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The 2018 Great Jewish Bake Off Master Post!

Posted on December 24th, 2018 by

We can’t thank all our entrants enough for sharing their absolutely delicious bakes with us. Everything was amazing – there wasn’t a soggy bottom in sight!

And, of course, a very special thank you to our amazing judges, Amy Simon, of Eddie’s of Roland Park and local food maven Martine Richards of the Baltimore Deviled Egg Pageant and Wreather Madness.

No Schmeer Here

Fully Schmeered

Schmeer Surprise

Dr. Beth Hogan’s “Seven-Species Challah”

Monica Shuman’s “Cinnamon Almond Matzo Balls Dipped in Chocolate”


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The Great Jewish Bake Off: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Challah

Posted on December 21st, 2018 by

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Challah with a Cinnamon-Honey Cream Cheese Schmeer

By Rachel Kassman

Makes 2 loaves. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Challah.

Dough Ingredients

2.5 teaspoons dry yeast

1 cup warm water

¾ cup egg yolks (9 – 12 extra large eggs)

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)

1 tablespoon salt

¼ cup honey

1 -2 teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon allspice

12 oz miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips (or more!)

8-9 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 egg for glaze


1. Activate the yeast – sprinkle yeast over ½ cup of warm water. Stir gently to combine and let sit until foamy (about 10 minutes).

2. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks with the other ½ cup of warm water.

3. Using a large wooden spoon or an electric mixer with a dough-hook, add your salt, oil, honey, pumpkin, cinnamon, and allspice, mixing until fully combined. Add the yeast and mix again until combined.

4. Add flour to mixture 1 cup at a time until you have added 8 cups. Once all the flour is incorporated, remove your dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly-floured work surface.

5. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and not sticky, adding up to an additional cup of flour as necessary. As you are kneading, add in your miniature chocolate chips by the handful until the dough looks sufficiently chipped for your preference!

6. Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

7. Once the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl and punch down the dough. Separate into 2 equal pieces and shape into your preferred loaf shape.

8. Place the loaves on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise until once again doubled in size, about 1 hour.

9. While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

10. Once the dough has doubled in size, remove the towel. Mix 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water and then brush over your loaves.

11. Bake until the loaves are golden brown, about 50 minutes. Test for doneness by knocking on the bottom of your loaves – they should sound hollow!

12. Let cool on racks completely before serving with schmeer.

Schmeer Ingredients

8 oz full fat cream cheese

2-4 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon cinnamon


1. Let cream cheese soften for 30 minutes.

2. Mix (by hand or using an electric mixer) the cream cheese, honey, and cinnamon. Adjust both honey and cinnamon to your preference.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

The Great Jewish Bake Off: Dulce de Manzana Challah

Posted on December 20th, 2018 by

Dulce de Manzana Challah (Apple Jam Stuffed Challah)

By Eve Malakoff-Klein

Filling Ingredients

2.5 pounds apples (mix of gala and granny smith)

3 cups granulated sugar

1.5 cups water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Juice of 1 lemon


1. Peel and core apples. Grate with a processor or on a hand-held grater (the former works best).

2. Bring sugar and water to boil in a large (at least 8-quart) pot. The jam foams up during cooking so a large pot is needed to avoid boil-overs.

3. Add grated apples and lemon juice. Return to boil, then lower temperature so that mixture simmers. Simmer about 45 minutes until thick. Mixture will thicken more as it cools. Add vanilla. Let cool completely (several hours or overnight). Do not refrigerate before using in challah or it will be too thick to spread.

Note: Make filling the night before so it has time to set. Do not try to fill challahs with hot filling.  You will have leftover filling, which is good in any recipe where you might use jam or jelly. Filling recipe adapted from Entrée to Judaism by Tina Wasserman.

Dough Ingredients

1.5 cups water

0.75 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

0.25 teaspoons fresh ground cardamom (do not use powdered)

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 cup whole wheat flour (King Arthur preferred)

6 cups bread flour (King Arthur preferred) and additional bread flour or all-purpose flour for kneading and shaping

1.5 tablespoons bread-machine or quick-acting yeast (if using packets, then 2 packages)

4 eggs and 1 additional egg for glazing


1. Heat water to boiling. Remove from heat and add sugar and salt, mixing well to dissolve. Add cardamom and stir until fragrant, then add oil. Allow to cool to about 115 – 120 degrees.

2. In mixing bowl, combine 1 cup whole wheat flour, 5 cups bread flour, and yeast. Add 4 eggs and sugar/oil mixture. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes on low speed if using a mixer.

3. If using a mixer, switch to the kneading attachment and knead 7 minutes on medium-low adding the remaining 1 cup of bread flour. Dough should be soft. If kneading by hand, knead for about 10 minutes, adding the remaining 1 cup of bread flour.

4. Place dough in an oiled large bowl, cover with a linen towel or plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free location about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Shaping, Filling, and Baking

1. When dough has doubled in size, gently deflate and divide into 3 equal portions. Each portion will be about 1.25 pounds.

2. Take one portion of dough and divide it into thirds. Roll each third into a rectangle about 6” x 10”.

3. With long edge of dough closest to you, spread a thin layer of filling (1/4 cup or less) onto dough, leaving about a half inch of the dough edge furthest from you without filling. Gently roll up, jelly-roll fashion, and pinch the seam and ends closed. Repeat with the other two portions.  You now have 3 apple-filled “ropes.”

4. Overlap 2 of the ropes to form an “X”, then lay the third rope on top of the intersection of the first two. Braid from the center to each end.  Tuck ends under and place braid in an oiled loaf pan (line the bottom with parchment paper for easiest removal) or on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough to form 3 challahs in total.

5. Cover challahs and let rise 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.

6. During last 15 minutes of rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

7. Beat egg for glaze with a fork until very well mixed.

8. When challahs have finished rising, brush gently with beaten egg, then place in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until dark golden brown A thermometer inserted into the bread should read about 190 degrees. The filling results in a longer baking time than for unfilled challahs.  Cool 5 minutes, then loosen sides and remove from pans. Allow to finish cooling on a wire rack.

Note: Dough recipe adapted from Entrée to Judaism by Tina Wasserman.

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