A Stir The Pots Post

Challah Mediterranee

by | Sep 28, 2011 | Uncategorized

Challah, that bread with a history, a holiday, and most often a very spongy loaf which I detest! Still, maybe it's my Jewish DNA because I still want to give it a try.  I made this version with a more Mediteranean than Ashkanzai flavor; safran, golden raisins, whatever.  

It's designed to hope for a sweet and golden [Jewish] New Year, bringing in some sun in this hybrid version. Since sweet breads are a pain in the neck in rising due to sugar and yeasty issues, I gave in to time constraints and snuck in a pinch of yeast. As my friend Gregoire Michaud told me, don't worry, it's all yeast; wild or commercial.


Upping the ante, I added flavor olive oil rather then just plain grapseed or canola oil, inspired by a similar replacement of it for butter in a recent batch of biscottis.  



  1. Mick Hartley

    If “It’s all yeast”, why bother with levain at all?
    What are these “sugar and yeasty issues”?

  2. Jeremy

    Bloody purists! : P Yeast to speed up the slowing down from the honey and sugar. Didn’t I give you this challah recipe Mick? Maybe I am doing something wrong, it’s firmer then the ordinary pillow like challah’s sold commercially, can you spread some light on the method of sweet bread and levains….
    Up your leg!

  3. MC

    Beautiful challah, Jeremy! You outdid yourself once more. Happy New Year to you and yours…

  4. Mick Hartley

    Ha! That’s a cheap shot. When you have nothing to say, shout “Bloody purist”.
    You did send me that recipe and it works really well – without the yeast. Just normal sourdough timing – about 4 hours fermentation (or overnight) & about 3.5 – 4 hours prove. Adding yeast to sourdough is for people who don’t trust their starters.
    What’s more, it’s so long since you sent me a hat I was forced to buy a new one myself last weekend …

  5. Gregoire Michaud

    Mick: You bet it’s all yeast!
    After it’s just a matter of your personal expectation in baking, i.e. being a purist or not…
    While we use sourdough in most of our breads for example, we still use commercial fresh yeast for several types of bread.
    We “bother with levain” because we’re passionate and we love real bread.


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