On Red Star Yeast's site, I found this description under their challah: "This egg-rich braid is traditionally served in Jewish households to begin the Sabbath. Try serving for breakfast with fruit preserves or slice thick and use to make superb French toast."
With the holidays approaching, the timing of posting this feather like textured challah could not have been more perfect.On Rosh HaShana, a round challah is traditionally baked symbolizing the cycle of the year. I hardly ever bake this loaf pan shape so I decided to give it a go. Surprisingly enough, this challah's taste and fluffy cotton candy texture was identical to the ones I grew up on. If you wish to make a round challah, please see my Honey Challah for instructions.

I adapted Red Star Yeast's recipe just slightly. I needed more flour, used 1 1/2 teaspoon salt instead of 2, braided it and baked it at a temperature I am accustomed to at 350F for 35 minutes. The original recipe calls for 400F for 20-25 minutes.

This post is part of my professional collaboration with Red Star Yeast.

Adapted from Red Star Yeast recipe

1 cup water
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
3 cups bread flour (I needed an additional 1/2 cup) 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (RSY asks for 2 tsps I used less)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 1/4 oz packet)

Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, and other dry ingredients. Combine water and oil; heat to 120º to 130º F.

Combine dry ingredients and liquid ingredients in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Add eggs; beat 1 minute. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Roll or pat into a 12 x 6-inch rectangle. Cut into two 3 x 12-inch strips. Twist the strips together. Place in a 9 x 5-inch greased bread pan or on a greased cookie sheet. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. For a shiny crust, brush with a combination of 1 slightly beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake in preheated 350º F oven 35 minutes. Remove from pan; cool.

Red Star Yeast Series:
Cinnamon Buns
Yeast Pancakes
Multigrain Oatmeal Bread
Marbled Rye Bread
Dark Pumpernickel Rye Bread
Jalapeno Cheddar Bread 

Challah Posts: 
Honey Challah
Spelt Honey Challah anc Chocolate babka
Quince Honey Challah Knots

Souvenirs from Tel Aviv & A Happy Birthday

First things first. So many thoughts I cannot put down to paper, so am going to simply wish my gorgeous son the happiest 20th birthday, today. So monumental. Enjoy your day, and stay as beautiful as you are, inside and out. Never change! Love you always. Mom and Dad

On another front, an article of mine was published today in The Washington Post Food section. Pop over and check it out. This photo is just an inkling to what you might find there. Love how it looks here and you might want this and this accessible.

Silent Sunday - The Trappist Monastery, Latrun, Israel (The Monastery of Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs)

Before I get into the history of this beautiful Monastery, I would like you to take a quick look at the aerial video of this stunning place and surroundings to get a better feel for the place. This print is pretty as well, I just found the image on the web and thought of sharing it.

Fragrant Coconut Basmati Rice

This super delicate in flavor rice as it turns out is one of my mom's favorite. Every single time I call Israel and speak to her over the phone she doesn't cease to amaze me. Whether with her cooking tips, cooking techniques or some godforsaken dish she mentions, such as this Coconut Rice, that she hardly ever cooked at home while we were growing up. I know her mind is still sharp as a razor so I can't question her lucidity, though sometimes, just for a moment there, I wish to.

From Beer Sheva To The Ramon Crater: The Negev (Desert), Israel: A Photographic Journey

While on one hand not having my iPhone allowed me to be apart from social media and fully enjoy the experiences in Israel, on the other hand I felt handicapped. As in the case of Beer Sheva. We were taking a trip down south to The Negev/The Desert in Israel, and unlike Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with abundance of dining options, here it would have been nice to arrange in advance an authentic meal at a Bedouin tent or have an iPhone to tweet and request some foodie recommendations of the best schawarma or falafel in town.

Lachuch לחוח: A Yemenite Spongy Bread/Yeast & Hilbe (Fenugreek) Pancake

As I promised in my Shuk (Market) HaCarmel Tour post, I am sharing a recipe Irit taught me while we were at her little restaurant at the market. I volunteered Inbal of Delicious Israel as our model as I was snapping the images. Isn't she perfect?! 

Shuk (Market) HaCarmel Tour Tel Aviv

Prior to traveling to Israel, Jonathan was a tad apprehensive about me working on food stories while there. We hadn't been back in awhile so I don't blame him. He didn't wish to chauffeur* me around, he knows me, I could get used to it way too easily. He also dreaded me dragging him from one fancy, white linen covered tables restaurant, to another. All his apprehensions unraveled. Exhale! I took him to Shuk HaCarmel (The Carmel Market) in Tel Aviv. An incredible tour lead by the lovely Inbal @DeliciousIsrael, the owner of Delicious Israel, a culinary tour company, introduced to me by my twitter friend Sarah @Foodbridge of Foodbridge. Inbal, a former attorney, is an American out of the DC area, who now lives in Israel, a destination for the ever increasing gastroculinary tourism.