Challah **Sometimes you get it just perfect

by Michelle on June 14, 2009

Challah; chal·lah also cha·lah or hal·lah (KHä’lə, hä’-)
n. A loaf of yeast-leavened egg bread, usually braided, traditionally eaten by Jews on the Sabbath, holidays, and other ceremonial occasions.

The below photos represent a huge milestone in my blogging experience. They are the very first photos posted to my blog that needed no color or lighting manipulation from a photo program. All I did was crop and add my name to each photo. For the very first time the lighting was perfect. Hallelujah..I finally got it right!

Challah1

I can’t believe I’ve already completed six breads from my Bread Baker’s Apprentice Baking Group! I enjoy baking bread and would bake bread daily if we could eat that much. Challah dough is very easy to work with and although the braiding looks difficult, it’s not.

Challah4

I made the loaf of Challah on Saturday and promised Mr. Tastebud’s I would make him some Strawberry French Toast for Sunday Brunch. Unfortunately, Sunday morning I had no appetite what-so-ever. Why I go through times like this I don’t know but sometimes I just don’t feel like eating and nothing sounds good to me. Now when I look at these delicious looking photos, how I wish I had at least tasted it. WOW, it really does look good!

StFrench1

Simple French Toast
Recipe adapted from my Mom

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. milk
5-6 slices of bread
Cinnamon
Cooking Spray like Pam

Option: Fresh fruit

Measure the milk into a small bowl. Add slightly beaten eggs and mix well. Pour milk/egg mix on to a small platter or pie plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Over medium-low heat, heat griddle or skillet coated with cooking spray.

Place a bread slice into the egg mixture, letting the slice soak up egg mixture for only a few seconds, then carefully turn to coat the other side. Coat only 1 slice of bread at a time and only as many slices as you will be cooking at one time. You may have to add more cinnamon.

Transfer bread slices to griddle or skillet, heating slowly until bottom is golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. Serve French toast hot with butter and syrup and fresh fruit.

StFrench3

I’ve done a 3, 4, 5, and 6-Braid Challah and I thought was doing great. But then I found the below video demonstrating a 12-braid Challah. A 12-BRAID Challah…OMW, it’s huge. Doesn’t this look like fun! I might have to make this one next time!

Google Books has the entire book, “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread”, by Peter Reinhart, scanned and you can find the recipe on Page 133 by clicking here.

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Comments

  • susies1955 June 14, 2009 at 9:42 am

    ABSOLUTELY beautiful and the video really helps. Great job and nice baking along with you.
    Susie

  • Betzie June 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    WOW, that looks so so yummy!!!!!!!!! I am not a good baker at all…amazing!
    Don’t know how you couldn’t have eaten it…

  • Judy@nofearentertaining June 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Beautiful!!! I love the braiding job and the French Toast!!!

  • Deeba PAB June 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Thats a stunning loaf & a milestone in photography too…wow!Looks gorgeous! Wonder if I’ll ever get that far …on both counts. When my daughter was young, I used to plait her hair into French braids; your video link reminds me of those days! Sorry you didn’t eat the toast; I have some days like that too.

  • Maria June 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    what a fantastic breakfast treat!

  • maidenshade June 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Happy Pink Satur-unday. I love your post, as a young wife and mother (and hippie) I used to make all of our bread. I used a cookbook called The Tassahara Bread Book, might be spelled wrong but phonetically it’s like that. Fond memories, I loved making bread.

    Got a minute? Pour a cuppa, pull up a comfy chair and please stop by – I love company.

    xJ
    MaidenShade.wordpress.com
    DeStash.me
    MaidenShade.com

  • Di June 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Your challah loaf is gorgeous! And strawberries sounds delicious with the French toast. We love French toast around here (both girls are big fans).

  • Cindy June 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Your challah is gorgeous but what I’m really impressed with is your photography. I too am struggling with lighting and you have mastered it today!! Any tips you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I just bought Lou Manna’s book “Digital Food Photography” hoping for some good info.

    That 12 braid challah is wicked. Not sure i could master it.
    Thanks!!

  • Maris June 14, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    This looks unbelievable! I’m about to start my challah and hope it’s as good as yours!

  • Kayte June 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Oh that is just gorgeous…all of it, the bread, the french toast with those lovely strawberries. Very very nice.

  • Dishesdone June 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Great looking challah! Next time freeze a slice of the French Toast so you can get a taste, it looks fantastic!

  • Angry Asian June 14, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    congrats on your beautiful pix! your challah looks so fresh and soft. i’ve heard that they make the best french toast but whenever i make challah, they never reach that point. hopefully you’ll be able to sample a taste soon! :)

  • The Purple Foodie June 14, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    OMG Michelle! I want to get to your pace as well. Love your challah. And love your photos even more. Makes me want to grab a fork right away.

  • Lori E June 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Well I never have the “not hungry” problem. You always make these wonderful breads seem doable.
    Thanks.

  • Danielle June 14, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    WOW, wow and more wow! First wow is for the photo! Second and third wows are for the french toast. Now I’m starving!!

  • Pete Eatemall June 14, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Working on some french toast now with our leftover Challah! Your pics are awesome! Hopefully you will enjoy the next one! Happy baking.

  • Manuela June 14, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Amazing! Just Amazing!
    Bravo!

  • haleysuzanne June 15, 2009 at 2:48 am

    WOW! That is a great picture, and your challah looks perfect. I’m looking forward to making mine this week.

  • Kathleen June 15, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Oh yumity yum…great job!
    Where have you been?
    I know, baking bread!
    Let there be WHITE TABLESETTING EVENT AT MY PLACE..JUNE 23RD
    You must have white dishes you can do that or white food ..or both
    Come play, you need a break from all your work!

  • Meeko Fabulous June 15, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Ok, ok . . . I’m intrigued. Where do I get a recipe for Challah Bread?

  • Teanna June 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    That challah is gorgeous! When I get excited about things, I should “CHALLAH!” like “HOLLER!” because it is so much fun to say. This definitely gets a big CHALLAAAAAAAH! from me!

  • Brayton Homestead Interiors June 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Oh my! my mouth is watering, great recipes, wonderful photos!

  • Janice June 23, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    What a gorgeous color! Our challah loaf didn’t make it to the weekend – therefore no french toast. Your photos make me want to make it all over again. Congrats on getting the lighting just right!

  • ATigerInTheKitchen June 30, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Love the pictures of your French toast — beautiful challah, too! I wish I’d seen that braiding video before I’d tackled my challah. Thanks for posting …

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