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Sep 4, 2013 03:47 PM

Holiday Price Gouging at Orwasher's

I'm in shock (and miffed with myself) that I paid $8.50 at my farmer's market to Orwasher's for their size "small" challah. When I commented, "really?!", Keith's father, who sells at our market, said, "you wouldn't believe what goes into that bread! It's at least two pounds!". (It weighs in at 1.35#.) I used to be a pro pastry chef, but you don't have to have been anything to know that challah has eggs and at this time, some raisins; and yes, some challahs do have two rises. I hope it's going to be a good bread, but that mystery ingredient vis a vis "you wouldn't believe what's in that bread" may be none other than the capitalist tool: "holiday highway robbery". (Think how much you pay for a dozen roses on Valentine's day.) I'm stewing that I bought it. Bah, humbug and feh.

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  1. Here's the little bread. I cut into it and it's tasty, but the crumb is even slightly dry. They do sell to Zabar's and Zabar's sells this bread for $7.00.

    1. Bread already has high profit margin. Charging $8.50 for a small loaf of challah sounds like a robbing to me. What a tacky thing to do.

      1. I dont often buy challah but that sounds like a crazy price to me!!

        1. Could be 'congestion pricing'?

          1 Reply
          1. Might I suggest that "what goes into that bread" is more about labor than raw ingredients?

            I used to make challah often. Granted, I'm not a commercial bakery. But it takes about 4 times the labor than any sort of loaf-pan type bread.

            After the first rise, you have to divide the bread into four parts. Then, you roll and braid three of the parts. The, divide the fourth part into three parts, roll them, braid, and lay on top of the larger braid. Then there's a second rise. Once the second rise is completed, you'll want to brush (delicately, so you don't punch any part of the bread down again) a mixture of egg white and water to get the nice glaze all over the exposed parts of the bread. This is more complicated than you might think, because of all the pillowing from the braids.

            As a former pro pastry chef, I bet you'd enjoy making your own challah next year.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Elisa515

              These aren't braided, they're round. With all due respect, Orwasher's produced similar products every day .. their excellent cinnamon bread, and soon, their pumpkin bread. Both of these are also in the round and neither cost $8.50. Zabar's sells these for $7.00. I'm not a bread baker, though I've baked bread before. I have a day job now, so I bow to the pros when it comes to yeast. If you feel the need to defend Orwasher's for their high prices, I bow to you and wish you well.

              1. re: sleepingypsy

                I was talking about the "what goes into the bread" part of the discussion.

                If you think something costs too much, don't buy it. If you think the price is reasonable but the quality doesn't justify the price, then complain about that.

                But buying something that is available from multiple sources at a variety of prices seems rather unnecessary.