Breaking the Bread Baking Fast
It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that I decided to join the Bread Baker’s Apprentice challenge, and breathlessly announced my plans for “a year in bread.” The first recipe, mercifully, was simple and turned out perfectly, and I thought I was hooked on the yeasty aroma and feeling of accomplishment on pulling a perfectly risen, lightly browned loaf of home made bread out of the oven. And then summer came…. and suddenly it was over, gone in a haze of rain, farmers markets, travels and all that other summer chaos that seems to amplify once you have children. (And I only have one!)
So then here we were at the Jewish holidays, and time to dip apples and challah in honey and I hadn’t even made it through the B’s yet — BBA’s recipes are in alphabetical order – so I skipped ahead, so to speak, and made my first loaf of Challah for our slightly belated, semi-homemade (hello Whole Foods prepared holiday food bar) Rosh Hashanah supper. Ah well, it was a start back onto the bread baking trail, and now that the weather is turning cooler I hope to resume a pace a little more frequent than once every three months….
I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m the non-Jewish spouse in our family, so I’m still learning the holiday traditions.* Thankfully Peter notes in his book that it’s customary to double the sugar and shape the Challah into a round loaf for Rosh Hashanah, both of which I did. For some reason I decided to braid my dough first and then wrap it into an awkward round; apparently, there is an easier way to make a braided round loaf that doesn’t come out quite so lopsided. It tasted good, if a little less eggy than I anticipated. I blame the store-bought eggs, as we were unexpectedly out of our farmers market eggs. It was also rather bubbly, probably because I didn’t de-gas enough as I kneaded. But overall I’d deem it another success.
*It’s not just because I’m new to this that I made a reference to Yom Kippur, which is today, in my title and then went on to tell you about our Rosh Hashanah meal …. that’s my clever way of making up for not posting this before my jaunt to San Francisco, and stalling for time to tell you all about my 48 hours in the lovely foodie-haven by the Bay. Stay tuned…