>> Monday, May 17, 2010
Though the English-speaking blogosphere is packed with Challah recipes, this word is quite unknown in Spain. All ethnicities and nationalities with communities of a certain importance in the United States enjoy an amplification and diffusion in the rest of the world of all their characteristics and peculiarities that for example we Spaniards do not enjoy. When we were compelled to emigrate, we had a lot of Spanish-speaking countries to go to, instead of heading for the United States, like Italians, Germans, Swedes, Irish, Russians, Poles, etc. And now our cuisine is not as widely known as theirs.
It's funny how in almost all the books where I have the recipe for challah (see here its pronunciation, I mean hear it), the name is written in the form challah. I guess that's the spelling in Yiddish and German. But in Spanish we would pronounce that starting with a sound like in the Italian word ciao, for example. I have a book in Spanish in which it is correctly transcribed, jalá, which leads me to worship the translator... I like that book, New Jewish Cooking by Elizabeth Wolf Cohen. Although the recipe I used here is not from this book, but from a baking course on festive breads. Are you yawning yet? Good. This is my method for screening my readers. Only the chosen ones will get to the bottom of the chasm of knowledge...
When I brought home my first challah from my baking course, my youngest son liked it a lot, so with the happy occasion of his birthday today, I decided to bake him a challah, because he doesn't like cakes... And also because challah is delicious. Here it is:
Challah, Shabbath's bread (recipe by Paul Merry)
Yields 2 biggish plaited breads
I think less yeast can be used, 10g or less may be more than sufficient. The neatness in making the strands is important for the outcome. The first loaf (which is not in the photos, uh-huh) looked worse, because all the strands rose to almost fuse with each other. The second loaf was much better looking, although the center burst to some extent. I have to improve my braiding technique. I'm willing to bake all the challah loafs that may be required. And some more. Yum.
I guess you know it keeps very well inside a plastic bag, but if you don't find it as good as freshly made, you can always slice it and toast it. It is delicious spread with butter. And as French toast...
This challah goes to Susan's Yeastspotting!