Thanksgiving challah Thanksgiving challah A pumpkin spice-flavored turkey-shaped challah for Thanksgiving. (Photo: Ben Vorspan)

Turkey challah? Popular bread takes many shapes

Check out these unique twists on a traditional favorite.

A popular bread in Israel, the United States and elsewhere, challah is, as a rule, long and braided and often covered with sesame or poppy seeds. But rules were meant to be broken. Just ask Ben Vorspan, author of the blog Adventures in Challah.

Vorspan, a web developer and Realtor in Los Angeles, started tinkering with new and inventive challah flavors in 2010. He's since baked chocolate challah, oatmeal craisin challah and s'mores challah. He created churros challah for Cinco de Mayo and pumpkin spice-flavored turkey-shaped challah in honor of Thanksgiving. His favorite? Apple-pie challah with actual apple slices nestled inside, topped with brown sugar, cinnamon and a delicious glaze.

American challahA patriotic red, white and blue twist to challah in honor of the Fourth of July. (Photo: Jonny Umansky)

"I’m a creative person and I like to try new things," the father of two told From The Grapevine. "One week I added some sort of a flavoring. And then it became a challenge to figure out new ways to make that original challah recipe with new flavors."

As for his worst experiment? Vorspan once tried to make a Starbucks-inspired challah, where he replaced coffee for water in the recipe to help a caffeine-addicted friend. "It just did not come out the way I had hoped it would," he admitted.

Raisin challahA slice of challah with raisins in it. (Photo: Kitty/Shutterstock)

Want to try making challah on your own? Check out this simple recipe to get started. Save leftovers for a day, then use them to make Bobby Flay's Pumpkin French Toast:

http://youtu.be/swGMMAcC3S0

Feeling more daring? Try baking the Food Network's chocolate chip challah or Buzzfeed's challah apple stuffing. But leave yourself a few hours, as challah dough needs plenty of time to rise.

Meanwhile, Vorspan will be in his Los Angeles test kitchen trying out new flavors: Anyone in the mood for Girl Scouts Thin Mint challah?

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