Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eggsellent Challah... or... The Yolk's on You

{Insert further witty egg-related jokes here}
I've been eye-balling Martha Stewart's challah recipe in the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook for months. I looked around online for the recipe for you all, but wasn't able to find it. I'm not going to give you all the proportions but I will tell you why I've been hesitant to make this bad boy... 8-10 egg yolks.

Holy cholesterol, batman!

I've found a few other baking websites that attempt to justify this crazy quantity in Martha's and others' recipes.  "It's 8 yolks in two big loaves" ... "I'm sharing it with my guests" ... "It's just once a week."  Well, for The Hazz and I, we are fully capable of eating a full loaf (or two) when it's just the two of us at the dinner table.  So, I could quite justify it yet.

That said, I made my own proportions up. This recipe will yield two small-ish loaves or 1 medium loaf plus 3-4 small rolls. Here's what I did...

3/4 c water
.6 oz fresh yeast or 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp honey
5 egg yolks
1/4 c canola oil or other neutral oil
3 c flour plus more as needed
1 1/4 tsp salt

eggs1To reach that 5 egg yolk conclusion, I cracked two large eggs (my normal amount for a 3 cup flour batch) into a glass measuring cup. This equalled roughly 1/2 cup of egg yolk plus white. Then I fished those two egg yolks out with my (clean) fingers and dropped them in a half measuring cup. I repeated the process twice more and found I wasn't reaching 1/2 cup even closely, but couldn't bring myself to use like 18,000 egg yolks. So I compromised with five.

Proceed as normal. Had I planned better, I would have used the egg yolks from a batch of egg-white only cupcakes I made earlier this week for The Hazz's birthday. But, egg whites will keep in a tight container in your fridge for a few days. So save 'em, and bake an angelfood cake or have some omelets.

eggs2Ohh, one note. I couldn't quite bring myself to crack another egg for the egg wash, so I just used the egg whites. That in combination with an oven that was originally at 375 for a previous item and turned down to 350 when I put in the challah produced a somewhat crustier and flakier challah. We're not quite sure how, but it was quite delicious!

The dough itself is a lot yellower than my regular dough but it felt roughly the same to braid. In the oven, however, a few of the strands broke apart (I'm not sure how!) and the bread itself wasn't the loveliest I've ever made. In the interest of blogging-integrity, here's the "ugly side" of the challah...
Will I make it again? I don't know. The Hazz said it was awesome, but we felt a little guilty about devouring it as quickly as we did. I'm not sure it was THAT much better than 2 egg challah to be incredibly tempting.
But the calories in this loaf? Omlettin' 'em slide.


  1. very punny :p

    looks yummy though!


  2. No need to be concerned about eggs contributing to your cholesterol level as the lecithin in the egg yolks helps wash it out of our bodies. Note the following article at

    Why Eggs Don't Contribute Much Cholesterol To Diet

    "This may be a reason why so many studies found no association between egg intake and blood cholesterol," he said. The phospholipid, or lecithin, found in egg markedly inhibits the cholesterol absorption. The inhibition is not 100 percent, he said. Some cholesterol is absorbed but the amount is significantly reduced in the presence of this phospholipid.

    "Less absorption means less cholesterol introduced into the blood," Koo said. "We were able to determine experimentally that a substantial amount of the egg cholesterol is not going into the blood stream."

    And if you're still concerned about even that amount of cholesterol then buy some granulated lecithin from a health food store and add it to your bread dough or to other foods.

  3. I'm trying out your recipe, using olive oil instead of canola. And I added vital wheat gluten to help combat the breaking problem (I hope. It's the first time I've used it). ~Mama B @