Posted by Bonita
I'm back! After weeks of essays and then finals, school is finally out for yet another year, and I have four months to dedicate my time in the kitchen, so let the fun begin!
What's better than sliced bread? Freshly baked bread straight out of the oven. I love walking into a real artisan bakery because it always smells so amazingly good. The bread baking, the yeast, the butter. There's no better turn-on than bringing those smells right into your house. I've always have a bit of an aversion to making my own bread because it just seemed so complicated. But it really isn't once you get into it and grasp the basics. So my goal this summer is to bake a loaf of bread once a week so that I can gain more experience baking bread, as well as expand my horizons. Plus fresh baked bread around the house never hurt anyone, right?
I ended up making challah today, which is a traditional Jewish bread. I am by no means Jewish, but that didn't stop me from making this. Mostly because I always see it in recipe books and how great it is to use for French toast, and since I wanted to make French toast for my parents some time in the next few days, I thought it would be cool to make my own challah as well. I turned to my trusted Williams-Sonoma Bread book and used their recipe. It was very easy and simple to follow, and after many hours of patient waiting for the bread to proof and then bake, I had a beautiful loaf of bread in the end. The crust was a beautiful golden brown, and the inside was so soft and delicious.
My favourite part when making the challah was braiding it. It was just so satisfying to see this big blob of dough turn into a beautiful braid. And to know that I did it...all on my own! So I've learned today that there is nothing to fear about bread, nor is there anything that beats freshly baked bread.