orange juice challah

I realize that posting a Rosh Hashanah recipe almost a month in advance is a bit… much… but Christmas decorations are out before Halloween now, so just give me this, ok??? I’m excited. The older I get and the less I care about presents (unless it’s a Caboodles), the more I care about holidays that revolve around big feasts and merriment and being cozy and autumnal, so Rosh Hashanah: check. Thanksgiving: check. Beet Harvest party: check. And wheat harvest has begun, so we are on the fast track to fall and all of my favorite days. It’s on like donkey kong, fronds!!!!

First we did have to endure a couple of weekends in the 90s though, which I’m hoping will be dunzo asap because this coming weekend I’m judging a hotdish competition outside, and surely a hot hot hotdish competition would have less than optimal comfort. However, rain or shine or shvitz, I’m willing to put myself second in the name of choosing an East Grand Forks hotdish champion. There better be a tater tot entry this year. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t one last year.

This past weekend we had visitors! The Butnick Cohens of Manhattan came over and we ran through wheat fields, ate cheesy pickles, made challah, spent good quality time in the climate controlled indoors, and attended the Prince cover band street dance and it was all extremely fun!!!!! I got Stephanie a Caboodles and she got me one so now we have Friendship Caboodles and my life is complete. I organized all of my nail polishes in mine. 

Speaking of 90s things, this challah is inspired by a thing my mom used to do in the 90s, which was pour a bunch of orange juice into bread dough. It sounds weird, but it works! It makes the bread slightly tangy, sour, and sweet. And it’s oddly good with turkey sandwiches. Kind of in the same way that cranberry sauce works with turkey. The OJ bread my mom used to make was just a simple white sandwich bread, but this year for Rosh Hashannah I figured what better way to ring in a sweet new year than with OJ challah?? The hit of citrus in this is subtle and great. It would be equally at home as a turkey sandwich or as a sweet french toast, it’s a versatile little loaf! I’ve made eight mini loaves here, but you can totally make fewer larger loaves, just increase the baking time.

L’shana almost tovah!


orange juice challah

makes 8 little loaves (or fewer, bigger loaves)

ingredients

2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 c (236ml) warm water
1/2 c (118ml) orange juice, from about 2 oranges
6 c (780g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 c (50g) sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2/3 c (132g) flavorless oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs
Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tb water
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
 

clues

In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and orange juice. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until slightly foamy. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, orange zest, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and 2 eggs.

Add yeast mixture and egg mixture to the flour mixture; stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with a dough hook on medium speed for 7 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary (but resist any urge to add too much!), until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough.

Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours. (Alternatively, chill dough in refrigerator overnight, then let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping.)

Divide dough into 8 pieces. Divide each into 4 logs and shape according to the gif above (alternatively you can make mini swirls or mini 3-strand braids or even just blobs!). Place on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing evenly apart, cover loosely, and let rise 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until they are golden and have an internal temperature of 190ºF; begin checking for doneness at 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire wrack to cool slightly and enjoy. 

Challah is best eaten within 24 hours, after that it’s ok if you toast it or use it for french toast. It also freezes well!
 


pretzel challah bagel dogs 🥨 🌭

I pretended to be Lindsey Vonn this weekend at the ski hill in Bemidji! And by that I mean, we went skiing. Finally! Because it was a tropical 34º. And then any time I was scared going down the black diamond, I just said “Lindsey Vonn” out loud and that helped me be courageous.

(Should we try that with other things? Should we just shout “Ina Garten” any time we’re getting a bundt cake out of the pan?)

Now that we’ve graduated from the tiny cute Bemidji hill, we are in the market for a slightly taller more aggressive Midwest ski hill so that we can try and work our way up to Whistler. We hear Lutsen is good, but I really just want any place that will force me to earn an après ski hot tub/cheese fry combo.  

On Sunday night we made guacamole and quesadillas and went across the street to the Eggparents’ and watched three quarters of the Vikings… not… doing… so….

Uhhh…

I think that it is too soon to mention football in the state of Minnesota…

But if, say, we decided we were due for a party to watch a Justin Timberlake concert that’s sandwiched between two halves of a big sports event, then these pretzel challah bagel dogs would certainly be on the menu, no? Pigs in blankets have been on the menu of every halftime concert viewing party throughout history, from packed bashes in Harlem with the Juilliard double bass section, to percussion basement parties in Short Hills at Sam’s house, to the few parties that we’ve thrown here on the farm. They’re a must. The reason for the season.

Remember when I went through my pretzeling phase? That was fun in kind of a dangerous way, I still have the bottle of lye in my cabinet, but in the past few years now I’ve opted to go the baked baking soda route when I make pretzels. You bake a bunch of baking soda at a low temp for like an hour and that increases its intensity, and then you put that into a bath for your pretzels. It’s more intense than just using regular baking soda (which equals more pretzel flavor) but less intense than lye (which equals less risk of burning off your esophagus). And I find it makes pretzeling things way more accessible, so accessible that when Kristin came to visit for a weekend with her Packers fan fiancé a few months ago and we decided we wanted to make pretzel dogs for the game, we didn’t feel the need to *not* stay out until 2am in order to be alert enough in the morning to handle risky chemicals. 

(More reading on baked baking soda here)

These doggos are in a sweet eggy challah blanket that stays so nice and soft and takes beautifully to its pretzel shell, and then they’re sprinkled with everything bagel topping because if you don’t have a huge jar of it on hand by now, are we even bffs?????? (I used to measure this out but now I just buy a bunch of minced dried onion, minced dried garlic, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds and dump them into a deli container with a few really good pinches of kosher salt, that’s it. Caraway seeds are optional.) These things combine three of the best carbs, the only thing that could possibly make them better would be to add my fourth favorite carb, the potsticker. Or maybe pretzel challah bagel potsticker dogs sound like too *much*.

Unpopular opinion: I’ve been preferring full-sized hot dogs for pigs in blankets over lil smokies. Two reasons: 1. It’s easier to find full-sized hot dogs/sausages that don’t contain unpronounceable ingredients, 2. It’s easier to get a good bread : wiener ratio. Lil smokies are too skinny and make it too easy to have too much breadiness. You can always cut big hot dogs down into party-sized slices, but the thickness of a full-sized wiener really helps us with what we’re trying to achieve here.

*Keeps a straight face*


pretzel challah bagel dogs

makes 16

ingredients

challah:

2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast 

3/4 c (178g) warm water, 105-110ºf 

1 tsp plus 1⁄4 c (50g) sugar

3 1/2 c (448g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp kosher salt 

2 large eggs 

1/3 c (66g) flavorless oil

 

Baking soda bath:

1 c (230g) baking soda

 2 c (472g) water

 

16 precooked hot dogs/sausages/veggie dogs

Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with a splash of water

everything bagel topping (see above)

ketchup and mustard, for serving

clues

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 or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine remaining sugar, flour, and salt. in a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and oil.

add the yeast mixture and then the egg mixture to the flour and stir to combine. Knead either in the stand mixer or by hand on a floured surface, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, for 7 to 10 minutes, until smooth and just slightly sticky.

Grease the inside of a large clean 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.

While the dough is rising, bake your baking soda. Preheat the oven to 250ºf, spread the baking soda out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Let it cool and set it aside until after you've shaped your dogs. (Even though the baked baking soda isn't as strong as lye, it could potentially irritate your skin, so avoid touching it once it's out of the oven.)

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

split the dough into 16 equal portions and keep it covered when you're not working with it. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out a long skinny snake and wrap it firmly and evenly around a hot dog. Roll it back and forth on your work surface a couple of times so that the coils of the dough stick together, and then place it on a baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough and hot dogs, placing them 1 1/2" apart on the baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 20 more minutes.

Make the baking soda bath: place the baked baking soda in a large bowl or casserole dish and add the 2 cups of water. Stir it to dissolve the baking soda (I've never been able to get all of it to dissolve, so a few baking soda chunks are totally ok as long as they don't stick to the dough). Using gloved hands or tongs and working in batches, immerse the dogs into the mixture for about 2 minutes on both sides. Pat them dry with a paper towel and place them back on the baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash, sprinkle with everything bagel topping, and bake until golden brown; begin checking for doneness at 16 minutes. Let cool slightly, serve with ketchup and mustard and enjoy! 

 


-yeh!

potato challah

Around this time two years ago I began begging Eggboy for a pet pig for my birthday. I’ve always loved pigs (it goes hand in hand with my marzipan obsession since when I was little I collected marzipan pigs) and after living on a farm for a few years, it seemed like the time was right to get one. 

Ok, but we’re going to name him Potato, said Eggboy.

That’s a cute name!! But why?

So that when we eat him we can just say we’re eating Potato and confuse all of our friends.

😒😒😒😒😒😒

That kind of ended that.

And that’s all I have to say about potatoes at the moment other than that there are real actual potatoes in this challah dough, not pigs. And there are potatoes of an unknown variety growing in our garden! And idk why it took me this long to put mashed potatoes in challah. I loved potato sandwich bread and potato bagels from Einstein growing up because, well you know me, I've always been one for soft doughy bread over a crusty baguette. So this year for Rosh Hashanah when I was having my routine challah brainstorm, my mind went to the humble potato.

If you thought that a perfectly baked loaf of doughy eggy challah could not get any better, well just add a cup of mashed potatoes to your dough and watch it get even softer. And richer! It’s a subtle difference, you can’t really taste potato *flavor*, but eating it is a similar sensation to hugging a friend who you haven’t seen in a while and feeling a stronger, more robust embrace, the kind of arms that make you step back, do a once over, and ask, you been workin out?  

Potato challah is regular challah that has been going to the gym all summer. 

So, you know, the recipe here is not very different from the challah that you were going to make next week. Just do all of us two favors: add mashed potato to the dough, and when proofing the yeast, use the water that you used to boil the potato instead of regular plain jane water. Works like a charm! Sounds like we’re all going to have fabulous New Years. 

Ok so to shape it, you can either just make one huge long snake and coil it up into a round swirly shape, as I’ve done in past years. Or you can make four strands and make a circular braid. It looks a lot more complicated than it really is. I have all of the faith in the world that you can do it. Here is a slower version of the braiding video that I posted on IG the other day. Plz forgive the background banter between chantell, brett, and me. Or just don't turn the sound on haha. My non-existent video editing skills are exactly non-existent: 


potato challah

makes 2 loaves

ingredients

8 oz peeled potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp + 2 tb sugar
4 c (504g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/3 c (66g) flavorless oil, like canola or vegetable
2 tb (42g) honey

egg wash + topping:

1 beaten egg
poppy seeds, sesame seeds, other seeds, optional
 

clues

Place the chopped potato in a large pot and cover it with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until a fork pokes easily into the potato, begin checking for doneness at about 10 minutes. Drain the potato, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Let the potato cool, mash it, and set it aside. Once the cooking water has cooled to be warm (about 105º-110ºf), add the yeast and the 1 teaspoon of sugar. Give it a little swirl and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy on top. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and honey. When the yeast mixture is foamy, add it to the dry mixture, followed by the egg mixture and mashed potatoes. Stir to form a shaggy dough and then either knead it on a clean surface or in the stand mixer, adding flour if it gets too sticky to handle. Knead until the dough is smooth and just slightly sticky, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours. 

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

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface, divide it into two equal parts, and shape according to the notes and video above. Transfer the loaves to the baking sheets. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes. Brush the loaves with a light coating of egg wash and sprinkle with seeds, if using. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and have an internal temp of about 190ºf. Begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes. 

Let cool until it is jusssst cool enough that it won’t burn your mouth, then smother it with butter and hope that there will be some left for dinner that night. Hehe. 



oh here are some more challah recipes!! 


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

ingredients

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

clues

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!


-yeh!