Monday, September 17, 2007


I have already written a lot about challah breads (see recipe 1 & recipe 2) and by now, you must all be aware of my unconditional love for that Jewish brioche (if it was not the case, now it is!), so you'll not be astonished if I dedicate another post in order to share a new challah recipe with you. I mean, I can't help it. It's such a wonderful speciality!

This time, I will not repeat myself and speak about it's origins or history (for that, read my older post here), I will only proceed with Maggie Glezer's marvelous recipe...

But, the only thing you need to know about this "Pumpkin Challah" or "Pan De Calabaza" (in Spanish) is that it is a Sepharadic Rosh Hashanah (see infos) bread and that the pumpkin in the recipe has a symbolic meaning. This bread can be compared to the hard shell of the pumpkin that protects it's insides as it is an embodied prayer to God asking him to give his protection to the querant in the coming year.

Anyhow, it is also a bread that can be made on the occasion of Thanksgiving and which is the ideal ally in order to grace the table of all the homebakers at any time of the year, whether they are of Jewish origin or not...

As a challah addict, bread freak, amateur baker and adventurous (I hope...) foodie, this light "Pan De Calabaza" really makes me enthusiastic and fills me up with uncontrolled joy. This non-dairy bread is very easy to make and always gives good results. It's appealing orange color is incredible and the braiding makes it look ever so pretty. Not to forget it's gentle pumpkin and delicate spicy flavor as well as it's sweet and rich scent/taste that will please you with every mouthful. A fabulous bread!

~ Pumpkin Challah Or Pan De Calabaza ~
Recipe taken from Maggie Glezer's cookbook " A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking from Around the World" and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Makes 1 big loaf or two smallish loaves.

1/2 Cup Pumpkin puree (+ more if the dough is too dry) homemade or canned
2 1/4 Tsps (7g) Active dry yeast
1/4 to 1/2 Tsp Ground cardamom
1/2 Tsp Ground ginger
3 3/4 Cups Plain white flour
2/3 Cup Warm water
1/3 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Tsps Salt
1/4 Cup Plain vegetable oil
1 Egg (~53g) + 1 egg (for the glaze), beaten
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds

1. Sprinkle the yeast into the water in a bowl. Leave four 10 minutes and then stir to disolve.
2. Mix the flour and the spices together in a large bowl, make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeasted water.
3. Use a wooden spoon to draw enough of the flour into the yeasted water to form a soft paste.

4. Cover with a tea towel and leave to "sponge" until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes.
5. Whisk the sugar, salt, oil, egg and pumpkin together. Add to the dough and mix well.
6. Knead for at 5-10 minutes.
5. Let the dough rest while you wash and dry your bread bowl.
7. Oil the bowl lightly, put the dough in it, cover the bowl with a towel.
8. Let it rise in a warm place until the dough has tripled in size, about 2-3 hours.
9. Punch it down and shape as you wish (I opted for two braids, which requires halving the dough and then cutting each half into thirds, rolling those thirds into ropes of dough, and braiding the ropes).
10. Place the loaves on baking sheets that have been oiled or sprinkled with cornmeal/flour.
11. Let the loaves rise until at least doubled in size, about 40 minutes to an hour.
12. Glaze the loaves with the extra beaten egg and sprinkle them with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
13. Bake the loaves at 180° C (350° F) for 40-45 minutes.

Instead of the pumpkin puree, you can use 1 sweet potato (baked, then mashed).
I recommend you to use the following pumpkin:
Potimarron (French) = Hokkaido Pumpkin = Chestnut Pumpkin = Baby Red Hubbard = Uchiki Kuri = Chinese Pumpkin = Japanese Pumpkin.

To obtain fresh puree, take your pumpkin, cut it in half, deseed it and peel it, then cut it in cubes and steam. Once it is cooked, mash the pumpkin flesh. It has to be a very smooth puree.

You can add a little more pumpkin puree if you want the flavor to be stronger.
Use plain/neutral tasting oil such as peanut oil, canola oil or sunflower oil.
If you find you dough too wet, add some flour or, on the contrary, if you find it too dry add some pumpkin puree, a tablespoon at a time.
The dough should be firm, easy to knead and neither dry nor sticky.

Serving suggestion:
This challah can be served on Jewish festive days like Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah, or any other non-Jewish festive days such as Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Year.
Eat for breakfast with jam, honey or the spread of your choice.
When served for dinner or supper, this bread can be accompanied by all sorts of cheeses and pickles/salads/raw vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, etc...).


  1. Elle est superbe ta brioche !!!!!
    Bizzz, Alexie

  2. Ce pain original a une superbe couleur et on imagine sa douceur et son moelleux!

  3. Quelle brioche, quelles photos et quelle tresse !!! Bravo

  4. Ton pain a l'air hyper moelleux !

  5. la photo avec la confiture me donne faim , cette brioche est magnifique , j'en ai déjà vu mais jamais gouté , il va falloir que je teste

  6. Elle est magnifique cette brioche, il en reste un morceau ? bises !

  7. Quelle beauté ! Moi qui avait justement envie de me refaire une challah, cela ne pouvait pas mieux tomber ! Bizzz

  8. ALEXIE: Merci beaucoup! Bises...

    CHRIS: Merci! Oui, cette brioche est formidable

    PAPRIKAS: Merci infiniment! Ton commentaire me fait très plaisir :-D!

    SYLVIE: Merci! Il l'est!!!

    MOUNET: Merci :-D! Je te conseille vivement de tester le pain challah!

    GUYLAINE: Merci beaucoup! Malheureusement, on a tout mangé... La prochaine fois alors! Bises...

    FLO: Merci! J'espère qu'elle te plaira. Bises...

  9. J'adore les challahs, je suis fan de courges et de cardamome....bref, je signe tout de suite!!

  10. Ta challah est magnifique: la mie, la couleur, le façonnage, sublimissime!

  11. MAYACOOK: Tu as bon goût ;-P!

    GRACIANNE: Thanks, Gracianne!

    MOONY: Merci beaucoup :-D!

  12. Il est magnifique et appétissant ce pain au potiron et aux épices !
    Je vais envoyer la recette à un ami!

  13. Rosa, c'est magnifique! Je ne vais pas resister a l'envie d'y gouter tres tres vite! Tes photos...
    J'ai fait une challah avec une amie pour son Rosh Hashanah la semaine derniere; je vais l'inviter a mon tour pour que l'on fasse ta challah a Thanksgiving. Tu m'as donne une bonne idee! Bises :)

  14. Très belle brioche!! Et si appétissante!

  15. Very interesting to put pumpkin into challah. Gives it a wonderful colour. I bet the cardamom is a delicious addition too. Your challah looks great!

  16. exactement le genre de chose que je suis incapable de faire mais dont je rêverais être lauteur :)
    En attendnat, je me régale les yeux chez toi Rosa, elle est sublme cette brioche, une vraie miss monde ;)

  17. J'adore ce genre de brioches. Malheureusement, celles que l'on trouve dans les boulangeries ne sont sûrement pas aussi bonnes que les tiennes.

  18. Oh! my... what a nice marriage pumkin and jam must be! You have a way of making me drool without possible restraint.
    It might just be a good thing we live so far apart, for I'd be at your doorstep every single day... begging for some of those goodies.
    Keep up the great cooking, as only you do so well.

  19. J'en ai fait la semaine dernière mais, bien entendu, sans potiron ! Là, tu m'épates ! Ce doit être une merveille, que j'essaierai pour mon petit déjeuner de samedi ! Nul doute qu'une joie incontrôlable se déchaînera sur moi également ! ;o)
    Ah, décidément, ta façon de rédiger tes billet me plaît !
    Gros bisous et très bonne journée
    Hélène !

  20. NIKOL: Thanks for visiting my blog! As a non-Jewish, I can't really say anything about that as I don't know enough about that subject. I can only say that many religions have remiscences of paganism within their rites...

    MICHETTE: Merci beaucoup! J'espère que ton ami l'appréciera...

    CONFITUREMAISON: Merci infiniment :-D! Je suis contente de t'avoir donné une idée et j'espère que vous le trouverez à votre goût... Bises!

    MISSVAL: Merci, Missval!

    LINDA: Thanks very much for your kind comment, Linda! yes, the spices give it a wonderful flavor...

    MARION: Merci! Ton compliment me fait plaisir!
    Mais non, il ne faut pas dire ça! Je suis sûre que tu en es capable mais que tu bloques seulement à l'idée de faire du pain! Je connais ça et crois-moi on arrive à dépasser ses craintes...

    MISS DIANE: Merci! Oui, les pains des boulangeries ne sont pas toujours aussi bon que ceux faits maison (sans vouloir se vanter...). Il te faudra en faire, alors ;-P...

    VIBI: Your hyper kind comment made my day, thanks!!! If you lived in my area, you'd be welcome to come and have a taste of that challah (and other goodies, of course) ;-P!...

  21. Elle est superbe avec sa belle couleur jaune/orangée. J'en ai encore jamais fais avec du potiron. je note les ingrédients une fois que j'aurais tout traduit en françcais.
    Bisous et bonne journée, Doria

  22. Le genre de photo qui rendrait n'importe qui ( surtout moi hihi ) complètement fou ! Avec de la bonne gelée ou de la bonne confiture ... Oula, tous aux abris !

    Bises :)

  23. Waouuu! La photo avec la confiture m'a complètement envoûtée ...
    c'est magnifique!
    Tu n'envisages pas d'ouvrir une boulangerie?
    je serai ta plus fidèle cliente!!
    Bises et excellente journée!

  24. Trop beau...tu m'en coupes une tranche? Merci.

  25. DORIA: Merci, Doria! J'espère qu'elle te plaira! Bises...

    ERYN: Merci, ça me fait plaisir de te rendre folle ;-P! Bises...

    BEBOP: Merci, tes compliments m'ont fait plaisir! Je n'y ai jamais vraiment pensé... On sait jamais ;-P! Bises.

    MAMINA: Merci! Avec plaisir!

  26. quelle bonne idée cette challah orangée !

  27. Rosa you make such excellent Challah. I saw a post recently for pumpkin bread pudding made with challah so if you have any left over, you know what you have to do :)

  28. Oh, Rosa, quelle splendide brioche ! Je n'essaie même pas de résister. Elle sera faite et déguster très prochainement.
    Bisous. Chrys

  29. Fresh & yummy are you my friend :D

  30. trop appétissant je craque pour la photo avec la confiture dessus !!

  31. Ce pain... j'en tombe a la renverse tellement il est beau... surtout la photo avec la touche de confiture! La mie est mortelle!

  32. I want to make challah. This looks just fantastic and good for the holidays. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Ah mon Dieu les ingrédients... Je l'imagine extra!!

  34. Ma petite Rosa: t'ai-je déjà dis que ton blog était le plus beau de toute la terre ?? ;) Car là je suis sincèrement émerveillée... devant cette prouesse culinaire, devant les photos et devant la qualité des explications.

    Je commence tout juste à tester des recettes de petits pain au lait pour voir et toi tu sors le grand jeu ! Décidément, ce n'est pas une recette qu'il faut que j'essaie mais ton blog TOUT ENTIER !!
    Bref, tout ça pour dire... merci.

  35. Rosa, I love pumpkin in cakes, pies and muffins, and it looks perfectly at home in your wonderful challah bread too. The color is glorious, just so rich and pretty, and the vibrant red jam is the icing on the cake. :-)

  36. pumpkin challah, looks nice and a perfect warm bread for the holidays.....pumpkin is in season, so i think there is no reason to stop me from cooking this....thanks for introducing me to challah.

    My first time here and i simply adore your blog and love your recipes

  37. bravo, c'est magnifique et très original !

  38. Très belles brioches et originales !

  39. une bien jolie brioche !

  40. That challah really looks good. I love the pumpkin color. I'm a big fan of Jewish cuisine.I will try this and use to make turkey sandwhiches . Simple and wholesome. I also love your pics of the Swiss countryside. I used to visit frequently as a student in France a while back. :-)


    CYNTHIA: Thanks ever so much! Yes, I'll have to remember that... if there is any leftover ;-P!!!

    CHRYSTEL: Merci! J'espère qu'elle te plaira... Bises.

    SHIONGE: Thanks! I'm doing fine and you?

    MERCOTTE: Merci :-D!!!

    VALPERFI: Mille fois merci!!!

    NIRMALA: Thanks for passing by and for the kind comment! I hope you'll like it...

    $HA: Merci! Oui, elle est extra...

    MARION: Merci infiniment! Ton commentaire me fait chaud au coeur :-D!!!! J'espère que tes essais seront gratifiants...

    BELINDA: Thanks ever so much, Belinda! I also love baked goods made with pumpkin...

    JACKSON: Thanks for passing by and for the kind comment!

    BHAGS: Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! I was very pleased to see that you like my blog :-D!!!


    EDITH26: Merci!

    CHRISTELL: Merci, Christell!

    GLAMAH16: Thanks for the kind comment and for passing by! I hope that you'll enjoy this challah... Please, tell me what you thought of it! I'm glad thatyou like my pictures. Where were you in France?

  42. I studied at Parsons School of Design at the American University in Paris. I had two Geneva based freinds, so I got to visit often. That was the laet 8O'S early 90's.Thanks for your comment as well. The Caramel nut pie seems to be the lead choice for my entry on Sunday.

  43. Rosa! This looks so good!!!! I want to try Pumpkin Challah. I just baked plain Challah. I love your food's collections. Thanks for sharing! xxx

  44. This challah looks fantastic. I would like to adapt it to make it gluten free. Which is the best gluten free flour to use that would still enable me to be able to plait the dough?

    Thanks for your advice!

  45. ANONYMOUS: Thanks for passing by and for leaving a comment! Unfortunately, I don't know much abour gluten-free bread baking... I recommend you to check that link:
    I hope that'll help. Cheers.