20 May 2013

Have your Challah and eat it too

Lately, I have been posting quite a bit about bread, haven’t I? What can I do when I have an artisanal bakery in the neighbourhood?! I had written about The Baker’s Dozen earlier in TimeOut Mumbai as well as posted about it on the blog. The bakery has now added another bread to its basket – the Jewish Challah. Challah (pronounced "hall-ah") is braided, egg bread, traditionally eaten on Shabbat, the Jewish rest day. Shabbat is observed from Friday sundown to Saturday night; candles are lit to mark the beginning and three festive meals are eaten – the first one on Friday evening beginning with breaking bread i.e. the challah.

The good folks at The Baker's Dozen sent across a loaf for me to try out over this past weekend. The challah arrived, golden and plump and I couldn’t wait to devour it. One bite and I was sold! A sweet, eggy bread with a gleaming crust; it is definitely going on my favourites list. The bread is priced at Rs. 120 for a loaf.

You can do a lot with challah; just cut a thick slice and eat it as it is, while it’s fresh. I also lightly toasted one slice and drizzled over some honey I had picked up in Coorg. A day-old challah will lend itself beautifully to pain perdu a.k.a. French toast. Even though the bread is slightly sweet, you can make savoury sandwiches as well. That’s exactly what I did on Sunday with the leftover challah – Honey Mustard Open-face Sandwiches.

This recipe serves 2. You can change the honey and mustard quantities as per your taste. 

You’ll need:
  • 6 slices of challah
  • 1 chicken breast, skinless & boneless
  • 20ml Honey
  • 20gm Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Cheese
  • Additional Mustard for serving
How to:
  • Cut the chicken into small pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add honey, mustard and paprika. Cover all the pieces well with the mixture and allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat some olive oil in a pan. Toss in the chicken pieces and cook till done.
  • Arrange the challah slices on a wire rack. Top with the cooked chicken. Grate some cheese on top.
  • Place the rack under a hot grill (in an oven preheated to 200 C) for 8-10 minutes or till the cheese has melted.
  • Remove and drizzle some more mustard over the sandwiches.