The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Today's baking

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Marni's picture

Today's baking

Well here it goes, trying to post pictures on my blog - today I baked a traditional Jewish holiday treat called Hamantashen.  They are popular for the holiday of Purim which is next Tuesday.  I made about 110, a mix of prune, cherry and blueberry.  I'm not the most careful cookie shaper, but these are disappearing too fast for that to really matter.

I also tried the round braid that Trailrunner made recently.  That was so much fun!  I make challah almost every week and have never tried this before.  I just used a basic challah recipe that looked good. 

Here it is  just after shaping:

And just out of the oven:

Lately I've been brushing my challahs with a mix of egg yolk and dash of vanilla.  The taste is great and the smell even better.  The line is from rolling the strands , it was a technique I haven't used before and was much easier than my usual method, but I'll have to watch for those seams.

We haven't tasted this loaf yet - tomorrow night.

Whew - I admire those of you who post pictures regularly, it takes a while to do!  I love seeing everyone's pictures, so thank you for taking the time to show your work.  I loved doing this.


trailrunner's picture

Beautiful and a gorgeous success at the braiding !! I haven't ever tried the vanilla but it does sound like it would add a very nice touch. I am sure everyone will love the cookies and the bread.

May your gragger make LOTS of noise !! Caroline

Marni's picture

Thank you Caroline, those instructions worked perfectly.  Once you get going on the pattern, it's so simple and the result is so satisfying.  Thanks again for sharing.


xaipete's picture

That Challah really looks beautiful!


Marni's picture

Thank you Pamela, I really liked making it.


blockkevin's picture


both photos are mouthwatering...any chance you might post a formula for the cookies?


Marni's picture

Kevin,  I make these every year.  They are from one of the first Chabad ( a Jewish group) cookbooks.  It was a gift to me many years ago.   I don't knowif I can share it here. might have a similar one.  This is the sweeter version : )


Floydm's picture

Those are lovely.

Marni's picture

Thanks, Floyd!

SylviaH's picture

Beautiful Challah and I love the Hamantashen...I have never heard of it before and it looks delicious!  I love braiding and have used this site when I want to make a round braided challah... A little different from the Winston Knot is very helpful and gives detailed easy instructions for making the round shape challah.  I like to use this shape when I make a challah called "Honey Vanilla's a little different than the Vanilla Challah.

Welcome to the Blog site!  Glad to see others are like the benefits of the Blog posts!


Marni's picture

That site is the one Caroline (Trailrunner) shared with me.  Great instructions.

I also tried a vanilla challah recipe last week.  (From Paul -McCool- forgive me for getting names wrong here)  It was wonderful.  This one was a plain challah with just a bit of vanilla in the glaze.  Could you share the honey vanilla version?  I'd love to give it a try.  I seem to be collecting challah recipes lately.

Thank you for the kind words and welcome,


SylviaH's picture

Hope you enjoy this recipe,  I like it very much.  Sorry it's not in metric measures!

Im not sure but I don't think Challah is traditionally made with milk?  Not being jewish I didn't mind having the milk!  But Im sure it can be made without it.


This is a hand written recipe I have had for a long time and I can't remember where it has orginated from..I have made a few changes!  I also make it in the three strand shape filled each strand with my homemade Apple Butter.  The photo was on this site but no longer exists since we went to the new server. 

1 Cup Warm Milk>I have used powered milk and 2%

1 TBsp. Honey

4 TBsp. Sugar> I have used Turbanado

1 tsp. salt

4 TBsp. Oil> I use Grapeseed Oil

1/2tsp. Vanilla Extract> I have used Vanilla Bean Paste

4 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1/2 TBsp. IADY

This recipe can also be used for Doughnuts though I have not made them.

Mix using your usual Challah mixing directions.  Form in 4-3-6 ropes depending on braiding shape choosen. 


Marni's picture

With the apple butter, it would be the most delicious danish.

You're right, challah is traditionally dairy-free (known as parve).  I would trythis with rice dream or just water and see what happens.

I have no problem at all with your measurements, thanks so much for taking the time to share the recipe!


crunchy's picture

Here's a recipe I found -- haven't tried it though.

Your cookies and challah look scrumptious. Prunes are my passion, I can only imagine how good they taste as a filling!

hsmum's picture

Wow, these are beautiful -- my mouth is watering!


dmsnyder's picture

I love hamentashen with munn (poppy seed paste) filling. Your challah is lovely.


Marni's picture

Crunchy - Let us know if you try theat recipe. 

Karen -  Thanks for your kind words

David - You and my mother- she loves munn, I'll take the prune, but then it's the sweetest.  Thanks for your comments.


Janknitz's picture

Wow, you did a great job!

That's my plan for the weekend, to try that vanilla challah recipe and make hamentaschen.  Did you use a yeast dough or a cookie dough for the hamentaschen?  I'm guessing cookie dough since they are not all "poofy".  I'm having so much fun with yeast that I'm thinking a yeast dough this year, but I don't like it when they are too poofy. 

Your challah is beautiful.  I usually take the recipe for two small challahs or one big one and make four smaller ones since we rarely eat it up.  But I'm dying to try that round braid--we can use the extra for bread pudding and I bet it will be wonderful. Do you have any hints on shaping the round braid? 

Your challah didn't need it at all but I finally figured out how to have a shinier crust.  Usually, during the oven spring, a lot of dough gets exposed that does not have the egg wash, and it doesn't look as good.  Last time I baked challahs, I did an egg wash before the last proofing, and one more egg wash just before I put them in the oven. Viola!  A much more even, shiny brown crust. 

I'm still at work, but my hands are itching to play with dough all weekend!

Marni's picture

You are correct, it was a cookie dough.  I also don't like puffy hamantashen.  These are just what I like, crispy edges and softer middles.  They have OJ in them and are not greasy at all.

I also usually make smaller challahs.  I often use about 5lbs of flour and divide the dough into 7-8 loaves.  This braid just needed to be larger.  It used about 3lbs.  I'm sure my kids won't mind eating it all.

I always glaze my challahs just before putting them in the oven.  Sometimes I brush them twice, but not on this one.

Have fun this weekend.


Knit-Baker's picture

The hamentashem is very tempting. I am going to make your recipe.