In a Nutshell:
Watermelon-mint ices are so refreshing and delicious! Blend watermelon with mint, then freeze in ice pop molds.
—Chaya Suri Leitner
FT, help me!!
During rising and baking, my challah dough strands stretch and rip in the middle. Can you explain why that’s happening?
—Esther Lissauer, a reader
Challah tearing happens to a lot of people and although it can definitely bother the person who worked hard to make the challos, if the challah is fresh and delicious no one even notices the tearing.
If it’s realllllly bothering you though, then there are a few possible explanations and some quick fixes you can try.
The easiest solution is to make sure you proof your challah after braiding. That means after you make your braids, cover the challos loosely with either Saran Wrap or a towel and allow them to rest for 35–40 minutes before baking. Brush with egg wash and bake as usual.
The next easy quick fix is a simple oven thermometer. If the oven is too hot, it could cause the challah to grow too quickly while baking and then possibly tear. Making sure your oven is at the right temperature is key. These thermometers are cheap and easy to find, and in fact, having your oven set to the correct temperature will improve all your cooking!
Lastly, it could also be a matter of the gluten in your dough not being activating enough. After you knead your dough for the 10 or so minutes you normally do, cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes — and then knead it again for another 3–4 minutes. This technique helps strengthen the gluten, and combined with proper proofing and cooking temps, should hopefully resolve your issue!
Between you and me though, all challah is beautiful and if yours taste delicious, just keep doing what you’re doing and love those tears!
I ordered a baking steel at the height of Covid, when we were in the home-make-everything phase, and it withstood the test of time. It’s an alternative to a pizza stone — a heavy steel plate that sits in my milchig oven all the time and really makes homemade pizza feel and taste professional-level. I bought a second one for my grill so I can make meat pizzas and griddle burgers and sear roasts easily. I love them both! It’s not cheap, but so worth it.
What’s your go-to travel meal?
I would say sushi is a great flight food. We tend to pick it up on our way out and enjoy mid-air.
Do you serve soup in the summer?
Yes, we serve chicken soup year-round! Sometimes I’ll do something else for Yom Tov, but Shabbos is almost always chicken soup.
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 798)
Oops! We could not locate your form.