Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday is Challah day...

In our efforts to raise Little Girl Jewish, Hubby and I have brought back Shabbat dinner. This is something I grew up with, and I always liked it. I know, we do family dinner together every night, but for some reason, Friday night Shabbat dinner just feels... special. So part of our Shabbat dinner has always been Challah - the braided egg bread. I love Challah. I love bread, but Challah is quite yummy. I didn't grow up making Challah, though. But now that I am home, and experimenting more in the kitchen, I decided it was time to find a good Challah recipe.

Tonight's Challah will actually be the third recipe I am trying. Today I made whole wheat Challah. I like whole wheat and multi-grain breads, so why not try it? The recipe came from Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook.

I actually started the process last night. For one thing, it saved time for how much had to get done today, for another, I read somewhere (I will try to remember where and credit the source...) that if you start the rise in the evening, then let the dough rest in the fridge overnight, you can get a richer tasting bread. So I mixed the dough in my trusty, beloved KitchenAid last night, let it rise for an hour, then put it in the fridge.

This morning the dough came out to warm up. When it was ready, I attempted the braid. Now, I can do a traditional three-strand braid. But most Challah is done with more - at least four strands. So I tried a four strand. Not so impressed with my work... So there is one four-strand bread, one three-strand bread, and a roll with the leftover dough. A coat of egg-wash, and more rising...

Finally it was baking time. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I forgot the second coat of egg-wash. Oops... But the loaves still look pretty good.

Shabbat Shalom!

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