Saturday, December 12, 2009

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day & Whole Grain Challah with Cranberries and Orange Zest AND a New Coffee Cake for the Holidays!



Today I got to make challah for Hanukkah! It wasn't a regular challah loaf, but a unique one for two reasons-- 1st, it's made from the technique taught in the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and 2nd it has some special additions to the regular challah loaf as you can glean from the title- Whole Grain Challah with Cranberries and Orange Zest. This is the second bonus recipe for the Google group HBinFive. It has been a delightful dough to work with. You can go here to see the original recipe by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. I made some modifications after reading several emails from the HBinFive Google group. I only used white whole wheat flour, replaced wheat bran flakes for wheat germ and increased the salt and vital wheat gluten to rounded portions ( I do live at a high altitude). I loved how this bread has turned out!

Challah is no ordinary bread, and I knew that I needed to treat it with a measure of respect. I was happy to see this explanation on

The dough is made with an especially large number of eggs, and sweetened with honey. The dough is traditionally cut into three rope-shaped pieces and then braided together before baking. An egg wash is applied to the dough to give a golden color after being baked. Poppy or sesame seeds are sprinkled on the bread before baking; the seeds represent manna that God gave to the Israelites to eat while they wandered in the desert.

After making my challah, I took my finished loaf to my neighbors for a picture with their beautiful menorah. They explained to me the Hebrew letters running down the middle represent the Ten Commandments - I love that. Getting the right picture took longer than it should have, I have the most gracious neighbors!



Next recipe: Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake filled with an Almond Cranberry Relish


Same dough, Whole Grain Challah with Cranberries and Orange Zest, just put together in a different manor for a different audience. This is something you could serve at breakfast or brunch- it's both sweet and tart with a great crunch. I used a simple technique of rolling the dough as you would for making cinnamon rolls, then changed it up a bit. Check out the pictures to see how it is made.

click to enlarge


This dough, Whole Grain Challah with Cranberries and Orange Zest will become a standard at my house during the holidays. It works like magic, try some and let me know how it goes at your house.


You may also like my version PUMMPKIN PIE BRIOCHE AND EBELSKIVERS


And don't forget to get online and get your self or someone you love one
of the best gifts for the kitchen,


23 comments:

  1. Looks so good! Love the addition of the Cranberry Relish..WOW what gorgeous color!!

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  2. Love the picture with the beautiful menorah! Both of these breads sound wonderful! Remind me again where I can go buy the storage container you like.

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  3. Cristie,

    How much dough did you use to get the cranberry loaf that size? And what diameter was your pizza pan?

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  4. Barbara, The container I use is made by Cambro- 6 qt square works nicely for my refridgerator. You can get them online or pick them at at most restaurant supply companys. If you are in Salt Lake, Standard Restaurant Supply on 3500 South and West Temple seems to have the most competitive prices.

    Bonnie, Used one pound of dough for both the challah and the coffee cake. The diameter of the pizza pan is 14 inches (outside measurement), but any pan you have would work just fine. Let me know how it turns out!

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  5. I thought that menorah looked familiar!

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  6. wow I love what you did with this bread! Those cinnamon rolls look absolutely delicious. I need to make another batch of dough just for those. I think my family would love them. Your pictures are beautiful and I really like the recipe cards. It was fun to read your historical blurb on challah bread.

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  7. The menorah is beautiful and so was your Challah loaf! These are such perfect Christmas recipes.

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  8. Gorgeous! I need to come bake with you:)

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  9. Wow! Beautiful breads and lovely photos! That coffee cake looks so good. I'm drooling!

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  10. Beautiful! Your coffee cake is so gorgeous and I love the addition of the filling...both variations are amazing :)

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  11. I love how you shaped that coffee cake - looks great! Cranberry relish gives it such a pretty color - I love it!

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  12. Ladies, you are so kind. Maria I would love to bake with you any day! I could learn so much from you- let's set a date!

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  13. YUM that filling sounds delish! Thanks so much for sharing. I may have to make another batch of bread just to try your variation. :)

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  14. Great job! I love the pics and special instructions. Don't ya just love these breads?!

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  15. What great fun! What nice recipes and what great pictures.... Thank you

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  16. you are such a bread master! cristie... the bread is beautiful! you are such a talented designer of bread... xo

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  17. oh wow this looks so good love the addition of the cranberries

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  18. The coffee cake sounds delicious and looks beautiful. Great pictures :D

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  19. Wow, what creativity! Kudos to you for going thru all the work to take it with a neighbor's menorah! I bet your neighbors were thrilled to help. Judy L, TN

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  20. That coffee cake looks like a piece of art it's so pretty! I looked up the history and significance of Challah bread, too. Think it adds a bit more "flavor" to the bread-making experience.
    ~Jenny~

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  21. What a beautiful menorah it is! That coffee cake looks wonderful - what a great idea!

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  22. Christie, I forgot to mention that the sugar that I used to sprinkle on top of my challah was Wilton's Sprinkles 'White Sparkling Sugar'. I found it at JoAnn.

    ~Susan

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