Challah Bread

Last week on Project Runway, Blane managed to get the ever-poised and articulate Tim Gunn broaden his near perfect vocabulary. “Holla! Holla at yo boy!” To hear Tim struggle to drop his R’s and sound ‘urban’ was absolutely hysterical. Once I wiped the tears of laughter away I started to think about how bizarre it must seem to someone so utterly correct. “What does it mean?” he asked. No one could explain, they just kept repeating “Holla, you know? Holla at yo boy?!”

According to the Urban Dictionary:

1. A word used to acknowledge the presence of a fellow companion
2. For a man to express interest in a particularly impressive female specimen
3. To contact via telephone
1. Is that mah boy ova there? HOLLAAAAA!
2. Watch out, I’m bout to holla at this fine bitch.
3. Boy, it was absolutely magnificent to see you again. Holla at me this evening, we can have tea and crumpets.
It’s amusing to me how these words become such a part of our culture yet no one truly asks why. Then they are eventually instated in the dictionary. Bling-bling can now be found in Webster’s Dictionary as of 1999. Will Holla be next? Will Tim replace “Make it work” with “Holla”?
All this talk of Holla got me thinking about Challah. I grew up eating this traditional Jewish bread every Friday at Synagogue and to this day it reminds me of my childhood. My dad would always tear off an enormous chunk and hand it to me to nibble on and wash down with lemonade from the punch bowl. The toasted crust contrasted the sweet and fluffy custard yellow innards. Sometimes they’d have raisin Challah too, but I’ve never been a fan of raisins in bread. I like my Challah plain, I find it’s sweetend eggy flavour perfectly satisfying without any additions.
Last week I happened upon a lovely Challah post on Tastespotting from Dine and Dish. Just the sight of the Challah made me salivate and I could almost smell the fragrant honeyed scent. The recipe was for a bread-machine Challah dough and I knew I had to immediately pull my abandoned bread machine out of retirement to give this a try. I mean, how could I resist attempting to make Challah with minimal effort? The bread machine would do all the hard work of making the dough, and I would get to do the fun part of forming the braid!
The results were far superior to what I could have ever wished for. The scent of freshly baked Challah filled the house, much to my husband’s delight upon his return from a hard day at work. The crust transformed into a perfectly shiny, golden brown speckled with poppy seeds. The innards were light and airy, the colour of custard and just sweet enough. I think this was the best Challah I have ever eaten and I am delighted to have found such an easy recipe to bring a bit of my childhood into my home as often as I please. The leftovers made the most delicious french toast the next morning, just one more reason to bring the bread machine permanently out of retirement!
Braided Challah Bread (Bread Machine) – from Recipezaar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup water

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbs water

Place ingredients into bread machine according to manufacturers directions.
Set on dough cycle and run until end of cycle.

Place dough onto a lightly floured board and divide into three equal parts. Stretch or roll each part into 9″ ropes and braid. Place on greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix together egg yolk and water and brush evenly over bread, then sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on wire rack.


5 thoughts on “Holla!

  1. Your loaf is so gorgeous… looks nothing like a baby bundle 🙂 I love that recipe for it is sooooo good and beyond easy. Fresh baked Challah any day of the week. You can’t beat it!

  2. I read Kristen’s post, too – and after seeing her Challah and yours, I’m thinking I just might have to get DH’s bread machine out of the garage, dust it off/wash the washable parts and give it a go! And, OMG – Blaine and Tim Gunn were hilarious. Loved that part of the show last week. 🙂

  3. mmm, i love me some challah!! i can eat a loaf in one sitting, haha but i bet it’s even better fresh….yours looks so good! (love the new look of your blog 🙂

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