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Another Bostonian looking for good challah

For years our challah was always Cheryl Ann's -- a bit sweet, yes, but incredibly moist and delicious. Yesterday we bought a round challah freshly delivered to Fresh Pound Market in Cambridge, and it was dry as dust. So obviously they've gone downhill -- won't try that again. Is there any other bakery in Boston/Brookline/Cambridge that makes really good MOIST challah?

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Cheryl Anns
1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

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  1. Rosenfeld's bagels in Newton makes THE BEST challah I have had in Boston, period.

    They don't make it every day, so call ahead.

    2 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      Agreed - I prefer the whole wheat m'self... makes all manner of amazing French toast creations...

      but, you picked an unfortunate day to go searching for it.... Shanah Tovah!

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      Rosenfeld Bagel Co
      1280 Centre St, Newton, MA

      1. re: StriperGuy

        Agree with you, StriperGuy, no other place I know of is better than Rosenfeld's for challah -- but does Michael's in Brookline make challah? I hear that their bagels are as close to NYC as you can get in these parts, so perhaps any challah they make is great as well. (I realize that a bagel discussion is a different and important subject, and probably the subject of numerous posts. I have been in withdrawal...)

      2. Cheryl Ann's was a hardcore fail on the round ones yesterday. Maybe the quality will return to normal when they go back to regular production volume and loaf shape.

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        Cheryl Anns
        1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

        5 Replies
        1. re: Luther

          I agree, something was wrong with Cheryl Ann's round challahs. I felt them at Roche Bros on Tues, felt like a brick! Bought a Roche Bros one. Not bad, but I prefer Rosenfeld's.

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          Cheryl Anns
          1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

          1. re: CookieLee

            Agreed on Cheryl Ann's this week. My mom had one on Tuesday night for Rosh dinner and it was dry and hard as a rock. She bought it that day too.

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            Cheryl Anns
            1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

            1. re: Sugar

              Sugar,
              I called Cheryl Ann's today and asked the manager about those round challahs, and she corrected me -- told me that the round ones were MORE moist, and when I disagreed, she said, Well, once in a while I guess an overbaked one slips between the cracks. Sounds like I wasn't the only one....

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              Cheryl Anns
              1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

              1. re: ThrillerJoe

                Mine definitely wasn't overbaked -- it wasnt more brown on top than usual. It just had a stale/dry texture.

                1. re: Sugar

                  Yup, pale on top and dry inside like 2-day-old bread, without that moist and delicate "stringy" texture it usually has.

        2. I've always been happy with the challah from Quebrada in Arlington.

          1. My favorite challah comes from Clear Flour bakery in Brookline but I've found the ones they make on the High Holidays to be not as good as the ones they make on Fridays throughout the year. I don't think it's the shape that's affecting the quality, I think it's the unusually high quantity they must produce on these days that yields a different result. Clear Flour's challah is much less sweet than Cheryl Ann's. Nashoba Brook Bakery makes challah for Fridays and I've seen it at Russo's. It's very good and convenient for those times I can't make it to Clear Flour.

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            Nashoba Brook Bakery Cafe
            152 Commonwealth Ave., Concord, MA 01742

            Cheryl Anns
            1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

            1. Cherly Ann's is what my Mom always bought but I tend to prefer the more bread-like less sweet style challahs. For a less sweet challah, I'll second Clear Flour's challah. I love their poppyseed topped one and since I'm at Clear Flour 2-3 times a week for regular bread anyway, it's hard not to recommend them.

              Kupel's in Coolidge Corner is another good option and they have several types including raisin, plain, whole wheat, round, regular.

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              Clear Flour Bread Bakery
              178 Thorndike St, Brookline, MA 02446

              Kupel's Bakery
              421 Harvard St, Brookline, MA

              1 Reply
              1. re: Klunco

                I don't consider either of these to be traditional challah. Some of the baked goods at Kupel's are very good, but I think their best breads are closer to the Brazilian tradition of their main baker.

              2. Thank you all. Yeah, lousy day to look for challah. Though we picked one up at Zaftig's this morning in Brookline, and though (1) it wasn't round and (2) it wasn't braided, it was fresh and moist enough and not bad at all. Way better than Cheryl Ann's.

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                Cheryl Anns
                1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

                1 Reply
                1. re: ThrillerJoe

                  Clear Flour is my first choice, Rosenfeld's my second. Definitely not Kupfels or Cheryl Ann

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                  Cheryl Anns
                  1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

                2. Wednesday we had Rosenfelds (one wheat, one with raisins). Delicious, but I'm not sure it makes up for their attitude there. Last night we had Cheryl Ann's and they were perfectly fine.

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                  Cheryl Anns
                  1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

                  1. Try Hi-Rise bakery--they make plain and raisin, on Fridays and on holidays. Enormous, golden, perfect. And at $7, same price and 2x the size as Cheryl Ann's. You will feel like celebrating!

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                    Cheryl Anns
                    1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

                    1. I am sorry your new years challah experience was less than tasty. I have been regularly buying Cheryl Ann's challah for Shabbat for years now and have never had a loaf that was anything less than fluffy, sweet, and moist (though outrageously priced). My family actually got 4 loaves of the New Years round style ( 2 raisin, 2 normal) and all 4 were just as tasty as ever...though actually a touch too moist as if they needed to be cooked another minute or two. Still lovely though.

                      I am guessing they were trying to turn out an absurd sum of loaves for the holiday and just absolutely punted a batch. Sucks for you of course, but I could see how that would easily happen when every bakery and grocery store you sell to is demanding triple the quantity you usually bake, in a weird shape, all over the course of a day or two.

                      Try Cheryl Ann's again for break-fast this weekend. I'm sure they'll be everything you remember! Or better yet, wait a week till everything calms down a bit and they are back to their normal pace :)

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                      Cheryl Anns
                      1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                        Thanks, InmanSQ Girl. We used to be big fans of Cheryl Ann's too -- we even had the make a huge one for our daughter's bat mitzvah -- but the ones I bought for Rosh Hashanah weren't even slightly off, they were dry as dust and hard, and they'd been delivered that day. We did a taste test on Friday -- Clear Flour and Zaftig's, and tho Clear Flour was good (most of their stuff is excellent), Zaftig's was by far the best.

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                        Cheryl Anns
                        1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

                        1. re: ThrillerJoe

                          By the way, for those that find this thread, if you are stuck in the Metro West burbs without a respectable bakery within 20 miles that does challah, the best grocery store brand challah is Stop & Shop. Shaws is dry and substance-less, Roche Bothers is like braided white bread, and Donellans is an embarrassment for all involved. A couple of places get Cheryl Ann's, but the mark up is highway robbery.

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                          Cheryl Anns
                          1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

                      2. I make my own every other week. I used a Rosh HaShana recipe for our round ones this year - very moist, nicely sweet. Not hard to make them, but it does take about 4 hours.