honey whole wheat challah

this is becoming a pattern. i get to new york, get so excited to play with all of my old friends and new, wear myself out like a rambunctious puppy who forgot what it was like to wear shoes all day, and then have to spend one solid evening sitting in bed with no pants and a pile of pizza. it's ok everybody! i'm going to be ok! this is just my typical adjustment to new york, so plz don't be alarmed that i have been in bed since 5:30pm last night. today i will be good as new and more like the new york dweller that i used to be. ready to walk and schmooze and go up and down stairs and wear all black. it's going to be great.

i've had such a wild past few days! it began with the taste talks awards, where i got to frost cakes with some awesome kiddos on stage at b.a.m., have my very first black tap milkshake with michelle, chat with kat kinsman about her book (which you all know to get, right???), ask michael twitty to be my hebrew teacher, and talk to flynn about how prom was. and i got to hug ellen and adeena and andrea which is the sign of a very great day. then i zipped on up to blue hill for my panel with kim, michael, and jenny about food writing. it was fun and made me kind of wish i had a xylophone to stand behind because being on a stage without a large instrument between me and the audience is new for me and makes me nervous. nervous that if i cross my legs the wrong way there isn't a bass drum there to prevent you from seeing my underpants. among other things. 

and then yesterday, marian and lauren and i woke up early to hear sam sifton and martha stewart talk about meal kits and snoop dogg! and then rux martin and gail simmons spoke about books and tv in a way that made me so excited about the future of food media. it was all so gosh darn inspiring. so, too, was the hot dog that dan barber served on the cutest ever tray:

on the way back, we swung by the blue hill chicken coop and all of the pretty tarrytown houses, and marian planted seeds in my brain about some fun things to talk about next week at my book launch events. about blogging, the current state of it, how it's changed, how it translates to a book. are you coming to hear deb and me talk next week?? is there anything specific you'd like us to talk about? by that time i'll be better at talking on stage without a xylophone in front of me. or maybe i'll just bring a xylophone. 

i was taken off guard when i found out my book was coming out on rosh hashanah! at first i didn't know what to do, then i was like, eh! non-traditional tractor-top rosh hashanahs are becoming kind of the norm for me, so what's really so weird about a rosh hashanah book release? i mean, i love tending to a brisket all day, but you know what else i love? sammy's roumanian steakhouse and the fact that they're open and ready for a rosh hashanah party. so that's where i'll be with my family and bridesmen. and to add to the non-traditionalness, here is some sprinkle crusted challah. it's been brushed with honey and kneaded with nutty whole wheat flour, and it'll kind of remind you of those honey whole wheat pretzels from trader joe's that are borderline healthy until you eat the whole bag. it's great with a turkey and apple sandwich, or obviously on its own, hot and with layer of salted butter.

honey whole wheat challah

makes 6 mini loaves


4 1⁄2 tsp (2 envelopes) active dry yeast 

1 1⁄2 c warm water 

1 tsp plus 1⁄4 c sugar 

2 1/2 c wheat flour (i used white whole wheat, either is fine)

4 c white flour, plus quite a bit more for dusting

2 pinches cardamom

2 tsp kosher salt 

4 large eggs 

3/4 c flavorless oil 

1⁄4 c honey

Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with + 1 tb honey

sesame seeds, sprinkles, sea salt, za’atar, for topping


in a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar and give it a little stir. let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top. 

in a large bowl, combine remaining sugar, flours, cardamom, and salt. separately, beat together the eggs, oil, and honey.

add the yeast mixture and then the egg mixture to the flour and stir to combine. cover the dough with a damp, clean kitchen cloth and let sit for 15 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough by hand, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, for 7 to 10 minutes. Knead until the dough becomes smooth and slightly sticky.

Use the oil to grease the inside of a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover again with the towel and let the dough rise for 2 to 3 hours, until doubled in size.

preheat the oven to 375ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

split the dough into six equal portions. mold each portion into a swirl shape and place on baking sheets. let shaped loaves rise for 30 more minutes. then brush the loaves with the egg wash and top with toppings as desired. 

bake loaves for 25 minutes, until golden brown. remove from the oven and cool. enjoy!