Challah Three Ways with Jake Cohen

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Looking for High Holiday inspiration? Rising-star chef Jake Cohen shares some of his favorite ways to create (and re-create) challah using ingredients found on Gorillas. Reinvent traditional Jewish recipes by sifting through his cookbook, Jew-ish, following his culinary creations on Instagram @jakecohen, and DIY-ing at home with Gorillas.

Challah

How to make Challah

  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar divided
  • ¼ ounce (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)
  1. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix the warm water and 1 tablespoon of the sugar to dissolve, then sprinkle the yeast over top. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, vegetable oil, honey, and 3 of the eggs, then whisk on medium until mixed.
  2. Switch to the dough hook. Add
 5½ cups flour and the salt. Knead on low speed and slowly increase to medium until a smooth, elastic dough forms (3-4 mins). If dough is sticky, mix in additional flour until tacky.
  3. Transfer to a floured surface and knead until a smooth ball forms. Grease a medium bowl with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and add the dough, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
  4. Divide dough into eight pieces and roll each into a long rope, about 16" long and slightly thicker at the center. Lay out all the ropes in four groups of two ropes each. Place the two ropes perpendicularly to form a hash sign (#).
  5. Alternate the ropes to run over and under each other. Starting at the heads of the vertical ropes, cross the two ropes. Then move clockwise to cross the heads on the right horizontal, the bottom vertical, and so on, until a weaved challah forms, tucking in the ends of the ropes.
  6. Beat the remaining egg and brush the challah. Let rise again, uncovered, until doubled in volume (1 hour). Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the challah again with the egg, then sprinkle with flaky salt, if using. Bake, rotating halfway, for 35-40 mins, until golden brown.

Challah Grilled Cheese

How to make Challah Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 slices challah bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • ½ apple thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Steps

  1. On a cutting board, spread each side of both slices of bread with ½ tablespoon butter. Build the sandwich by layering one slice with the cheeses, apple, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Top with the other slice of buttered challah and lightly press.
  2. Place the sandwich in a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook, pressing occasionally and flipping once, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer to a cutting board, then slice and serve.

Challah French Toast

How to make Challah French Toast with Caramelized Apples

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 1-inch slices challah
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the caramelized apples:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Steps

  1. For the French Toast: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, followed by the milk until smooth. Dip the challah slices in the mixture then transfer to a large casserole dish. Pour the remaining milk mixture over top and let soak for 15 minutes.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, melt ½ tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add 3 slices of the soaked challah and cook, flipping once, until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Once you flip, add another ½ tablespoon butter for even browning. Repeat with the remaining challah and butter.
  3. For the Caramelized Apples: To the same pan you used for the french toast, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cook until the apples are softened and coated in a thick caramel, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Pour the apples over the french toast, then serve with maple syrup.

Za’atar Challah Croutons

How to make Za’atar Challah Croutons

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed challah (¾-inch cubes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a sheet pan, toss the challah with the olive oil, za’atar, and a big pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Bake, tossing halfway through, for 20 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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