Friday, February 12, 2010

Un-Challah day

Another Friday should mean another Challah, right? Well, not today. There are several reasons... One, I have SO much leftover Challah in the freezer, I didn't feel like I could justify making more. Two, I was supposed to get together with a wonderful woman who was going to teach me the art of the six strand braid. And she was going to give me a loaf for our Friday night table. Unfortunately, the timing just didn't work out for getting over to her home... Hopefully soon... But I still wanted to have two loaves for saying the blessing. I had one whole loaf in the freezer, but I am planning on bringing it, intact, to family this weekend. When speaking with my mother, though, she reminded me that the blessing does not have to be said over Challah. Just bread. So I decided to make a recipe I had seen on foodgawker some time ago. That way there would be a loaf to eat, and my Challah would be saved for our trip.

I have never made Milk Bread before. To be honest, I had never heard of milk bread before... But it looked fairly simple and fairly tasty, so I thought it was worth a shot. And it would add an international flair to dinner, right? Of course, for me it was soy-milk bread, but who's keeping track...

The interesting part if this for me (though, really, it shouldn't be...) was proofing the yeast in warm milk rather than warm water. I love to see the yeast foam and bubble when I make bread. Seeing it in the (soy)milk was just as cool. Here's the progression:

Once the foamy goodness was ready, I added it to the salt, oil and sugar, then mixed in the flour. I don't know why, but I was expecting the dough to be a lot thinner than it was. I shouldn't have, since the ratio of flour to liquid was 2:1, but I just did... Never-the-less, I got my batter mixed and into the loaf pan.
After the dough rose I was pretty excited. It was pretty and puffy, and looked like it would make a beautiful, non-traditional Sabbath bread. True, my loaf pan is bigger than the one called for in the recipe, but I was pretty sure that wouldn't be an issue. I figured I might not get the "muffin top" over the sides, but that's ok.

When the bread came out of the oven I was a little bit disappointed. It looked like it shrank back down from its pre-baked rise... The color was beautiful, and the smell was great, but it was a kind of flat loaf of bread...

Luckily, the taste didn't seem to be affected. Both Hubby and I liked it a lot. I think this will make a yummy breakfast bread with margarine and either jam or honey, or a decadent snack bread with Nutella spread on top. This is definitely worth trying again!!

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