Tag Archives: bread

challah back y’all

Hello dear friends and happy 2015! It has been a LONG time :(

Since my last post, I started a new job that has kept me very busy, which i’ll blame for keeping me away so long. I now work for a company called Dinner Lab, which is a membership based pop-up dining club, currently operating in 24 cities in the US. So yes, Eating with Edie finally got a job in the food world!

Anyway, one of my new years resolutions was to start posting again, and I have so much great stuff to share with you, so here we go…

challah bread



The great color on these comes from the egg wash you put on right before baking

For those who don’t know, challah is a special jewish braided egg bread eaten on Shabbat and during various holidays. I started making challah in college with an organization called Challah for Hunger and fell in love with it. We used to meet on Thursday afternoons and braid different varieties of challah: usually cinnamon sugar, raisin, and chocolate chip to be sold on campus the next day.


Instead of mixing raising into the batter, I like to line them down the center of each strand and then pinch the sides together to hide them. Then braid normally.



poppy seeds…yum

Over the years I’ve gotten to experiment with different recipes, fillings/toppings, and braids/shapes. My favorite recipe is from Amy’s Bread, an incredible bakery in NYC, which you’ll find below.

I usually decide between a 3, 4 or 6 strand braid. Even though I’ve done each a few times, I still find it helpful to look at a diagram or watch a video while I braid. This post from Tori Avey does a fantastic job of showing each braiding method step by step. IMG_3618

Sometimes you want to make a round challah (it is customary for Rosh Hashanah), and there are a few ways to go about it. First, you can take any of the regular braids you read about above and twist them into a circle, tucking the ends underneath (like the left challah in the picture below). IMG_3621

But there are other ways as well. I like to make 6 strands, put three facing in each direction, weave the center together like a lattice, then braid each side normally:challah2

Finally, tuck each side underneath and voila:IMG_3613

Most recently, I made a challah shaped wreath for a Christmas eve dinner party and it was a total showstopper! I used the recipe below, but instead of splitting the dough in half, I used the whole thing and created one very long 4 strand braid which I then wrapped around into a circle. Follow along here for some great visual directions. IMG_0510

I kept a bowl in the center of the circle while it baked (to help keep the shape), then put a round brie in the center and topped it with cranberry apple chutney. IMG_0520

Isn’t she beautiful?

Without further ado, here’s the golden recipe:

Amy’s Bread Challah Recipe, courtesy of Amy Scherber

Yield: Two loaves

1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup very warm water
1 cup warm water
4 tablespoons canola oil or other vegetable oil
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
1 yolk of a large egg
2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 large egg for egg wash

Line two 12 x 17-inch sheet pans with baking parchment.

1) Combine the yeast and the very warm water in a measuring cup and stir to dissolve the yeast. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes. Place the warm water, oil, sugar, egg, and egg yolk in a large bowl and whisk them to combine. Add the yeast mixture and whisk again.

2) In a large bowl add the flours and the salt and whisk together. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, and mix with your fingers or a wooden spoon until the dough gathers into a sticky mass.IMG_3605

When all of the flour is incorporated, move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes. The dough should be sticky and wet. If it feels stiff or dry, knead in additional cool water, one tablespoon at a time. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 20 minutes.IMG_3607

3) Return the dough to a very lightly floured work surface and knead it for 5 more minutes. The dough will go from being sticky to smooth and will become supple and stretchy. It should be soft, not firm. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until it doubles in volume. A hole poked into the dough with a finger should hold its shape, and should not bounce back.IMG_6069

4) Separate the dough in half. Then split each half into as many pieces as you need for the braid you’ve decided on. Roll into long strands:IMG_6104

Create your desired braid from above and put it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Then let the braid rise at room temperature for about 45 to 60 minutes or until nearly doubled in volume (I’ve done 15-20 before with great success). About 20 minutes before the dough is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425° F and position 2 racks in the center of the oven.

5) In a small bowl, mix 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water to make an egg wash. Gently brush the top and sides of the loaves, coating them evenly all the way around. Place the pans on the center racks in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans from top to bottom, and reduce the oven temperature to 350° F. If you have any egg wash left over, brush the rest over the loaves now. Continue baking for 10-15 more minutes. If your oven has a convection option, switch it to convection for the last 5 minutes of baking, to improve the browning of the crust. Watch the loaves carefully during the last few minutes. They can become dark very quickly. They should be golden brown but still slightly soft.IMG_6088

6) Place the loaves on a wire rack to cool before serving. This bread is best enjoyed a few hours after the loaves have been baked.IMG_6092

bon appétit,

seeded whole grain no knead bread

If you’ve never tried baking your own bread before, you’ll be out of excuses after you discover the no knead bread phenomenon. After reading dozens of blogs and articles about it, I decided to dive in, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve experimented with cranberry walnut bread, olive bread, lemon rosemary bread and a seeded whole grain bread, each one coming out even greater than the last. The best thing about no knead bread is that you can throw in any filling you want, with just about any mixture of flours, and it will come out perfectly.

According to Wikipedia, “No-knead bread is a method of bread baking that uses a very long rising time instead of kneading to form the gluten strands that give the bread its texture. It is characterized by a low yeast content and a very wet dough.”

The best part about it is that you mix the dough and then forget about it for 24 hours. I like to put my dough together on Saturday morning, then dump it out on Sunday morning, shape it into a ball, let it rest for a few more hours, bake it, and then slice it so we have bread for the week. The crust is crisp and crunchy, and the interior of the bread is holey and light – perfection.

seeded whole grain no knead breadIMG_3355

recipe inspired by Makin’ it with Frankie

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 tsp dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaping tbsp honey or molasses
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 tbsp flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp caraway seeds

Pour the warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Whisk it together until it starts to foam. Then sprinkle the kosher salt in, followed by the olive oil and honey. Whisk them all together until mixed. Using the scoop and level method, dump in the three flours. Using a wooden spoon, fold it all together until the flour is all mixed in. It won’t be very pretty, but don’t worry. Cover the bowl with saran wrap or a plastic bag and put in in a warm corner of the kitchen for 24 hours.

The next day it should have risen a bit and look like this:IMG_3340

Dump in the sunflower, flax and caraway seeds and mix together with a wooden spoon. As you can see, I also dumped in some poppy seeds. IMG_3343


Pour the entire mixture into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or buttered and floured. Smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. Let it rest. (Alternatively you can bake it in a dutch oven lined with parchment paper. For this bread, I find it easier to slice and toast in the loaf pan shape)

Place a baking dish on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat it to 450 degrees.

Sprinkle the top of the bread with any additional flax seeds, caraway seeds, and oatmeal if you desire. Then slash a thin line through the middle of the bread. 


When you’re ready, pour one cup of water into the baking dish on the bottom rack of the oven, and put your bread on the middle or top rack.

Let it bake for 50 minutes without opening the oven door (to avoid releasing the steam), and when you take it out, it should look like this:IMG_3353

I like to slice it thinly and freeze it, so that it stays fresh and can be easily toasted throughout the week.


Stay tuned for the other no knead bread recipes that I made!

banana bread two ways

i love banana bread. i also love chocolate zucchini, pumpkin, lemon poppy seed and cranberry walnut breads. the dilemma i always face when making these quick breads is deciding whether i should make all of the healthy substitutions i know (swapping out the oil for applesauce/yogurt, the white sugar for agave/honey, the egg for ground flaxseed and water, etc) and risk potentially sacrificing some of the flavor or whether i should go all out and use the oil/butter/sugar as written. luckily, when i set out to make banana bread this weekend, i realized i had eight ripe bananas in the fruit bowl and it dawned on me that i could make both the healthy whole wheat flaxseed recipe and the jacked up butter and bourbon recipes that i had been eyeing online. so i did.

whole wheat flaxseed banana bread

healthy goodness

Inspired by this and this.

Makes 1 loaf

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey or agave
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 bananas (ripe and mashed)
¼ cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
For the topping: 1 tbsp ground flaxseed, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together oil, yogurt, brown sugar and honey/agave until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well mixed. 

Stir in mashed bananas until well combined.

Sprinkle the spices, ground flaxseed, baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

Add the flour last and mix until just incorporated and no flour spots remain.

Pour into loaf pan that’s buttered, greased or sprayed with cooking spray. In a small bowl combine the ground flaxseed, brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over it over the top. 

Bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden stick inserted center comes out almost clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

bourbon, spice and chocolate chip banana bread

admiringly found on smitten kitchen

4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter (if you only have unsalted as I did, add 1 tsp of salt later)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cup of flour
handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

Add the flour last, mix until just combined. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top if using (and you really should) and mix to combine. 

Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

the verdict? as expected, both are SO good in their different ways. the healthy one has become our go-to breakfast: a nice thick slice toasted and slathered with natural peanut butter, eaten alongside greek yogurt and blueberries, or devoured all by itself. the decadent one makes the most perfect after dinner pick me up: moist and filled with melted pockets of chocolate, with the faintest smell of butter and bourbon. YUM. if you can’t pick one, just make both!

bon appetit,


Apple Bread

Hello everyone! My sincerest apologies for the lack of posts during the last few weeks. Midterms, fall break, and general lack of sleep have made updating the blog difficult. But I have been cooking up a storm and have tons of new material for you so get excited!

Fall break is a wonderful 4 day weekend in October right after the first round of midterms when everybody needs a break. I decided to take a trip to Boston to visit all my friends at Northeastern (where I spent my freshman year) and Harvard.

Before the long 6 hour drive, I baked some apple bread to give as a present to my friend Gila who was driving, and to my hosts in Boston.

My lifesaver IKEA apple corer

wet ingredients

Mixing in the dry ingredients

And finally into my favorite disposable gift giving pans

Here is the recipe, adapted from:  http://lepetitpierogi.blogspot.com/2010/09/apple-bread.html#ixzz13OfCoCG1

3 Cups All Purpose Flour (can use half whole wheat flour)
2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Allspice
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil (or substitute apple sauce to make it low fat)
1 Cup White Sugar (I reduced this to around ½ cup)
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 Eggs, Beaten
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
3-4 tbsp apple cider
2 cups apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup broken walnuts (optional)

In bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, place oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and apples. Stir into flour mixture. Add walnuts and mix (if using). My batter ended up being pretty dry and sticky so I added in a few tablespoons of apple cider, but if yours isn’t, then it’s totally up to you-I kind of like the additional apple flavor from the apple cider. Divide mixture between two greased 8-in. x 4-in. bread pans ( I used mini loaf pans). I sprinkled brown sugar on top to give them a nice little crunchy crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes (mine were done in 30-35 minutes because I used the mini pans) or until bread test done. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack before removing from pan.

Baking in the oven

These were easy to make, a great way to use up a few apples, and made pretty food gifts!

Finished product!