Friday, March 30, 2012

Thoughts on a Year (Plus!) of Blogging about Bread

Haverim, I have to admit it.  I'm a little at a loss for what to write about today.  We're in T-minus 7 days until Passover, and our oven is on the fritz.  Happily, a new one is being delivered this coming Tuesday... a new one with five burners and an oven that doesn't randomly function error and turn off in the middle of baking.  Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

Our January blog-i-versary came and went without much pomp and circumstance, but The Hazz and I talked about it at home.  We can't believe how far we've come.

In January of 2011, we were still newlyweds.  We had a point-and-shoot, and I really didn't know what I was doing with photos.  {For the record, I still don't... and I'm still a little intimidated by my Nikon DSLR.  But I'm learning.}

Spring of 2011 brought us some of our favorite recipes that we still go back to on a regular, regular basis... Nutella Challah and Pizza Challah (later tweaked and refined).

We experimented in summer of 2011 with fresh yeast. I still use it with great regularity, and I do think it makes a difference.  It can get quite pricey compared to instant and active dry, plus it can be a bit temperamental and spoils easily.  I do recommend that challah bakers at least try it once or twice.
Left: Fresh Yeast.  Right: Active Dry.

Our Rosh Hashanah Test Kitchen produced a few gems...

We've had a lot of fun experimenting with super sweet, desserty challot including M&M Challah, Banana Chocolate Chip, and Double Chocolate Challah.  The sky's the limit, I think...

We've started exploring exotic grains, but there are still so many more to use... We loved Kamut Challah, but Spelt Challah was a little dry.
Sprouted Wheat Challah with Milk and Honey

And we've had a few failures this year... Lemon Saffron Challah was too sour, Peanut Butter Challah was pretty awful, and it took several attempts at Peeta's Bread (one of our Hunger Games Challot) to perfect the recipe.
There have also been catastrophes like this.

I love baking.  I really, really do.  It's been a constant pleasure through life drama, life struggles, and uncertain times.  Taking a bunch of crazy ingredients and making something nourishing and something special is a powerful metaphor.  I hope this post hasn't morphed into something too self-indulgent.  I cherish all of you out there who are reading, kneading, and eating.

random_challah__1 Shabbat Shalom from our bayit to yours!  Stay tuned, we've got more baking to do :)


  1. shabbat shalom to you too - I really enjoy your blog!


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