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Archive for Breakfast

TIP OF THE DAY: Pho & Ramen Breakfast…Or Perhaps Some Miso Soup?

Asians drink soup for breakfast: Japanese miso soup and Thai pho, for example. Americans looking for something quick, hot, nutritious and comforting should consider the option.

Both can be packed with vegetables, and carried in a travel mug or thermos.

Your soup supply can also be part of a low-calorie, healthful lunch or snack.

EASY BREAKFAST MISO SOUP

Miso soup for breakfast? Sure: That’s how millions of Japanese people start the day.

All you need to make a bowl of miso soup is hot water and a spoonful of miso paste, available in many supermarkets as well as in Asian food stores. Seriously, it’s as easy as instant coffee.

You can have it plain, add tofu cubes as served at Japanese restaurants, or add vegetables of choice, as shown in this video.

The tofu can be cubed in advance; in fact, the whole soup can be made in advance and microwaved in a minute, which is especially convenient if you want your soup with cooked veggies.

There are also instant versions in packets with freeze-dried tofu cubes, which just require water and heating.

We were heartbroken when Pacific Organics discontinued their terrific pho soup base. It was so easy to whip up a delicious, nutritious noodle and egg soup that can be served for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner.

Pho is one of our favorite foods in the world, especially when the broth is cooked for days to extract amazing layers of flavor (go to a Vietnamese restaurant that makes it from scratch, not from a commercial base. It may be one of your life’s memorable food moments.)

Since then, we’ve discovered Nona Lim’s flavorful broths: pho, miso ramen and spicy Szechuan.

All can be drunk straight or enhanced with noodles, eggs and vegetables. You can add meat for a hearty lunch or dinner dish, and top it with fresh herbs for color and more flavor.

Savory Choice, which for years has been our go-to chicken broth base, now makes pho concentrate packets in beef, chicken and vegetable.

You can also find powdered concentrates in Asian food stores and online.

So what’s stopping you from making a delicious Asian breakfast?

RECIPE: PHO & RAMEN BREAKFAST

Ingredients For 4 To 6 Servings

  • 12 ounces Nona Lim plus one cup water or other equivalent* pho broth (substitute Szechuan broth or miso soup)
  • 5 ounces ramen (one packet)
  • 1 head bok choy or ½ head chard or kale, sliced into ½” ribbons
  • 3 green onions/scallions, green and white parts, chopped roughly
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped roughly (substitute basil, chervil, mint or parsley)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. ADD water to the the broth concentrate per package directions, then heat. When it boils, add noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes.

    2. ADD the greens and scallions and simmer for another 3-5 minutes, until the greens are bright and tender but still have texture.

    TIP: If you have wilting veggies in your crisper, or a piece of uncooked chicken or fish that needs to be used, this is a perfect way to use them up. Just shred/slice and toss ‘em in!)

    3. BRING a small pot of water to a boil, then add the eggs and simmer for 7 minutes and 20 seconds. Remove from water and place in an ice bath; peel when cool.

    4. LADLE out bowls of noodles and broth, adding a handful of fresh herbs and a halved egg to each.
    ________________

    *The Nona Lim package plus the water equals 16 ounces of broth.

     

    Ramen - Egg Soup

    Nona Lim Pho Broth

    Savory Choice Beef Pho

    Kikkoman Instant Tofu Miso Soup

    [1] A delicious Asian breakfast, this soup triple-tasks for lunch and dinner. [2] Ready to heat: Nona Lim’s pho base (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] We alternate using both Nona Lim and Savory Choice concentrate packets (photo courtesy Grub Market). [4] A quick substitute: instant miso soup packets. There is also a version with tofu and spinach (photo courtesy Kikkoman).

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Savory Bread Pudding

    Mushroom Bread Pudding

    Applewood Bacon Bread Pudding

    Broccoli Goat Cheese Bread Pudding Recipe

    Individual Bread Puddings

    [1] Mushroom and radicchio bread pudding with Gruyère cheese (recipe below from Good Eggs/Tartine Bakery). [2] Chestnut and applewood smoked bacon bread pudding (here’s the recipe from La Brea Bakery). [3] Broccoli, goat cheese and tomato bread pudding (here’s the recipe from the New York Times). [4] Individual spinach-shiitake bread puddings (here’s the recipe from Food & Wine).

     

    Bread pudding is a popular dessert—sweet, custardy, comfort food. It turns no-longer-fresh bread into something sublime.

    Leave out the sugar and you have a savory bread pudding, to be served as a side with dinner.

    In fact, bread pudding was originally a savory dish, served as a side with dinner (for the poor, it might have been the dinner).

    It remains a welcome side dish, but can also replace a frittata, strata or quiche at brunch.

    THE HISTORY OF BREAD PUDDING

    Bread pudding originated in the 11th or 12th century as a way to use stale bread.

    Pieces of bread were cut or torn, combined with other ingredients (cheese, onions, mushrooms and other vegetables, bits of meat), topped with custard and then baked until the top was set but the inside was soft and creamy.

    Bread pudding is closely related to the Italian dish, strata. The difference is that stratas are typically made with more eggs than cream, making them eggier and more breakfasty—kin to a frittata or a quiche rather than a custard.

    The same ingredients can be used with all. The differences are in the proportions; and a strata traditionally uses milk instead of cream.

    A soufflé dish or casserole makes the nicest presentation at the table, but you can make bread pudding in a baking pan. Another nice touch is individual servings, made in ramekins, custard cups or even muffin pans.

    If you don’t like mushrooms and radicchio, substitute the same quantity of ingredients you do like; or check out the recipes in the photos or the list below.

    TIP: Proteins—chicken, meats, shellfish, smoked fish—are delicious add-ins. Dice or shred leftovers and toss them in.

    RECIPE: MUSHROOM & RADICCHIO SAVORY BREAD PUDDING

    This recipe hails from San Francisco, courtesy of Tartine Bakery’s Chad Robertson and Good Eggs, the Bay Area’s premium grocery delivery service.

    You can assemble the dish a day ahead and refrigerator it, letting it come to room temperature before baking.

    Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 50 minutes. Bake the pudding an hour before you plan to serve it.

    Ingredients For 4-6 Brunch Servings

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine or stock
  • Olive oil
  • 2 pounds assorted mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps halved
  • 1 head treviso or other radicchio, leaves separated
  • 5 eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Pinch pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2/3 and ½ cup grated Gruyere, divided (substitute Cheddar, Jack or other semihard* cheese)
  • 3 ounces smoked ham, chopped
  • 2 slices day-old country bread, torn into large chunks
  •  
    ________________

    *Semihard cheese is a classification based on the weight and texture of the body (paste). They are not hard cheeses, like Aged Gouda, Mimolette or Parmesan, but yield easily to a knife. Examples include Colby, Comte, Edam, Gouda, Jarlsberg, Manchego, Queso Blanco and “Swiss.”

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. While the oven heats…

    2. MELT the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the wine evaporates—about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

    3. HEAT a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is smoking, arrange the mushrooms cut-side down in the pan and cook without stirring until they are seared and caramelized, about 1 minute more. Stir the mushrooms; add the radicchio and cook until it is wilted, about 1 minute. Season to taste. Remove from the heat.

    4. MAKE the custard. Whisk the eggs and salt in a bowl until well blended. Add the cream, milk, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, 2/3 cup cheese and ham and whisk to combine.

    5. PLACE the bread chunks in an 8-inch soufflé dish and add the leeks, mushrooms, and radicchio. Pour in the custard all the way to the rim. Sprinkle evenly with the ½ cup cheese. Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes until the custard saturates the bread.

    6. BAKE until the custard is no longer runny in the center, about 50 minutes. Let the pudding rest for 15 minutes before serving.

    MORE SAVORY BREAD PUDDING RECIPES

  • Artichoke Bread Pudding
  • Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
  • Chestnuts & Applewood Smoked Bacon Bread Pudding
  • Cranberry, Pecan & Bacon Bread Pudding
  • Mushroom, Leek & Parmesan Bread Pudding
  • Portabella Bread Pudding
  • Savory Sausage and Cheddar Bread Pudding
  • Spinach Bread Pudding With Lemon & Feta
  • Spinach & Garlic Bread Pudding
  • Spinach-Shiitake Bread Pudding
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    TIP OF THE DAY: 12 Types Of Christmas Muffins

    We first read Little Women in our tween years. Far into adulthood, we re-read it every few years and watch the showing on TV:

  • The 1933 original with Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Paul Lukas, Jean Parker, Frances Dee et al.
  • The 1994 remake with Winona Ryder, Kristen Dunst, Gabriel Byrne, Trini Alvarado, Claire Danes, Christian Bale, Eric Stoltz, Susan Sarandon et al.
  •  
    The biographical novel takes place during the Civil War—although far away from it, in Concord, Massachusetts. As the novel opens, four teenage sisters, their mother and the family retainer are living in reduced circumstances, while the father is away ministering to the troops.

    The family is struggling to make ends meet, and the sisters are about to sit down to a special Christmas breakfast, when their mother asks if they will give up their meal to a suffering immigrant family whose father [presumably] has passed away. They are living in a shack with no food or firewood, and a broken window to boot.

    In the true spirit of Christmas charity, the girls pack up their breakfast and carry it to the desperate family.

    The passage reminds us that, no matter how poor the Marches may seem, true poverty and suffering is vastly different.
     
    OUR CHRISMAS MUFFIN INSPIRATION

    We were inspired by the Christmas story and began to donate a week’s allowance to the Salvation Army. We also induced our mom to create the March Christmas breakfast for us.

    The novel is scant on details, but mentions cream, muffins, buckwheat [probably porridge] and bread.* Mom made buckwheat blini with sour cream and salmon caviar, omelets and muffins with raisins and pecans. We had cream instead of the usual milk in our tea. It became an annual event until we grew up and moved away.

    Fortunately, NIBBLE readers can afford a fine Christmas breakfast. If you’re not a big breakfast eater, you can still enjoy fresh-baked muffins, and cream in your tea or coffee.

    Here are 12 recipes to consider—one for each of the 12 days of Christmas—beginning with gingerbread muffins from I Heart Eating.

     
    RECIPE #1: GINGERBREAD MUFFINS

    Ingredients For 12 Muffins

  • 2½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk low-fat ok
  • 1/3 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • Optional garnish: 2 tablespoons sparkling sugar
  • Optional: fresh sweet butter† for serving
  •  
    ________________
    *A Victorian breakfast would have included eggs baked in cream, sausages, potatoes, biscuits, fruit and a Christmas pudding.

    †For special occasions, we spring for Kerrygold, Plugrá or our favorite European-style cultured butter from Vermont Creamery.

     

    Cranberry Muffins

    Gingerbread Muffins

    Ginger Fig Muffins

    Strawberry Marzipan Muffins

    [1] Cranberry streusel muffins from Eats Well With Others. [2] Gingerbread muffins from I Heart Eating. [3] Ginger-fig muffins made with fig jam, from Dave Bakes. [4] Strawberry marzipan muffins from Sandra Lee.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, or grease with cooking spray.

    2. COMBINE the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl, combine. Set aside.

    3. WHISK together the coconut oil and brown sugar in a separate large bowl. Whisk in the molasses, then whisk in the egg. Add the milk and yogurt and whisk until well-combined. Finally, add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

    3. SCOOP the batter into muffin cups (the cups will be full). Sprinkle the tops with sparkling sugar (a.k.a. decorating sugar, coarse sugar). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
     
    11 MORE CHRISTMAS MUFFIN IDEAS

  • RECIPE #1: Apple Cider Muffins With Cinnamon Chips
  • RECIPE #2: Apple-Pecan Streusel Muffins
  • RECIPE #3: Cranberry Bliss Muffins With Cream Cheese Frosting
  • RECIPE #4: Cranberry Eggnog Muffins
  • RECIPE #5: Fruitcake Muffins (add an optional tablespoon of orange liqueur)
  • RECIPE #6: Ginger Fig Muffins
  • RECIPE #7: Meyer Lemon, Cranberry & Poppyseed Muffins
  • RECIPE #8: Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Morning Muffins
  • RECIPE #9: Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
  • RECIPE #10: Orange-Cranberry-Marzipan Muffins
  • RECIPE #11: Strawberry Marzipan Muffins
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Dutch Baby Instead Of Pancakes

    Plain Dutch Baby

    Raspberry & Chocolate Dutch Babies

    Lemon Blueberry Dutch  Baby

    Dessert Dutch Baby

    [1] The original Dutch Baby: cinnamon, vanilla and a touch of powdered sugar (photo courtesy In My Red Kitchen). [2] From breakfast to dessert: Raspberry Dutch Baby and Chocolate Dutch Baby (photo courtesy The Modern Proper. [3] Lemon Blueberry Dutch Baby (photo courtesy Camille Styles). [4] A dessert Dutch Baby with all the fixings (photo courtesy Donal Skehan

     

    Have extra house guests for the holidays? Kids home from school? Everybody expecting a leisurely breakfast?

    Rather than flipping pancakes, why not make a Dutch Baby, a multi-portion pancake that’s baked in the oven, no flipping required.

    WHAT’S A DUTCH BABY?

    A Dutch Baby is an airy, popover-type breakfast pancake made first in a skillet, then in the oven.

    You can cook it in a cast iron skillet, or in a special pan that does duel duty for Dutch Babies and paella (plus all these uses for a paella pan).

    The sides puff up and are crisp like a popover the traditional accompaniment of lemon wedges which get squeezed all over the top.

    You can add maple or other fruit syrup, lemon wedges and/or zest, butter and a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar—or all of them.

    You can pair spices with ingredients; for example, an apple Dutch Baby with apple pie seasonings. The fruit can be a topping or diced and added to the batter.

    They are typically sweet, but you can omit the sugar and a savory version, topped with ratatouille, leftover stew, taco fixings, etc. (see our article on savory pancakes).

    You can see the variety in the photos.

    The basic recipe includes eggs, flour, sugar and milk, usually with vanilla and cinnamon. Seasonal fruits are popular additions, as are citrus and chocolate.

    Yes, you can add chocolate sauce or other dessert sauce, fruit and whipped cream, mascarpone or crème fraîche for a dessert Dutch Baby. Frankly, we know more than a few people who’d eat this combination for breakfast (more on chocolate pancakes).

    THE HISTORY OF THE DUTCH BABY

    The pancake is neither Dutch nor Pennsylvania Dutch, Deutsch (German), but created in Seattle at the turn of the 20th century. It has roots in small, thin crepe-like German pancakes, garnished with powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon wedge; and the Apfelpfannkuchen, German pancakes made in a large plate size.

    According to Sunset magazine, Dutch Babies were introduced in the first half of the 1900s at Manca’s Cafe in Seattle, a popular spot that opened around 1902 and closed in the 1950s (here’s the history). The cafe was owned by Victor Manca, but we don’t know who provided the inspiration to adapt a German-style pancake.

    History says that the name Dutch Baby was coined by one of Victor Manca’s daughter, who may have transformed “Deutsch baby” into big Dutch Baby.

    The Dutch baby is a specialty of some diners and chains that specialize in breakfast dishes, such as the Oregon-founded The Original Pancake House or the New England-based chain Bickford’s, which makes both a plain Dutch baby and a similar pancake known as the Baby Apple, which contains apple slices embedded in the pancake. It is often eaten as a dessert.

    Thanks to Good Eggs for this recipe, which we adapted slightly and made with a variety of different toppings.
     
    RECIPE: DUTCH BABY WITH FRUIT & RICOTTA

    Ingredients For 3 Servings
    A good template for the batter is 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup milk/otherliquid per egg.

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pears or apples, thinly sliced (substitute bananas or other fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • A few pinches ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • Maple syrup
  • Optional: lemon or orange zest
  •  
    GENERAL TOPPINGS

    Take a basic (plain) Dutch Baby recipe and add your choices of:

  • Fresh fruit: berries, bananas, whatever
  • Fruit curd, marmalade or preserves
  • Powdered sugar
  • Chocolate sauce other dessert sauce or fruit purée
  • Coconut, toasted nuts, raisins or other dried fruit (we particularly like cherries and cranberries)
  • Dairy: mascarpone, ricotta, hand-whipped cream (i.e., not from a can)
  • Syrup
  •  

    HERE’S A VIDEO OF THE PROCESS

     

    .

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Combine the flour, eggs, vanilla, salt, milk and a pinch of cinnamon in a mixing bowl and whisk until the ingredients and well-incorporated (i.e. no flour lumps).

    2. MELT half of the butter in a 10-inch cast iron pan over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, add the fruit, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. If you have a lemon or orange zest, it adds pizzazz. Use a teaspoon or whatever you feel comfortable with.

    3. STIR gently to coat the pears and cook them over low heat for about 5 minutes. When the pears have softened a bit, drain the butter but keep the fruit in the pan. Then turn up the heat to high add the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Swish the butter all over the pan—sides included—so that the entire inside surface is covered.

    4. POUR the batter over the fruit and slide the pan into the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until that baby is quite puffed up and golden brown. It falls soon after removed from the oven, so be ready to serve immediately. While the pancake is cooking…

    4. SET the garnishes on the table so participants can help themselves quickly.

     
    MORE DUTCH BABY RECIPES

  • Chocolate Dutch Baby With Whipped Cream
  • Chocolate, Raspberry & Hazelnut Dutch Baby
  • Dutch Baby With Fig, Pomegranate & Honeycomb
  • Dutch Baby with lemon sugar (a classic preparation)
  • Savory Dutch Baby With Goat Cheese, Avocado & Asparagus
  • The Original Dutch Baby, just cinnamon and vanilla
  •  
    THE HISTORY OF PANCAKES

    People have been eating pancake-like foods for a very long time. According to Alan Davidson in the Oxford Companion to Food, the first mention of anything other than bread baked on a griddle is the oldest surviving cookbook, De Re Coquinaria (“On Cookery) by Apicius*.

    The book describes “cakes” made from a batter of eggs, milk, water and flour. They were fried and served with honey and pepper.

    Archaeologists have discovered grains on 30,000-year-old grinding tools, suggesting that Stone Age man might have been eating grains mixed with water and cooked on a hot rock.

    While the result not have looked like the modern crepe, hotcake, or flapjack, the idea was the same: a flat cake, made from batter and fried.

    Ancient Greeks and Romans ate pancakes topped with honey, and a Greek reference mentions toppings of cheese and sesame as well.

     

    Savory Goat Cheese Dutch Baby

    Dutch Baby In Cast Iron Skillet

    Dutch  Baby Pan

    [5] A classic Dutch Baby with lemon (photo courtesy Epicurious). [6] You can use your cast iron skillet to make a Dutch —10″ diameter or larger (photo courtesy Simply Recipes). [7] A Dutch Baby/paella pan from Norpro.

     

    These foods were not called pancakes, but the first mention of “pancake” in an English dictionary dates to the 16th century: a cake made in a pan.

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “Flat as a pancake” has been a catchphrase since at least 1611.

    For the rest of the pancake’s journey to modern times, head to National Geographic.

    And remember to celebrate National Pancake Day on September 26th.
     
    MORE PANCAKE HISTORY

  • We love this article from National Geographic, and recommend it as a short read on the history of pancakes.
  • Here’s more on the history of pancakes.
  •  
    ________________
    *“Apicius” is believed to be the pseudonym of one or several writers who authored the book. The manuscript of some 400 recipes is believed to have been compiled in the late 4th or early 5th century C.E. Why the name Apicius? It had long been associated with gourmet preferences, named after Marcus Gavius Apicius, a wealthy Roman merchant and epicure who lived in the 1st century C.E. He is said to have once sailed all the way to Libya to eat some much-praised prawns, only to return home without having found any to his satisfaction. He hosted colossal banquets, which eventually drove him to bankruptcy…and suicide.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Challah Bread Pudding & Different Types Of Challah

    Challah bread pudding, like Challah French Toast, should not be limited to Chanukah. In terms of egginess, it’s the closest thing to brioche—and much less expensive.

    With Chanukah starting in two weeks (this year, it coincides with Christmas Eve), you try a batch this weekend; then adjust it as you like over the eight days of Chanukah. Serve it for breakfast or dessert.

    What other holiday gives you eight days of French toast and bread pudding?

    DIFFERENT CHALLAH BREAD PUDDING RECIPES

  • Pumpkin Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce
  • Savory Bread Pudding
  •  
    RECIPE: CHALLAH BREAD PUDDING

    This recipe is ready in 40 minutes.
     
    Ingredients For 6 To 8 Servings

  • 1 loaf challah, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 2/3 cups raisins (substitute dried cherries or cranberries, or a blend)
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  •  
    Favorite Variations

  • Chocolate chunks and sliced bananas
  • Crème fraîche garnish
  • Fresh blueberries in season
  • Sliced or cubed apples with cinnamon, or with shredded Gruyère or Cheddar
  • White chocolate
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Spread the challah cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally until the cubes are dry but not brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.

    2. ADD the raisins and bourbon to a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds; set aside.

    3. COMBINE the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar in another small bowl. Set aside.

    4. BEAT the egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla and salt with electric beaters or a whisk. Beat/whisk in the cream and milk until combined. Add the raisins and bourbon.

    5. RESERVER 2 cups of the prettier challah cubes for the top layer. Stir the remaining cubes into the egg yolk mixture and pour into a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Set aside for 30 minutes so the bread is fully saturated by the custard.

    6. DIP the remaining challah cubes into the melted butter and place evenly, butter side up, on the top of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top.

    7. BAKE for 50-55 minutes until custard is set (pressing the center of the dish does not release any liquid). Cool for 45 minutes and serve warm.
     
    TYPES OF CHALLAH

    There are two words for bread in Hebrew: lechem, the everyday bread, and challah, the sabbath bread. Jewish custom requires that Sabbath and holiday meals begin with challah.

    Challah is a braided, honey-sweetened egg bread made from wheat flour and topped with an egg white wash.

    The word refers to a tithe of bread that was given to the priests, who had no income. A portion of the dough was sanctified and tithed, the remainder was given over for ordinary consumption.

    In biblical times, the Sabbath challah was probably more like present-day pita. Through the ages and as Jews moved to different lands, recipes evolved and the loaves varied. For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, the loaf was formed in a circle, to signify the desire for a long life. [Source: Food Timeline]

    MODERN CHALLAH

    Traditional challah is made from wheat flour, although some modern bakers make it from spelt, whole wheat, gluten-free flour, even sprouted wheat.

    They can be plain or mixed with raisins and other dried fruit. On the savory side, onions and herbs can be added to the dough; sesame or poppy seeds garnish the top of the loaf.

    The shape can be oblong or round, depending on local traditions. Another variation is the number of braids: traditionally three or four braids; more recently two-braid loaves have appeared.

     

    Challah Bread Pudding

    Braided Challah

    Braided Challah With Poppy Seeds

    Turban Challah Sephardic

    Raisin Challah

    Chocolate Challah

    [1] The bread pudding from today’s recipe (photo #1, #3 and #5 courtesy Good Eggs | SF). [2] Braided challah (photo courtesy Hewn Bakery | Chicago). [3] Braided challah with poppy seeds. [4] A Sephardic turban challah with honey (here’s the recipe; photo courtesy National Honey Board). [5] A round with raisins (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [6] Irresistible: chocolate-orange challah from Yin and Yolk.

     

    In more recent times, pull-apart loaves and challah rolls have become popular. During the holiday season, some bakers and home cooks make Chanukah loaves are shaped like menorahs.

    Today, people of all faiths enjoy challah, at any time of the day.

    One of our team brought in a challah made with pumpkin seeds and chia for our afternoon tea. And for breakfast and snacking, check out this gorgeous chocolate-orange challah.

    Go seasonal with this recipe for challah made with butternut squash and sage.

    Check out this rainbow challah, made from six braids, each a different color. It’s a dazzler.

    And here’s how to turn a challah into a special centerpiece for the breakfast table or a buffet.

    So much challah, so little time. We’re off to buy ingredients for Yin and Yolk’s stunning chocolate orange challah. Note to NIBBLE team: Don’t expect there to be any left over on Monday.

      

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