Now that Pesach (Passover) is behind us and chometz (leavened food items) are back on the menu, I would like to highlight a week of challah and bread-related recipes. Over the next few days we will count down to our first Shabbos after Pesach with challah.
Many people who don’t ordinarily prepare home-baked challah choose to bake Schlissel (key) Challah for the first Shabbos after Pesach in merit for a financially successful year. They either bake the challah in the shape of a key or insert a foil-wrapped house key into the center of one challah.
I posted my own go-to challah recipe Simply the Best Challah Recipe…ever! several months ago. Yesterday, I posted the special blessings to say when preparing the challah: Divine Challah: Blessings to Nourish the Soul. Today, I will help you prepare a simple everything topping for your favorite bread or challah recipe.
As you can imagine, we are not a plain vanilla type of family. We like our food with loads of flavor and personality. When we order bagels, of course, we tend to order the everything bagels, the ones with all the toppings. We love that everything topping sprinkled on all types of baked items, like challah, breadsticks and even savory puffed pastry items like deli roll.
In a comment from Simply the Best Challah Recipe…ever!, my aunt posted her everything topping recipe. Tante Sari explained that she prepares this topping in batches and stores it in a spice jar with a shaker top. That way, when she bakes her challah, it is readily available.
Of course, you can purchase an everything mix topping in many specialty stores. The advantage of making this one yourself is that it is more cost-effective and you can tailor the proportions yourself.
Here is Tante Sari’s everything topping:
Add the spices in equal proportions to a spice container with large holes on top. Shake to combine. Shake generously on top of the egg wash of your favorite baked dish.
Play with the proportions to suit your own taste.
Add a unique label to your everything topping mix spice jar. Using glue stick, I adhered a custom “simpletowow.com everything topping” label to an empty spice jar. If you would like to print your own simpletowow spice jar label, feel free print out this everything topping label The paper label also allows you to jot down the date when you prepared the mix so that you can keep your pantry fresh and organized.
Use interesting sea salts instead of or in addition to kosher salt for a flavor variation. You can find smoked salt and salt in different colors and flavors. I used Himilayan pink salt for the everything mix topping pictured here.
Add other items to suit your palate. Try rye seeds, chia seeds, caraway seeds and other favorites.
One of my favorite challah seeds is called Ketzach (Hebrew קצח). They are thick black seeds that have a unique flavor. I buy them in the Mahane Yehudah shuk (open air market) in Jerusalem. They are also called black caraway, Nigella Sativa or black cumin seeds. These seeds add an interesting flavor to this everything spice mix.