Most people bake a loaf of challah for the Jewish New Year that just went by a few days ago. I had every intention of doing that this year, however life got in the way. This past week was incredibly busy, not to mention I was battling a cold that just did not want to go away. I didn't get a chance to bake the challah for the holidays but with this week off, I plan on making and baking (& eating!) a lot of things that have been on my list.
This is the first time I've ever baked any type of bread. The process seemed very intimidating for an amateur baker like me. I took out my trusty Jewish cooking bible (Second Helpings) and scoured the net for ideas and tips...and then jumped right in it.
I used the recipe from Baking and Books as she made it seem so simple and easy. I loved her detailed instructions and her tips on braiding.
Overall, I think my bread was very successful with only a few flaws. The dough seemed a little hard to handle so I'm not sure if it needed to be dryer (or maybe wetter?) or if I needed to let the dough rest a while longer. Also, my braiding technique needs some improvement. I think it needs to be braided tighter...
The egg glaze was perfect and added a lot of color to the finished product.
Maybe a little too much color...I think I baked it a bit too long as the top got pretty dark (but at least that made for a good crispy crust).
Even with my few baking flaws, this bread is worth trying to make again.
The smell alone is worth the effort.
I'm looking forward to having a slice tomorrow morning with some apricot jam...