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Tempting Bread Toppings

Ever wonder how you can make bread taste a little more exciting? Well, one tempting way for sure is to add toppings.

Toppings are nothing new. In fact, we've all bought freshly baked bread made with traditional seed toppings, such as sunflower, anise, flax and caraway, to name a few. But there are more delightful ways to create tempting toppings and how to combine them with different types of breads.

For example:Challah bread can be made with or without seeds, depending on the occasion. Traditionally, either sesame or poppy seeds can be sprinkled over the top before baking, but you can use many other spices as well. For an unsweetened version of challah coarse salt with savory herbs works well together. A whole wheat version of challah could have a sprinkling of oatmeal, sunflower or flax seeds. And the same combination applies if you prefer the rustic look with white, whole-wheat or rye flour. For challah that is sweetened, the toppings would have the consistency and taste of a crumble made with sugar and flour.

In Europe, you will taste the fragrant and astringent flavors of fennel and caraway in Scandinavian, German and other Eastern European breads. Some more signature breads made with famous toppings are naan and chapati that are considered flat, unleavened breads and are usually topped with black Nigella seeds (aka black caraway seeds). But you don't only have to use this aromatic seed on naan, Nigella can be used to flavor other breads as well.

There are other amazing toppings to use such as garlic and herbs. One particular herb that I often use is zathar (zaatar) which is a popular herb with origins from the Middle East. Zathar is mixed with olive oil and sometimes a dash of sumac, then it is spread onto flat bread before baking. To say that it is absolutely delicious would be an understatement. This type of bread is often consumed as part of a mezze, or as a snack with a glass of mint tea and feta cheese on the side.

Seeds and spices have been used in adding notes of aroma, texture and flavor way before we had bakeries. For centuries they were among the most treasured resources and today, they are still used much in the same way as in the past. Whether you want to bake muffins, flatbread or traditional loaf bread, try sprinkling a mixture of seeds, spices and herbs before baking. These little gems can transform an ordinary loaf of bread into something rich and flavorful.

It is my pleasure to share this wonderful recipe for making challah bread. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!

Shalom!

Challah Bread - click link