Cocktails + Challah.
Challah + Cocktails.
Can you think of a better pairing?
Our master mixologist and co-founder, Melissa, and our loyal and talented baker, Shannon, have come up with a set of seasonal challah and cocktail recipes that’ll have you celebrating Shabbat every week of the night.
Kale Basil Pesto and Gruyere Stuffed Challah
For the pesto:
2 cups fresh kale
½ cup basil leaves
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pinenuts
2 garlic cloves
¼-½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the challah:
1.5 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
4 1.2-5 cups King Arthur flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 Tbsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup shredded gruyere or crumbled goat cheese
2 egg yolks + 1 tsp water for glaze
Thick sea salt, sesame seeds and dried herbs (optional)
To make the pesto:
Blanch kale in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Squeeze out excess water with a kitchen towel. Place kale, basil, walnuts (or pine nuts) and garlic cloves in a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Start pulsing. Drizzle olive oil and continue to pulse. Scrape down sides with rubber spatula, add salt and pepper to taste and pulse until desired smoothness. Place in an air-tight container until ready to use.
To make the challah:
In a small bowl, place yeast, 1 tsp sugar and lukewarm water. Allow to sit around 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with oil. Mix thoroughly. Add another cup of flour and eggs until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer. Add another 1 1/2 cups flour and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface.
Knead remaining flour into dough, continuing to knead for around 10 minutes (or however long your hands will last). Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise 3-4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
After the challah is done rising, roll out dough into a large rectangle about ½-1 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. The challah dough may need an extra dusting of flour to work with at this point. Don’t roll the dough too thin or the filling will leak out when baking. Spread a thin, very even layer of pesto all over the dough. You will likely have extra pesto leftover. Sprinkle gruyere or goat cheese in an even layer on top of pesto, leaving ½ inch border all around. Working quickly, start rolling up the dough towards you. Try and keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Pinch the ends and tuck under when you finish. Create a pinwheel shaped-challah by snaking the dough around and around in a circle around itself. When finished, tuck the end under the challah neatly and pinch lightly. This doesn’t have to be perfect.
Allow challah to rise another 30-60 minutes, or until you can see the size has grown and challah seems light.
Beat 2 egg yolks with 1 tsp water. Brush liberally over challah. If desired, combine 2 tsp thick sea salt with 1 tsp sesame seeds, 1 tsp dried basil and 1 tsp dried parsley and sprinkle on top of egg wash.
Bake around 27-28 minutes, or until middle looks like it has just set, and the color is golden.
Hanky Panky Cocktail
This is a timeless, yet reemerging, cocktail that is perfect for Fall and also a little unusual. The herbal notes of the Fernet Branca pair well with the pesto of the challah.
The ingredients below are the ones Melissa likes to use, but the ones in parentheses will also work.
1 1⁄2 oz Plymouth Gin (Dorothy Parker)
1 1⁄2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Dolin Sweet)
2 ds Fernet Branca
Place cocktail glass in freezer to chill, remove right before straining drink.
Put all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice till 3/4 full, stir well (15-20s). Strain into the chilled cocktail glass.
Twist orange peel over surface of the drink.
Cocktail credit: Ada Coleman, head bartender at the American Bar in The Savoy in 1925