May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads. Anyone who’s been reading around these parts for any length of time knows the perils I have faced while attempting to bake bread. Although I have had one wonderful success as well!
This month I can chalk up another WIN! I attempted and succeeded at making challah. When I logged onto the Daring Bakers forum to check out the May challenge, I immediately broke out into a cold sweat at the mere idea of tackling yeasted bread once again. Not only that, but one of the requirements of the challenge was that the bread MUST be braided. Another thing you know about me if you’ve been reading for a bit is that I am not a fan of working with dough at all. A baker, who hates working with dough. Sounds like an oxy moron, huh? It’s true though.
That being said, I was incredibly intimidated by the idea of attempting to braid dough into a beautiful loaf because surely this would result in disaster. But… surprise! It was not a disaster. In fact, it was gorgeous! I couldn’t believe my own eyes.
Then I baked that perfectly braided loaf up and it transformed into a deeply golden loaf of bread. I honestly couldn’t have been more proud. I always assume when there’s yeast involved that surely I will fail.
When we cut into the challah, it had a wonderfully crusty exterior. Inside the challah was soft and airy. I shared that bread with my family and my in-laws. It became the perfect accompaniment to our dinner that evening. It was incredibly easy to make and nearly impossible to screw up. In fact, the more I make bread these days the more I truly start to enjoy it. Perhaps I’ll be changing my tune about my loathing towards dough. Bread dough, that is. I still despise working with pie dough though! Who knows, perhaps that will change one day also.
Is there something that you work with in the kitchen that always gives you a challenge?
I changed nothing from the original recipe. You can find it HERE.