After an enjoyable winter break skiing, I have made it home to take up where I left off. I'll get around to a marginal update about my winter break journeys but for now this is about baking. It was nice today and I could have gone outside to explore. However, my cookbook was calling out from being neglected over the past few weeks. I opened her up and set to my preparation for the next bread, challah.
Challah is a bread with Jewish origin. According to the cookbook it was traditionally made to make use of leftover eggs before the sabbath. The pictures of it sure looked tasty. The recipe looked very easy as well. Anything with a 15 minute mix is good in my mind. Speaking of that I was going to make a ciabatta poolish for tomorrow. Maybe I'll just make that on Wednesday. Anyway, it was one of the easier breads I have made so far. I don't think I've really messed up any of the breads yet. The mixing was quick and I kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes. I've found that it really does require a good length of time to develop the gluten properly. I was never doing that before I started using this cookbook. The books make me feel like I'm really good at something I'm just an amateur at.
After 2 hours of fermentation I braided the loaf and egg washed it. I should have made the braids longer. Yet, I kind of like how big and bulky it turned out. This is right before going in the oven. Just by looks you could tell it was going to be great.
After 40 minutes in the oven my loaf came out in all its glory.
I was grinning as I pulled it from the oven. I was laughing because I was so happy. Oh to be happy about a simple loaf of bread. I must be without a care in the world.
The crumb is thick and delicious. I could eat this bread everyday. I wish I had someone to share with. Alas my stomach is the only one who will benefit from my labor. Maybe my fat too.
My sweet challah baby resting in my tender arms. This loaf is huge. Don't let the pictures fool you. Like a cannibal I shall consume my child. Good thing it's just flour and water. A tad morbid there. I just love baking bread. I have the rest of my life to learn too. Oh the joy.