For many of us, challah is synonymous with Shabbat. We love to smell that sweet dough and taste the warm, honeyed bread. But more than that we love how it reminds us of our home during the holidays. Our second favorite way to eat challah is probably at Seder.
Traditionally, challah is eaten at the Seder on the first night of Passover as a reminder of what we were released from and as a reminder of what we should strive for this year: liberation. When you’re planning your menu for your Seder or just want to make sure your challah lasts longer, keep these tips in mind:
Keep it cool
Challah is flour and water, so it’s no wonder that it becomes stale quickly. To keep it fresh and prevent it from getting stale, you should keep it in the fridge.
Once you take it out, wrap it in a napkin and put it back in the fridge. Challah can last for up to five days in the fridge, but after that it will start to get stale. To keep it from getting stale, you should re-heat it to at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit before serving. You can also re-heat it in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Use high quality ingredients
Challah, like all bread, is a mixture of flour and water with a little yeast to produce it. And like any other bread, it’s going to taste better with high quality ingredients. Make sure you choose a flour that’s high in protein, has been malted and is considered kosher for Passover.
You can, of course, use white flour, but we recommend using a combination of white flour and whole wheat flour. Premium bread flours have different levels of protein, which makes them easier to absorb and results in a better taste. Bread made with a high-protein flour will have the desired crumb structure, a light airy texture and a nice brown crust when baked.
Store in an air tight container
Challah, just like any bread, will get stale if it’s exposed to oxygen. To keep it from getting stale, you should keep it in an air tight container. If you’re storing your challah in the fridge, make sure it’s in an air tight container.
If it’s not sealed properly, the bread will experience too much oxygen and get stale too soon. If it’s stored correctly in the fridge, the bread will stay fresh for at least a week.
Don’t cut until serving time
Some people think that they can cut their challah while it’s still fresh. But once bread gets exposed to oxygen, it loses its quality and starts to get stale. So, don’t cut the challah until you’re ready to serve it.
You can also make a few small cuts on the sides of the challah’s crust to help it get softer faster. The fresher the bread, the faster it will go stale. So, by cutting the bread slightly, it will get softer faster.
Make yeast breads at room temperature
Challah is made with yeast, so it can’t be made with a machine. So, we have to make yeast breads at room temperature. So, make your bread dough at room temperature and don’t store it in the fridge. Yeast breads are made with flour, water, salt and a little yeast.
The yeast activates the flour so that it can produce gluten, which is what makes bread elastic and chewy. Yeasted breads can be made in a bread machine, but they have to be made at room temperature. If you have your bread machine at room temperature, you don’t have to wait for it to warm up.
Wrap in a napkin
When you’re eating bread or making bread crusts, make sure you use a napkin. Bread will get soggy and so will your napkin if they’re touching bread. When you wrap your bread in a napkin, it absorbs the breadcrumbs, which keep it fresh. If you don’t want to use a napkin, use a plate that has holes in the bottom.
Don’t re-use the same challah plate
In the end, the bread plate is the same challah plate that you used during the Seder. So, make sure you wash that plate before you use it for the next Seder. During the Seder, you need a special plate for your challah. After the Seder, you should wash that plate so that you don’t use the same plate for the next Seder.
Challah is one of the most iconic and beloved breads in the Jewish community. It’s perfect for Passover and can be served at any meal during this special time of year. Challah is a sweet, yeast-based bread that is made with flour, water, salt and a little yeast. It has a soft, sweet and fluffy texture and can be eaten as-is or used in baking. You can store it in the fridge for up to five days or re-heat it in the oven or microwave. You can also re-use the same challah plate for each serving, but we recommend washing it first so that you don’t use the same plate for the next Seder.