Ruined for the ordinary (thanks to my friend Angelique!), we have come to LOVE our Challah stuffed with sweet goodies. It is so easy to do. When I make my ropes, I flatten them out, fill them up in center and then close the edges around it to form a stuffed rope, then braid it. Each rope is stuffed with goodies. MMM MMM, it has become a wonderful addition to our Shabbat celebration each week. Here are some photos of the kids learning how to do it (The baby was in the midst of a long nap). This week for one of them we spread peach preserves and topped with sliced dried apricots; for the other one, we spread maple sugar, cinnamon and chopped up dried apples in the center. We are known to make huge Challah (I had to go to the resturaunt supply store to find a platter they would fit on!), they peek out from under my cover. :-) But this week, you may notice from the photo, (even though they had to go through their second rise) they are unusually long and skinny.
For a savory version, I like to top with large grain celtic sea salt, poppy seeds, or dried onion flakes (or a combination of all three). Like above with the sweet treat meathod I do, I have made "pizza Challah" using a meat mixture in pizza sauce. It was good, but not my favorite. Another combo was brushed with olive oil and lined with whole garlic cloves inside the ropes and topped with celtic sea salt. However, the whole garlic cloves did not have time enough to get soft and sweet to my liking. Next time, I will brush with olive oil and put smashed cloves in the center of the ropes and I expect that will be just right! :-)
I also have a hankering to try Peanutbutter and Jelly Challah, Veggie Challah, Herb Challah, Cheese Challah, and Chocolate Challah. Really, the possabilities are endless. Maybe I should document things for a cookbook??? :-)
No matter what we stuff it with, we have come to prefer fresh ground Spelt flour over any other, it is a "wetter dough" in the making, but we like th light aromatic flavor of it.
So if you haven't played with your Challah, I encourage you too! Once I got the flour and honey right, then I started, experimenting with the flavors on one loaf at a time. That way, if it bombed the taste test at the table, we still had a good one with dinner. :-)
You can find the base recipe for Home Shalom's Whole Grain Honey Challah here.