People who know the religious significance of challah may raise an eyebrow at our headline. (There’s more about challah below).

The sandwich may be tongue-in-cheek [photo #1], but it’s delicious. Here’s our adaptation of the recipe.

Beer is a great beverage pairing.

Prosciutto is the cured hind leg of the pig, as is American ham. The cure is different, creating a quite different result—more elegant and refined flavor.

Don’t want prosciutto? Here’s a recipe for a fried chicken sandwich on challah.
 
 
RECIPE: PROSCIUTTO SANDWICH ON CHALLAH

Ingredients

  • Challah
  • Prosciutto
  • Butter
  • Mustard
  • Optional: cheese (we used Brie, which we had on hand, and loved the combination)
  • Optional: lettuce and tomato (substitute roasted red pepper [pimento] or sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained)
  • Optional condiments: giardiniera, pickles, olives
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE a loaf of challah, or a challah roll.

    2. BUTTER one side, add mustard to the other.

    3. ADD the prosciutto and any other ingredients.
     
     
    AMERICAN PROSCIUTTO

    La Quercia (La KWAIR-cha—the name means “The Oak” in Italian) is an Iowa-based producer of classic Italian cured meats (called salume in Italian).

    The company was founded by Herb and Kathy Eckhouse to create premium quality American prosciutto.

    Their love of cured meats emerged from three-plus years of living in Parma, Italy, the area where prosciutto originated.

    When the couple returned to the U.S., they wanted to create their own artisan prosciutto.

    After launching their prosciutto to great acclaim, they developed additional cured meats (salume): coppa, guanciale, lardo, lomo, pancetta, speck and more.

    Here’s more about pork products and pork cuts.

    The handcrafted products are available at better markets. Visit the La Quercia website for more information and a store locator.

     
    WHAT IS CHALLAH?

    Challah is a braided, sweetened egg bread (photo #6) that is part of the celebration of the Jewish Sabbath.

    Jewish custom requires that Sabbath and holiday meals begin with challah.

    The word refers to a mitzvah (tithe) of bread, a portion that was separated from the dough before the loaf was formed and braided.

    It was given to the Kohen, the priests in the temples, who had no income. This portion of the dough was sanctified and tithed; the remainder was used for ordinary consumption.

    Challah has been part of Jewish life for millennia. It is mentioned in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.

    While challah has been a part of Jewish kosher cuisine, modern times have encouraged different uses for the tasty bread.
     
     
    TODAY’S CHALLAH

    Challah has taken an evolutionary detour from the traditional rectangular, braided, ceremonial loaf to modern uses and different shapes (photo #2).

    Why?

  • Like Portuguese sweet bread (which is similar to the King’s Hawaiian brand), it has a hint of sweetness.
  • It is soft and airy, and needs no buttering.
  • It is a versatile ingredient.
  • It is addictively delicious (bread lovers be warned!).
  •  
    Challah is now used for:

  • Bread crumbs
  • Bread pudding [photo #3]
  • Casseroles
  • Grilled cheese and other sandwiches
  • Rolls
  • Stuffing…
  •  
    …and the all-time favorite use, French Toast.
     
     
    If you can’t find a challah at the supermarket, here’s a recipe to bake your own challah.

     


    [1] A prosciutto sandwich on buttered challah, by La Quercia (photo © DiBruno Bros | Philadelphia).


    [2] Different shapes of modern challah (photo © Hot Bread Kitchen).

    Challah Bread Pudding
    [3] Challah Bread Pudding. Here’s the recipe (photo © Good Eggs).


    [4] Chocolate Orange Challah. Here’s the recipe from Yin + Yolk (photo © Yin + Yolk).


    [5] Olive challah (photo by Sue Ding | The Nibble).


    [6] A classic challah. Here’s the recipe (photo © King Arthur Flour).

    FLAVORED CHALLAH

    Challah is now made in flavors, savory and sweet.

  • Savory flavors can include garlic and herb, jalapeño, olive [photo #5], seeds (poppy, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), sundried tomato and za’atar, among others.
  • Sweet flavors, such as apple cinnamon, chocolate [photo #4], dried fruits such as apricots and dates, halva, pumpkin spice, raisin, and others).
  •  
    We’ve been fortunate to try a number of flavored challahs, and pronounce them excellent, a real treat.

    You can find many recipes, both savory and sweet, online.

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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