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Jun 15, 2009 08:37 AM

Cheap Challah on the Westside

I am making large amounts of creme brulee french toast for Father's Day using challah. In the past I have purchased the challah from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods where each loaf can cost between $3 and $4.

I was wondering if the Jewish bakeries are cheaper. Since challah is usually sold for the Sabbath, do any of the Jewish bakeries sell it as "day old" on Saturday?

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  1. 'kosher' jewish bakeries would not be open on a Saturday - as they'd be sabbath observant.

      1. I would call the bakeries you know of and ask. Hard to say if they can beat Trader Joe's prices, tho.

        And don't get it at Huckleberry's - I did last week, it was superb, but cost $8. I made it into a Brioche bread pudding with fresh strawberries that my family devoured.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv

          I don't know what the cost is, but Jewish bakeries do sell day old challahs. You can buy them on Fridays for sure, and maybe other days.

          1. re: mrfood16

            I'm not surprised. There's nothing wrong with day old bread, if you know how to use it!!

            1. re: Phurstluv

              and day old is better for french toast...!

        2. Check with your local Costco. I've seen it at the Marina del Rey store pretty regularly, but I haven't checked since they flipped everything around recently.

          9 Replies
          1. re: bulavinaka

            Really I don't think I've ever seen Challah there, and I go pretty regularly, like every few weeks. Is it by the La Brea bread bags, bagels and muffins???

            1. re: Phurstluv

              They used to have it on racks against the far wall adjacent to the table of bagels. But everything is moved around now and I haven't sorted out where everything is now. The Challah usually came plain, sesame seeds, and I think poppy seeds. They didn't consistently carry it but it was there enough for me to grab some to regularly make the same thing that the OP is planning.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                I always see it there and I buy it often. Unless they've shifted everything again, it's still on the southwest corner wall near the Noah's Bagels and La Brea Bakery breads.

                1. re: Arthur

                  Well, I hate to report but I was there today and looked there and saw no challah at all. Is it on the tables in the aisles or on a rack, double-bagged?

                  1. re: Phurstluv

                    It's always been there without fail whenever I've needed one. My guess is either you just plain missed it (did you ask anyone?) or they sold out, which is a distinct possibility since tomorrow night is the Jewish Sabbath.

                    1. re: Arthur

                      Probably the latter, as it was after noon. Next time I'm there I will hunt someone down, not always easy!! I am determined to find it if they really do sell it!

                      1. re: Phurstluv

                        The last place I saw the racks of challah was directly adjacent to the Noah's Bagels table. The challah is normally on metal racks, along with the basic sandwich-type breads and other baked goods like madeleines in plastic tubs, etc. They've moved these racks around quite a bit over the past six months, often times placing them in the rack aisles where you would normally find things like Gatorade (the northwest area of the store) or even where the beer and bicycles were (more or less the southwest part of the store adjacent to where the wines were for a long time).

                        1. re: Phurstluv

                          I was in Costco today and found the challah. The store has repositioned the metal bread racks directly adjacent to the bagels - I think it would be east of the bagel table. The company is Renaissance in Van Nuys, and the loaves are 24-ounces for $3.75.

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            Obviously trying to hold down the "cross contamination" of the baguettes by moving the challah to keep it from turning into "bagallah" (a possible new Irish bread?)... ;-D>

            2. Pain Quotidien has great Challah (but not cheap) on Fridays, and if we restrain ourselves on Friday (not easy), it makes great French toast on Saturday. When I call the Pain Quotidien at the Brentwood Country Mart at the end of the day, they always seem to have a spare loaf--so maybe they would sell it to you cheap on Saturday morning.

              As an only slightly obsessed French toast maker, I urge you to go for a good quality day-old challah and not settle for supermarket quality. You will taste the difference.