Challah is a traditional Jewish bread made with enriched dough and eggs, that is often served on holidays. It is known for its soft, fluffy texture and perfectly golden brown crust. But you may find that you are not able to eat the whole loaf in one sitting. Whether you enjoy store-bought Challah or make your own at home, it is important to store it properly to prevent it from losing moisture.
We will discuss the most effective methods of storing Challah and how you can best reheat it to enjoy its signature taste and texture longer! If you are interested in making your own Challah at home, Round challah and Challah rolls are delightful recipes.
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Why is it important to store challah properly?
Fresh, warm challah typically has a light and airy interior and is perfectly fluffy and soft. But if your challah is not stored properly, it can lose its quality, and nobody likes hard bread!
If you struggle to finish a loaf of challah before it begins to go bad, it is important to learn how to store your bread so that it does not develop mold or go stale. Properly reheating stored challah is essential to preserving its taste and texture.
How to store challah bread
To use your fresh loaf within 2-7 days, the best place you can store it is a bread box, airtight container, or ziplock bag on your kitchen counter at room temperature.
You will want to assure that you have removed as much air as possible from the bag or container to prevent excess moisture. You may want to avoid storing challah in a paper bag within a bread box or on the counter as they can trap moisture resulting in mold growth, or ruining the crust.
Challah bread can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days if wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Although, some suggest that storing challah in the fridge actually causes it to go stale faster.
If you feel that there is too much moisture in your kitchen, are worried about high temperatures, or you do not have a bread box you may choose to go this route.
Can you freeze challah bread?
Not planning to finish your challah within the week? It is a good idea to freeze it for long-term storage. It is, however, important to freeze your bread properly to avoid freezer burn.
Challah can last in the freezer for approximately three months before its taste and texture begin to deteriorate. Before storing your challah in the freezer, your best option is to place the whole loaf of bread in a Ziplock bag from which all the air has been removed.
If you want to be sure that as much moisture is retained as possible, you can also wrap it in aluminum foil, plastic cling wrap, or parchment paper before placing it in the bag.
You may choose to slice the challah before freezing so that you can remove a few pieces at a time rather than having to defrost the entire loaf.
It is best to place the challah towards the back of the freezer so that it is not impacted by temperature changes in the freezer air when the door is opened and closed.
How to reheat frozen challah bread
Reheating your challah the proper way after removing it from the freezer is essential to retaining its texture as some reheating methods can ruin the bread by making the exterior soggy.
It is best to allow the challah to sit at room temperature on the counter for a couple of hours first, and then you can choose to defrost from one of the methods below:
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can then remove the bread from its freezer bag and wrapping, and place it on a baking sheet in the preheated oven.
Once the oven is heated, bake the bread for around 10-15 minutes until warmed through. This baking time will depend on how cold your loaf was to start. If it was mostly defrosted, the heating time may be closer to 5-10 minutes.
If you are reheating individual slices of bread, you can cover them with aluminum foil to avoid browning. Cool on a wire rack.
Reheating frozen challah bread too quickly in the microwave can ruin its texture, so it is important to be careful if using this method.
First, take a damp paper towel and wrap your challah before placing it on a microwave-safe plate. Set the microwave to medium heat, and microwave at 10-15 second intervals until completely defrosted.
For slightly toasted challah, reheating your bread in the toaster oven may be your best route. It is easiest to follow this method if your challah is alright sliced so that you can toast the pieces individually.
Set your toaster oven to medium heat, and toast until fully defrosted and to your desired color.
- If you are storing your challah on the counter or bread box for a few days, it is best to store it whole, rather than sliced, to prevent it from drying out
- Worried about your bread drying out when reheating in the oven? Wrap the whole loaf in aluminum foil, or brush the top lightly with water
- It is best to avoid reheating challah more than once if possible to preserve the texture. To prevent needing to do this, slice the loaf before freezing