Of my kitchen New Year's resolutions, I didn't set out with the goal of making challah, but I wanted to expand my range of baking beyond baguettes. So far I've made: Sandwich loaves, Italian loaves, dinner rolls, rye (not a hit in the house), potato flour hamburger buns (underbaked and too mushy to be satisfying), and now challah. The smell alone was a reward.
Of the many lessons from my adventure:
- Make the "ropes" of the braid smaller (perhaps pencil size?) - they will expand on their own.
- Buy a back-up loaf (thanks Kaeti)
- Don't get too egg wash happy. One of the loaves had a lot on the bottom and burned, creating a bitter taste. Easy to cut off, but ...
- Stock up on eggs, butter, and flour for next Rosh Hashanah!
- I'm happy with this year's efforts, but you bet I'll be asking Jewish grandmothers (and comments below) for free advice.
The challah tastes goods, but I definitely need some help with braiding. Whatever failures in technique were made up for in French toast on the back porch with the MC (Mini Chef).