Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Best Practices: That Crusty Loaf

bestpracticesI love things that are crusty.  No, not THAT kind of crusty.  The good kind, the bread kind.  Where the dough is soft and lovely on the inside but has a nice brown color and just a bit of crumb to it.  With challah, that's a tough animal.  The eggs and the oil make our breads dense and sweaty.  Combined with the (required, in my opinion) drizzle after egg-washing.

Well, here's a little trick I found out completely accidentally that I've done for the past three weeks since.

For a slightly crustier challah, set your oven to 375.  Put challah in for 5 minutes then turn down to the usual 350.  (I know some people bake their challah higher, so just try 15 or so to start).  Bake 10 minutes and then turn the loaf pan 180 degrees in the oven.  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes depending on what you need.

DSC_0746I did this one Friday afternoon after successive baking of a casserole.  Basically, I forgot to turn the oven down.  But, the Hazz (and his brother who was in town visiting) declared the loaf to be THE BEST YET.

What tricks have YOU discovered accidentally?


  1. To get a great crust, it is very helpful to create steam in the oven. Great tips are published here:

    Many of the ideas were learned on thefreshloaf.com - I find it to be a great resource for bread baking.

  2. Made my first Challah and my boys helped form the dough.
    The braid needs work but it tasted really good according to my eldest son.
    Praise Yahshua!
    I also had just cooked a casserole before putting bread in but I adjusted the temp per recipe directions.
    Will try the temp changes you suggested next time.
    Go to Jews for Jesus for more info on getting to know the Messiah Yahshua!
    Shabbat Shalom!
    Praise Yahshua for salvation!