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Challah for my Mama

This past Mother’s Day I felt inspired by the Daring Bakers’ challenge to make Challah for my Mama. Who I typically don’t call mama, I generally prefer, “mother,” “ma,”or “mamacita” as you can see here on her mother’s day card.

Mother's Day Card

And yes….I still make cards for my mother. In my opinion, certain holidays require homemade cards (especially Valentines Day and mother’s day).

Valentine's Day Cards

Don’t all adults make their Valentine’s Day cards?


My mother has a history of purchasing a bread she refers to as “streusel” bread. And she always says its name with just a tad bit of hesitation, like she may be mistaken. Perhaps I’m imagining her hesitation…. perhaps It’s really just my uncertainty about hearing her correctly. Or perhaps we’re both confused and uncertain….cause this bread she buys…. it’s a braided bread with the absence of a typical streusel topping. The poorly named bread  just has course sugar sprinkled on top. It basically looks like Challah topped with sugar. Delicious and addictive despite the misnomer.

Well for Mother’s Day, I decided to try and make some Challah that looked the same as “streusel bread”. My mother was over while I was finishing up the loaf and getting ready to put it in the oven. She of course encouraged me to top it with as much sugar as possible.

Sugared Challah

We tried not to miss a spot

For this loaf, I used the recipe from The Art and Soul of Baking. The basic Challah recipe in this book is similar to the Challah (Honey White) recipe, but with less yeast and honey. However, I chose to make the non-kosher “dairy challah” variation, replacing the water and oil with milk and butter.

Dairy Challah

As you can see, this loaf didn’t come out as pretty as the other Challah.

Here is a reminder of what the other loaf looked like.

Challah and Challah

But despite its mediocre appearance, we sampled both loaves. The beautiful one I made for the Daring Bakers’ challenge and the dairy challah I made for my mamacita. And it turned out my mother liked the dairy one most. Even though the other one had a stronger honey flavor and was better looking. We still found ourselves reaching for extra pieces of the dairy challah with its more tender crust. Even with challah, looks aren’t everything.

I’m pleased that my mother liked her Challah (aka streusel bread) and I hope she had a memorable mother’s day.

You can expect my Memorial Day post in the middle of June 😉

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