Challattone: a challah that wanted to be a panettone

I would have liked to post a savory recipe one of these days, to avoid boring you with sweets too often, but I got this absurd and – if I can modestly say it myself – really genius inspiration to transform my challah dough into a an Italian panettone recently and… well, I couldn’t wait: the recipe is too good not to be shared immediately. In addition, many of you asked me out loud on Facebook to post it as soon as you saw the picture, so I decided to deliver.

challattone

When you are Jewish, so you prepare challah every week, but you are in Italy and Christmas is approaching, so you crave panettone… then you create challattone, the challah that wanted to be a panettone!
Imagine a brioche bread with the fruity aroma and ingredients of panettone (raisins, candied fruit… minus the butter!), that is also easy to whip up, not as scary as panettone: that’s the challattone, and I know you will love it!
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Chocolate shortcrust cookies

These chocolate shortcrust cookies have been my afternoon snack for many days over the last year, when I was bent over the computer working on the book and needed to treat myself with something sweet. Baked goods here in America are very unhealthy on average, so I try to avoid them, but I can’t do without a cookie or two (or three …) every now and then, so I started baking these cookies at home.

chocolate shortcrust cookies

The advantage of these chocolate shortcrust cookies is that they are quick and easy, certainly healthier than the packaged ones, and not too sweet, but they satisfy my craving for chocolate very efficiently. The flaw, of course, is that you can’t eat just a single cookie, and before you notice, you finish the whole batch!
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Kubaneh: Yemeni buttery bread rolls

Kubaneh is a traditional Yemenite Jewish pull-apart bread: it looks like a maze of beautiful swirls and it tastes like a salty, bready, irresistibly buttery croissant. Kubaneh was traditionally cooked low and slow overnight on Fridays, tucked in a metal tin covered with a lid, and would be eaten on Shabbat morning, with a side of eggs, grated tomatoes, and spicy sauces.

Kubaneh Yemenite bread rolls

A Jewish community lived in Yemen for very many years until the 20th century, when persecution and discrimination pushed the Jews out of Yemen, into a massive collective move to Israel. Today in Tel Aviv, in the so-called Yemenite Quarter, Kerem Hatemanim, there are over 80,000 people of Yemenite descent.
Thanks to the attachment that Yemenite Jews have maintained to their history and culture, in Kerem Hatemanim we can enjoy delicious Yemenite soul food: jachnun, malawach, marak temani… and kubaneh, the bread I present to you today.
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