Tuesday, October 12, 2010


In case you had any doubts, I'm a total Jew. Case in point: I wanted to try baking bread today for the first time. What was my go-to bread recipe? Challah. Because duh. Also, if you said "matzoh," go fuck yourself. No seriously. Not only do I have ample unemployed time to watch my bread rise (sorry Jewz of Pharoh times, that must've suuuuuucked), but I have serious beef with matzoh.

**This is where I'm going to go off on matzoh for a sec in a slightly smaller font so as not to be a bother...
hold on to your seats**

Ok. Matzoh. Here's my ish with matzoh: non-Jews think it's incredible. When your high school sets out matzoh in the cafeteria around Passover because your high school gets it, you know who is the first in line to make matzoh PB&J sandwiches? Non-Jews. And when you causally bring up that you're a Jew and Passover is totally your jam, who pipes up about their love for matzoh? You got it. Non-Jews. Because non-Jews are the only people in the world who can't get enough of matzoh. Probably because they haven't been forced to get enough of matzoh yet. Give them time.

Here's the thing, non-Jews: matzoh tastes fucking terrible. It's not up for debate. It's not supposed to taste good. It's supposed to taste a little like guilt, a little like sadness, and a lot like cardboard. Jews escaping from Pharoh did not eat matzoh because it appealed to their palates. No. They ate it because they were too busy escaping horribleness to wait for their bread to rise and it tasted slightly better than sand and helped them starve less in the desert.

**This is where I stop going off on matzoh.
I feel better now. Thanks.**

So that time I went off on people who like matzoh for 2 paragraphs was kiiiiinda weird. Anyways. Challah! The bread non-Jews should really being going nuts for! AMIRIGHT?

If you're not familiar with challah, get with it already. It's a supremely delicious egg-y bread that's sorta similar in taste to brioche. It's sweet without being dessert-y. It's downright gluttonous when spread with butter and insane as french toast. (See: egg-y sugar-y egg bread doused with more egg and smothered with syrup. Also see: duh.) And it's braided so it's totally adorable.

Frank and I getting down to business in the kitchen.
(I'm the cute one.)

Of course, being the idiot I am, I decided that the first bread recipe I tackle be one that incorporates braiding dough. Turns out it's not as easy as braiding my hair. Which is weird because my hair often has the consistency of wet dough. Hmm.

But it was still kinda fun. It's something that clearly takes practice and a little know-how but hot damn, SO CUTE.


But hey, I'm totally getting ahead of myself here. The recipe started with me dissolving some yeast and some sugar. Exciting!

Then I whisked in oil, more sugar, and 4 eggs, one by one. I decided to hand whisk it instead of using my insane monster KitchenAid Pro Mega Destroyer 3000 XXX because A) that thing means BUSINESS and challah is like a delicate buttercup and B) I skipped going to yoga in order to make this bread which means girlfriend needed some serious exercise but didn't do that either and instead pretended that vigorous mixing was "exercise." Also C) I live in a dream world.

My right arm's sore/totally toned now.

Then I added 8 cups of flour. Eight is so many cups of flour! I got mad egg yolk/vegetable oil/yeast/sugar/flour on my shirt which was cool except that it looked pretty obscene.

Hey egg yolk/vegetable oil/yeast/sugar/flour mixtue: ew. Also: inappropriate.

It was fun/filthy/fun. I kneaded it brutally like a lady and let it sit for an hour as it expanded to twice its size.

It's like one of those dinosaur sponges except not at all because it actually works and doesn't ruin your entire day because it's a letdown like everything else in your childhood.

Blah blah blah, a little more resting, a little more assaulting. Then I split the dough in half (the recipe was for two loaves), kneaded some raisins into one loaf, and then got myself totally psyched for some bread braiding.

This is gearing up to look like something I'll be a natural at!
(I was not a natural at this.)

I'll be the first to admit it, my first loaf came out pretty stumpy. Whatevs. Still totally adorable and that's my number one requirement for all the food I eat. (Interesting note: it was at about this time that I was shocked that I didn't think to make mini challahs. That would have been the quintessential adorable Molly food makeover move. Next time.)

"Next time, I'll braid your hair!"
- Challah Loaf

Since I threw some raisins in the second loaf, I decided to keep it real after braiding it and form the loaf into a circle. Raisin-y circle-y challah loaves are mostly eaten around Rosh Hashana time to represent the cycle of a year and to bring a little sweetness into the new year. (Jew talk.) Also because raisins are my new favorite food. No joke.

"Have you met us? We're raisins, Molly's new favorite food and we are no joke."
- The Raisins in my Raisin Challah Loaf

Blah blah blah I had to throw the loaves in the freezer because I had dinner plans because I am important I am really cool I am a social butterfly everyone wants a piece of me my dad invited me out to dinner. When I got home, I took my little lovelies out of the freezer and let them thaw for 4 hours. (NO BIG DEAL.)

Next up was the second coat of whisked egg (I left out mentioning the first coat because it was just as boring as that time I brought up the second coat a few words ago) and a sprinkling of poppy seeds on the regular loaf. THEN CAME HEAVEN.

Holy shit. I am going to make the world's best wife/mother/first female president.



4.7/5 > Even though the raisin loaf may be a tinge overdone, these taste outrageously good. I went so far as to email my mother at 2am to tell her how good these taste because I can't keep my awesome to myself/I suffer from insomnia.
EASE: 2.5/5 > It's not so much that it's hard to make challah, it's just hard to make it perfect. The braiding isn't difficult but it will certainly get easier. Also, the dough itself is incredibly easy to make.
FILTH OF KITCHEN: 10/5 > The dough attacked me (dayenu!), there's flour everywhere (dayenu!), there's bread everywhere (dayenu!), there's everything everywhere (dayenu!). Do you see what I did there with that cleverly placed Jew joke?
DID THE DOG EAT THE DOUGH: Frank was mysteriously absent from this exciting introduction to bread baking. I think he was exhausted/emotionally distraught after I walked him to the grocery store and tied him up outside so I could buy some eggs. I'm pretty sure part of him died inside. He was really banking on riding in the grocery cart. :(
IMPRESS-O-METER: 1000/5 > I made braided challah, motherfuckers.

1 comment:

  1. Mazel tov. And it was gooood! A very tasty treat for the carb unconscious.