Friday, July 31, 2009

BBA: Challah


We continue to work our way through the alphabet with the BBA challenge, and "C" happens to be a big letter for bread. Possibly the biggest, so we will be here for a while. The "C" in this week's C-bread, Challah, is silent, but it can hold its own with the other C-breads in every other respect.

I am sure that I have a lot to say about the process of making this bread, but lucky for you, I am scrambling to get this post drafted so I could get out of town, so I won't say (most of) it.

I will note that proud as I was of Artie, I was pretty sure I couldn't handle birthin' another loaf of bread quite so big. So I decided at the outset that I'd divide the dough in half and make two smaller loaves. And I sure am glad that I did - even the smaller loaves looked plenty big to me, and one big loaf might have out-Artied Artie.

Getting ready to braid:


Braided:


Somehow the braiding looked slightly better before I baked it. Plenty of room for improvement with that braiding, yes there is.


I had a small bite of this bread fresh out of the oven and thought it was very good. But I didn't really see us eating it for dinner, so I decided to let the loaves get stale. One loaf is coming on vacation with us, and I plan to make Ina Garten's recipe for challah french toast for breakfast one morning. I will report back!

I turned the other loaf into croutons, which were really great - we enjoyed them in soup and on salad all week!


Aaaaaaand there goes Blogger, flipping my pictures again. Thanks for nothing, Blogger.

Next up: ciabatta!

20 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Wow, croutons and french toast - two very perfect ways to use up challah. I love your braids as well; they always lose *some* definition as they rise and bake, and yours look gorgeous!

Audrey said...

These look great! And you're definitely an accomplished artisanal foodie baker -- not to mention right up there with Ina --if you make your own challah -- beautifully braided -- just to have good croutons. (hee hee) Have a wonderful time on vacation (you're obviously going to eat well!)

Di said...

Ooh, good idea! I wouldn't have thought to make challah croutons. Of course, I don't have any bread left because I ate it all. It really wasn't my favorite (though it was quite good), but I still managed to polish off most of the loaf by myself. And I think your braids look great!

Kayte said...

Artie's twins...how nice are those??? Beautifully braided (Okay, I know you are thinking I would think that next to Wild Thing and all, but seriously, anyone would think these are beautifully braided!). The inside looks just as lovely as the outside. Croutons...great use for this bread, but ours did not last long enough to get stale...and the French Toast will be great, we did go there for some of it. And dinner rolls...makes a great dinner roll. Ask Matt, he had ten of them. Great post, great looking bread, and great to get a chance to remember Artie and just how special he was. Have a great vacation. (I was surprised to see this post as I really came over here for the Ellie link...you are amazing to get all this posted, etc., while packing!)

Megan said...

Those braids look perfect to me - and I can't wait to see the french toast!

SUGAR B said...

Mama Mia. You made that?!

I am not worthy.

Debinhawaii said...

I think you are an excellent braider! ;-) Your challah looks amazing and I can't wait to see the French toast.

Pamela said...

Mmmm...I bet you'll love that french toast. Fab job on the bread, it's gorgeous!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I'm glad you got this posted, but I would love to have read the whole story! Your braids are beautiful; a more than worthy vehicle for french toast and croutons. I'll personally attest to the deliciousness of those croutons. I still have some challah in the freezer; croutons might be in my future too. Ack, I think I'm the last one to post the challah...

Natashya said...

Blogger does weird things to me too. It seems to have tailor-made bugs for everyone!
Great challah, beautiful crumb!

comfycook said...

We have challah, weekly, and I can vouch for the fact, they are beautiful challahs. Your braiding is superb.

Tracey said...

I hope you're enjoying your vacation Cathy! I think your challah looks terrific. Your braids are absolutely perfect - even after the baking! Your ideas to use the bread for french toast and croutons were terrific - great ways to use the bread!

Pam said...

Turning them into croutons is a tasty idea...they are my favorite thing in soups and salads. Can't wait to hear how the French toast turns out.

Sara said...

awesome job! You have now out bread baked me. I have never made a braided bread before, I am totally impressed with your skills.

The Blonde Duck said...

You are Ben's new hero. He demands to know when you're coming back so he can move in and eat you out of home and challah bread.

pinkstripes said...

Challah croutons sound awesome! Your loaves look fantastic. I hope you are having a great vacation.

Bridgett said...

Wow, your braiding is perfect! Great idea with the croutons.

Leslie said...

Perfect braids! How do you do that with kids running around, deciding between packing the ice cream maker and the panini press, etc.? I am in awe of all you moms manage to accomplish without breaking a sweat.

TeaLady said...

AH!! Beautiful challah. It is so much fun to make.

Katrina said...

Great and tasty looking challah!

 
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