People ask me since when I started baking. It was the summer of 2006 just before I was going into Gr.11.
I do not remember exactly what prompted me to bake. All I remember is my first attempt at making plain biscuits after I read a recipe from a blog. I put in too much baking soda that it was inedible. My mom used to bake donuts, cut-out cookies, and cakes for us when my sister and I were young. However, as we got older, and as we moved to Canada, baking in my house was pretty rare.
I will write about how my baking has progressed over the last three years in another post. Long story short, this journey that I started with couple of strong soda-tasted biscuits evolved to the point where I asked a bread machine for my 17th birthday.
But for some reason, I rarely had success in baking plain loaves of bread. The dough would be either too sticky or too dry. Some people talk about it as it is the easiest thing in the world- “why, you just put all the ingredients and press start on the machine!” but it was never easy for me. I was never really sure if my loaf will turn out okay or be a complete disaster.
Same was the case of this morning. I was reading some of the blog posts and read about this amazing recipe for Challah bread from AllRecipe.com. AllRecipe is great because of the number of comments and testimonies posted for each recipe. This definitely increases the chance of success!
According to Wikipedia, Challah is a “special braided bread eaten by Ashkenazi and by most Sephardic Jewson the Sabbath and holidays.” It is rather rich because the recipe calls for butter and a large number of eggs. Although this particular recipe only requires two eggs, the resulting bread was very dense, chewy and rich.
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons margarine
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- Add ingredients to the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer.
- Select Basic Bread and Light Crust settings. Start.
Instead of baking the bread in the machine, I took it out after the first rise and braided it in six strands, watching the following video clip from YouTube: Braiding a Six Strand Challah at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22p3wIHLupc
As usual, I gave it a second rise of 50 min and baked it for 30 min at 350 degree oven.
The bread turned out fantastic. I would not have asked for a better recipe.
I can imagine myself making this bread many, many times in the future and perfect my skills.