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Dec 9, 2007 08:29 AM

Challah and other bread tales

like bagels, a very personal taste. have tried most of the board's recommendations and generally haven't found one that's quite what i remember and want. Friday, bought the challah at clear flour. i don't know why i was surprised that this one is it for me, as i love their breads generally. but this challah had the lovely whitebread crumb, light without fragility, and no taste of sugar or over-egginess. its the one for me! as my kids bring me bagels from Marvin's bagels in great barrington (my take for the best bagels in either new york or boston) and i can know get a transcendental challah, life is good! as for croissants, have been following the thread on these and have come to the conclusion there are some ok ones but no great ones since the savoy of many year's ago bit the dust. the problem is a little like bagels: great bagels need excellent water, must be well-baked, and therefore have a very short shelf life with maybe a second life as toasted bagels. most places therefore underbake them so they want get hard on the shelf before they are sold. croissants also must be handmade, with a light touch, and eaten pretty darn close to right out of the oven, with a decent second life, like a bagel, as toasted. if you make them soft and puffy, they mimic "fresh" longer but they don't taste like croissants. so i figure the cost verities are going to make it nearly impossible to make a really good bagel or really good croissant. but i'm happy: i've got my challah!

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  1. Bagels have to be plonked in boiling water, then baked.
    the problem today is the newer methods just steam them first, then bake.
    All in the same oven, its a very fast process but its not a real bagel.

    1. Cheryl Ann's in Putterham Circle Brookline is the place to go for soft, sweet challah.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ShelT54

        I'll go with the OP for a challah that is not too sweet......Cheryl Ann's is a tasty treat, but borders on a brioche! I don't like to serve such a sweet bread for a holiday just doesn't go with the food well. It is wonderful for french toast, though!