So I've definitely made challah before. But it's always been that oh-so-boring three strand loaf. And as wonderful as challah is, and as wonderful as it is when turned into french toast, I just don't make it that often. So when Sara of i like to cook picked challah from the New York Times Bread and Soup Cookbook for October's Bread Baking Babes, I knew I needed to be a buddy this month. You see, the recipe was different from my normal one, and it required stacking of braids upon braids. I could just see potential disaster. Disaster makes good blog fodder, ya know?
Unlike my standard recipe, this one doesn't call for any milk and calls for more eggs instead. It also uses instant yeast (which I didn't know existed until a year or so ago - please don't laugh!). And even better? The aforementioned stacking of braids. I'm pretty fumblefingered, so I'm mostly glad she didn't require us to braid a six stranded loaf - now that would have been entertaining!
And as you can see, this wasn't too much of a disaster. The top braid sort of slid a little off, so it's not perfectly on top, but I'm not a really nitpicky baker. Because, well, as long as it tastes good, who cares? And the wonderfully brown crust from the enriched dough and the egg wash doesn't hurt either. Seriously, is there a more beautiful sight?
We'll just ignore the fact that I took these pictures and included my bread knife in them. My bread knife and I, well, we're having a bit of a disagreement lately. You see, it decided to take a liking to my fingers, and I now have a very large gash in one finger that has made me sorta lose feeling in the tip of it. So that nasty knife has been stuck in the drawer until it can contain its murderous feelings. It's probably safer for the both of us.
PS - I'm sendng this off to Susan's weekly YeastSpotting. Every week, there are more breads that I find I need to bake, and I believe I should contribute to the general widening of everyone's hips out there too. Sharing is caring!