The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Challah bread: Bland. No, let me reiterate: BLAND. And as for that Injera bread....

meadmaker's picture

Challah bread: Bland. No, let me reiterate: BLAND. And as for that Injera bread....

Yesterday, the bread faeries did not give me their blessings.

While the Challah bread came out looking gorgeous, it also came out way bland! The two possible reasons I could come up with are:

1) Old bread flour; and/or

2) Too much yeast.

I had used a recipe out of Sherry Yards' "Secrets of Baking" (I think that's the name of it, anyway, without going into the other room to verify it.)

INJERA BREAD:  And the Injera dough did rise, but it was VERY dark. There was no way around that. Soooo, what I'm thinking is that, while using 100% Teff flour may be the 'authentic' way they make it in Ethiopia, the yummy Injera bread at the restaurants in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego are made from another recipe. With or without Teff, I don't know; however, from those that I've had at the restaurants were generally much lighter in color which is a dead giveaway that they're using some other flour(s). The best I've been able to make at home has been the buckwheat flour with seltzer water recipe. They held up well during cooking and tasted very acceptable as an accompaniment to Doro'Wat.


Janknitz's picture

Possibly left out the salt in your challah?  It happens to the best of us.  You might give the recipe (perhaps cut it in half) a try again just in case it was that.  Or, just increase the salt or honey a little. 

My very favorite challah recipe is here.  It is delicious, but it uses a firm sourdough starter as a pate fermentee.  Rose Levy Beranbaum also has a very tasty version in her Bread Bible without the sourdough starter. 


meadmaker's picture

Now that I recall, I did just eyeball the salt and probably didn't add enough! Or maybe I let it rise too long? (My baby got hungry toward the end of the risings so they went a little longer than what the recipe called for. I've been reading the lessons on here and didn't know it would effect the flavor. Oh boy!

The recipe you mentioned, I'll have to get some sourdough starter yeast to try it out. Hopefully, they have some at one of the markets here.

Thanks for the other possibility, as well as the new recipe suggested! I just couldn't see how my recipe book would have meant for it to turn out as it did. So many factors in this equation! lol

The Yakima Kid's picture
The Yakima Kid

In Ethiopia, the poor people eat the dark teff flour, and the wealthy eat the lighter colored flour. I think restaurants tend to use the light flour, and quite a few mix in wheat flour. The dark teff has a stronger flavor than the light.