Disclaimer: I am not Jewish, nor do I claim to be. Although I did date a Jewish guy for four years. And I am a New Yorker. So that must count for something right?

And I grew up on challah bread.

Not just any challah bread, mind you. But Zaro’s Bakery challah bread.

If you are a New Yorker, then hearing that name should have made you feel all warm and tingly inside. In fact, you are probably not even sitting here anymore reading this. In all likelihood, you are already out the door, on your way to Grand Central or Penn Station or the Port Authority, all of which house Zaro’s outposts (so convenient for the commuter who wishes bring a loaf of freshly baked bread home to his family for dinner. If he can make it through the train ride without devouring the entire loaf. Solution – buy two.) willing to brave frigid temperatures, holiday crowds, and other such apocalyptic conditions in the hopes of procuring a loaf of this heavenly bread.

And if you are not a New Yorker. All is not lost. Here’s what you need to do. Open up a new tab in your browser. Go to www.expedia.com. Book a flight over here. And try this bread. Your life will probably not be complete until you do.

After spending my entire life eating what I firmly believe is the best challah bread known to man, I was doubtful as to whether or not the whole grain challah with cranberries and orange zest from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day was going to be able to live up to my standards. But being the devout HBinFive member that I am, and seeing as how this is the bonus recipe for this month. And it is Hanukkah after all. And I maintain that everyone is Jewish on Hanukkah. And, thus, wouldn’t it be kind of heretical for me to go a whole holiday season without any of this traditional sweetbread? I decided to suspend my disbelief long enough to give it a try.
So I followed the recipe from HBinFive, which can be found on Michelle’s site. Almost to a tee. Except that I swapped the amounts of whole wheat and AP flour. Mainly because rumor has it that the bread is a little too dense if made as instructed.

And how does it compare? Well. It’s not Zaro’s. But I don’t think it’s claiming to be. With the cranberries and orange zest, it has a whole different flavor. Not better or worse. But different. Still delicious. I’ve already managed to devour a quarter of a loaf all by myself. Thankfully, I still have three more loaves worth of dough left in my fridge.

If this inspires you at all in any way to get into the kitchen, turn on your oven and start baking, you should join us over at HBinFive! The plan is to cook our way through Jeff Hertzberg’s and Zoe Francois’s newest book – Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. And yes, I know baking bread seems like an intimidating thing. But as of a month ago, the thought of baking with yeast made me run for cover. (Oh how times have changed…) So if I can do it, anyone can.

At the least, stop by Big Black Dog on December 15th to see what the other HBinFive members did with their challah bread!

Also, this bread has been Yeastspotted!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
Share →

56 Responses to HBinFive – Whole Grain Challah with Cranberries and Orange Zest

  1. Velva says:

    Joanne, I so love challah bread. Oh, if I lived in NYC you are right, I would be out the door to get a loaf. Remind me next time that I am saying on my blog that I am heading to NYC…Velva go to Zaro’s!
    Your challah with cranberriesand orange zest is impressive. I have to admit that as much I love cooking, I have never really embarked on baking. I need to get over that!
    Stay warm! Happy Holidays to you.

  2. Graziana says:

    yum, another “to-do” for my future perfect trip to usa! since then, I think I will try your recipe, thank you!

  3. chrystad72 says:

    wow girl! looks fabulous. I love a good challah. Im gonna scope that link out that you posted for HBinFive. That looks like too much fun. I love baking breads!! That pic made me want to eat some challah bread now. The addition of the cranberries and orange zest sounds like it would give that bread a really bright holiday flavor. Love it!

  4. Mary says:

    You did a fantastic job with this. It really looks wonderful. I love your blog and will try to get back often. Have a great day…Mary

  5. wow this is amazing you are so talented girl, love the open the expedia part!!

  6. Great Job! I love to use challah for an overnight french toast I make. SO GOOD 🙂

  7. SE(Denufood) says:

    fantastic.. I guess I am yet to try the challah bread..but I will be in NY on the coming weekend…so will keep in the mind the Zaro!

  8. isn’t that the best part- the singing part?! especially in the background the guy is waving lobster claws. EPIC.

    hey hey jillian, i feel you on the GET YOUR REAR IN HIGH GEAR! sheesh. she was seriously laughing about texting. umm, no. NO. i’m the one grunting at teh squat racks..NOT DOING bicep curls.

    i’m also not the type that sits and calls people while on the hip adductor machine. seriously!
    i saw some chick on the ellipitcal eating a protein bar and ellipticalling. and some girl stepping on the step master EATING BAKD LAYS.

  9. Pam says:

    Beautiful! I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to jump in yet. I’ll start baking with the group in January!

  10. Faith says:

    Love challah, and yours looks absolutely perfect! The cranberry/orange flavor combo is really fantastic. I bet this would make out-of-this-world French toast!

  11. Toni says:

    I now must try challah because that looks scrumptious.

  12. Karine says:

    Great job with your challah bread!

    I have neer had a challah bread in my life. I think it is about the time I find a remedy to it 🙂

  13. Cristie says:

    Your bread looks fantastic! Congratulations!

  14. Katy ~ says:

    Well done indeed. This looks as if it were made by a professional bread baker. I feel a gap in my life, I have never had challah bread from Zaro’s bakery.

  15. Marcia says:

    Ooh, that looks good. My spouse is the baker in the house EXCEPT for bread. He uses the bread machine, I will make bread the regular way. Which is to say – the “no knead” kind. Might have to try this.

  16. Amy says:

    Challah! Oh god. Yum. Haven’t had it in years. Well, the homemade kind anyway. And with all due respect to Zaro’s, nobody does it better than my mom! That and Chopped Chicken Liver. Now I’m homesick.

  17. Yum! Challah with cranberries sounds fabulous, I must make this for my family!

  18. It looks gorgeous! I love using challah bread for bread pudding – yum!

  19. Kim says:

    I’m gonna have to say that I’m jealous of your challah! It looks gorgeous. Yours rose up so well and it looks so smooth and shiny.

  20. burpandslurp says:

    The only challah I’ve tried was from Great Harvest, and it was FREAKING GOOD Challah. It doesn’t have that density or chew I like in a bread, but it’s sure is a great treat once in a while! And with cranberries? nice!

  21. theUngourmet says:

    I wish I could hop on a plane headed for NY tonight and head over to this Zaro’s place you speak of. Maybe I’ll just come on over to your home and pick up a loaf of your homemade Challah. It looks wonderful! Nice job! :0)

  22. Debinhawaii says:

    Yum! I think the cranberries and orange zest would make this just perfect. Great job!

  23. Sounds tasty! Good for you for baking up a storm!

  24. What a great challah. I really should make this for Friday night and Saturday lunch (Sabbath). Everyone would flip. Let’s see how the week goes. Thanks for posting this in our Chanukah recipes.

  25. Shri says:

    Wonderful!I love the addition of cranberries and I have been aiming to make this ever since I started blogging..But somehow I cannot get that courage to bake even the simplest of breads..So I keep postponing..

  26. Chef Aimee says:

    I was just in the city last night for my supper club and passed Zaro’s…that smell needs to be bottled and sold! 🙂

  27. Debbie says:

    I grew up on Long Island and not a day goes by that I don’t miss it – and it’s been years!!! Love challah bread — so good!

  28. Mari says:

    WOW that looks so good! See YOU inspire me to bake! One day I will make a yummy pastry and think of you =)

  29. Jenna says:

    Oh this looks delicious.

    Just wanted to let you know I am hosting a Holiday Treats week this week and will be posting a new recipe everyday, hope you stop by to check it out and maybe link up some of your holiday treats.

  30. For a year, I lived in New York City. I remember riding the subway, and the… interesting smells sometimes.

    But today, I remembered the all too few times i was seated near someone taking fresh baked bread home…

    And you bread looks fantastic!

  31. Megan says:

    I’m not Jewish either, but that never stopped me from devouring my share of challah bread. Come to think of it, I think I ate everyone else’s share too!

  32. teresa says:

    i’m booking my flight now! i don’t think i’ve ever had challah bread, for shame! this looks awesome.

  33. Bob says:

    Oh wow, that looks wicked good. Heh, I wish I could fly over to NY for fresh baked bread.

  34. Kris says:

    This looks fabulous! I’ll have to give it a try!!

  35. I could hop on a train and be there in an hour or two! Or I could just go make this. So delicious and holiday-ish with the cranberries and orange! I bet it would make excellent french toast.

  36. Kevin says:

    That bread looks really good! I like the use of the cranberries in it!

  37. Michelle says:

    Gorgeous photos! Not Jewish here either but I do like my Challah bread and I love to braid it!

  38. Jennie says:

    Joanne, I am so going to Zaro’s next time I’m in NYC! I will tell them you sent me! This bread sounds awesome!

  39. VENNILLA says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog.. U have a spicy blog..

  40. This is a beautiful creation! You are becoming quite the baker!

  41. Ezzie says:

    Great post! You and I had the same idea with the same great results…swap the amts for the AP and WW flour. Yes, it worked perfectly. Love your humor! Was sitting here laughing like crazy and so envious of Zaro’s in NYC. I live in PA Dutch land where the mere mention of challah brings on raised eyebrows and questions!

  42. Barbara says:

    Super posting. I love challah. This one would be great in my bread pudding!

  43. Joanna says:

    Your bread looks wonderful!

  44. girlichef says:

    If only!! Man, I’d love to book a flight and head on over, LOL!! Turned out very nicely, love the shape…it’s so perfect!

  45. Femalechef says:

    Nice rise………..love your bread!!!

  46. Your bread turned out great! Your braid is much prettier than mine. Loved reading the ‘qualifying’ background – LOL!

  47. Beautiful bread and braid. Substituting the flours definitely makes for a nice rise.

  48. Andreas says:

    Great looking bread. I like those composite pictures.

  49. Braid looks great! I also like the collages! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  50. Jenny says:

    You’re doing a great job overcoming your yeast phobia! The bread is gorgeous. I was so disappointed when we moved to WV, and I realized that balloon bread is the bread of choice here. Even the breads you buy from the bakery only aspire to that.

  51. Kerstin says:

    So gorgeous, I’m impressed – it looks perfect! You’re inspiring me to try baking bread again 🙂

  52. Danielle says:

    it looks like swapping the whole wheat and AP flour amouonts did the trick! beautiful bread, it looks a lot fluffier.

  53. Mimi says:

    That challah looks wonderful!

  54. I bake challah all the time, and I totally am inspired now to make this!

  55. Erin says:

    Your loaves look wonderful! Lucky you to live in NYC around lots of delicious food!

  56. I love sweet yeast breads! My dad and I had a tradition when I was younger of making fried egg and jalapeno sandwiches for this type of bread (the plain kind w/o fruit of any kind). I have the first book and it’s so good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *