Saturday, 25 December 2010

Cheese and Chive Challah

Christmas was wonderful this year.  I got to spend time with my family and friends and it snowed.  It hasn’t snowed in Atlanta on Christmas since 1882. That’s a very rare phenomenon indeed!  We enjoyed good food, good bread, good company and a beautiful display of falling snowflakes outside the window. 

Happy Holidays from The Bread Experience!

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At family events, more often than not, I’m the one who brings the bread. In fact, the first question I usually get asked when I walk in the door is, “what kind of bread did you bring today?” 

This year, instead of bringing rolls for Christmas dinner, I made a festive Cheese and Chive Challah.  This challah recipe made two loaves so I shared one loaf with my family and gave the other loaf to my boyfriend for his family to enjoy.  The bread was well received at both gatherings.

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Cheese and Chive Challah

Source: Cooking Light November 2010 Issue

Makes: Two loaves

This Cheese and Chive Challah is a traditional yeasted egg bread that is further enriched with the addition of cheese.  I used fontina, but feel free to use your favorite shredded cheese.


  • 1  cup  warm 2% reduced-fat milk (100° to 110°)
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1  package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  salt
  • 5  large egg yolks
  • 3  large eggs
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded aged fontina cheese
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped fresh chives
  • 10.7  ounces  bread flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 13.5  ounces  all-purpose flour, divided (about 3 cups)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  large egg
  • 2  tablespoons  water
  • 2  tablespoons  grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.  Stir in butter, salt, 5 egg yolks, and 3 eggs. Stir in fontina and chives. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 10.7 ounces bread flour (about 2 1/4 cups) and 12.4 ounces (about 2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour to yeast mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms (dough will be sticky).

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Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding remaining 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.

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Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap.

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Let the dough rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

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Punch down dough;

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Cover and let rise 50 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

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Divide dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.

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Roll each ball into a rope about 15 inches long.

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Place 3 ropes parallel to one another; braid ropes. Pinch ends together, and tuck under loaf.  I braided the first loaf this way and the second loaf a different way.

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Repeat procedure with remaining 3 ropes.  I formed this braid a little bit different than the first one.  See photos below:

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Place loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

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Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water, stirring well with a whisk. Brush loaves gently with egg mixture.  Sprinkle loaves evenly with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack.

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Nutritional Information

Calories: 160
Fat: 4.7g (sat 2.3g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 6.2g
Carbohydrate: 22.5g
Fiber: 0.8g
Cholesterol: 78mg
Iron: 1.6mg
Sodium: 210mg
Calcium: 51mg

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