Bread with a Bang: Mayim Bialik’s Vegan Pretzel Challah

01/28/2014 at 03:19 PM ET

Mayim Bialik Challah Bread Recipe
Courtesy Da Capo Press

Jewish or not, who doesn’t love a fluffy piece of challah?

Mayim Bialik has taken the Shabbat staple and put her own twist on it, turning the braided loaf into vegan bread with a pretzel-like crust.

Traditional challah, crusty on the outside and soft in the middle, “does not need eggs or dairy to be delicious,” The Big Bang Theory actress tells PEOPLE. “This recipe takes a bit of effort, but it’s so, so worth it.”

“Making the outside ‘pretzel-y'” — achieved partially by a coating of pretzel salt — “was inspired by the Got Kosher? bakery here in L.A., which makes vegan pretzel challahs that are divine,” Bialik adds.

The actress shares the recipe with PEOPLE before the release of her first cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table, out February 11.

Mayim Bialik Challah Bread Recipe
Courtesy Da Capo Press

Hot Pretzel Challah Bread
Makes 2 loaves; serves 8

1 tbsp. active dry yeast
6 tsp. sugar, divided
¾ tsp. kosher salt
⅛ cup canola oil, plus more for bowl
3 cups bread flour
⅔ cup baking soda
Salt or sesame seeds, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium glass bowl or measuring cup, combine yeast, 1½ tsp. sugar and ¼ cup lukewarm water. Leave until foamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the remaining 4½ tsp. sugar, 1 cup water, kosher salt and oil on medium-low speed. (This also can be done by hand with a whisk.)

3. Add the yeast mixture to the mixing bowl, beating well. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour. Raise the speed to medium and knead until a smooth, satiny dough forms, 4-5 minutes. It will have almost a matte finish. If you are kneading in the flour by hand, it may take a few minutes longer to get a good, smooth texture.

4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean dishtowel and allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

5. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. If dough is sticky, knead in more flour, a little bit at a time, until easy to roll. Divide dough into 6 equal balls and roll each into a long strand. Braid 3 strands of dough into a challah loaf, for a total of two challahs. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6. In a pot with a wide opening, bring 8 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil. Gently and carefully, lower one challah into the baking soda solution. Using two wooden spoons or spatulas, carefully turn the challah so both sides get equally covered in the water, or bathe the top with spoonfuls of the solution. Remove after 30 seconds and place back on the parchment-lined pan. Repeat with the other challah.

7. Brush the top of each challah with some water from the pot and then top with salt or sesame seeds. Bake until challah start to brown, about 30 minutes.

Note: The finished challah is best eaten warm on the day it’s made, as the outer crust can get hard the next day. Dip in additional pretzel salt or kosher salt and add sesame seeds if you like. Serve with mustard.

—Dahvi Shira

FILED UNDER: Food , Mayim Bialik , Recipes , Vegetarian

Share this story:

Your reaction:

The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

Posted on

On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

Powered by VIP
Add A Comment reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 4 comments

Charli on

looks yummy. I like regular challah bread too. I haven’t met a bread that I don’t like.

Home Page on

To reach the highest level of individual’s choice of video and computer games, a lot of alterations have been done. The best part of Star Wars games is that they can easily be molded into different genres. The overall game is based on strategy and has good graphics, courtesy of the Unreal Engine.
Home Page

More Material on

Fuschia City marks the first major change in the Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver Kanto gym leaders. Use at least 4-5 upgraded mobs against enemy buildings and vehicles. A large transport ship, the Envoy can car 20 units at a time.

Sharon on

This actually was pretty good and easy to put together however getting the challah out of the boiling water was a challenge. Think I’ll braid the challah as tight as possible next time, use a wider pot, and think of something besides tongs or wooden spoons to help me get it out of the water in one piece. Still tasty especially with mustard (we used honey mustard). I’m still hoping to find a vegan challah that also does not include any oil; not sure that would be possible though. Still 1/8 cup (6tbsps) is much less than most challah recipes I believe. Thank you for sharing this recipe.