After flattening the three dough ropes, I sprinkled the pears down the centre, and then pinched the sides closed. This way, the pears wouldn't fall out during baking, or dry out and burn.

The second time I used this pareve recipe, I decided to separate half the dough and add cocoa powder to it. This was a bit tricky as the quantities were small, and I eyeballed half of the egg mixture. The chocolate half ended up being too dry and I kept adding water while kneading. I rolled out three strands from each half-batch of dough, and followed the technique Glezer demonstrates in the video. There are also excellent braiding diagrams on the web page linked above.

Of all of these variations, we enjoyed the pear one the best. It was moist and flavourful, with a surprising fruit centre. For me, a good challah needs to have enough eggs to give it richness and colour. Personally, I enjoy a loaf made with butter and milk even better. But for a dairy-free recipe, this one is pretty good and one I'll come back to for future Shabbats.

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