Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Something Besides Fiber to Keep My Hands Busy!

I guess it's just in my nature to want to get my hands working on something, whether it is knitting or spinning fiber or in this case: baking bread. I don't do it nearly often enough these days because God knows, I don't need all the extra carbs, but the Jewish New Year this weekend provided the best reason to bake.

I learned to bake bread as an extra curricular course while in college about 40 years ago. (YIKES! I grimace every time I think about that!). Trudging across campus with my bowls, pans, cutting board and ingredients each week was an adventure in itself. But it paid off with a lifetime skill, not to mention a few extra pounds on my hips from the yummy breads I was able to take back to the dorm. Sweet breads, french breads, whole grains, black breads and white breads....all were baked.

Sunday, I baked Challah, the sweet eggy braided loaves that I love making. For Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to bake the loaves in a round shape, to signify the the ongoing cycle of the world and the seasons. Usually for Shabbat, the loaves are braided in oval loaves. For New Years, no knives are used on the bread, but we break off chunks and serve traditionally with honey.

This is cookbook I use for traditional Jewish recipes mostly. Nothing modern inside, just the basics covering the yearly cycle of holidays and their recipes. Not even sure if it is still in print, but the Challah recipe in it is the best I have found. No secret ingredients, just the good stuff in the right proportion.

I used to bake the Challah every week when the kids were little, but now it is mainly for holidays. I miss the mess, and the fragrances, and the baked results.

The inside of my cookbook is the repository of many holiday recipes and other memorabilia. The newspaper recipes are yellowing, and many are stained from splashes, but I won't dare ever throw any away. Even a few photos or two, used as bookmarks for my favorites. All part of my culinary history.

Rising in the oven:

And the final results.

In the freezer now, in advance of this weekend. All will be devoured by Monday, for sure.

Ok, here is a little fiber:

JulieSpins, again, this time in 50% Merino and 50% Tencel. This will be a drapey semi solid yarn when finished in the color: Plum Frost. See the shimmer?

L'Shanah Tovah 5770!!!!


lunaticraft said...

Oh man, Challah is the best. I love it. Your pictures are making me hungry, because it looks fantastic!

And happy new year in advance! =D

Anonymous said...

I remember what it used to smell like when you'd bake your challah. And the way it tasted, and with the honey. I'm getting a little misty in fact. I miss that stuff. Could be the chardonnay talking. - Ali

lizzzknits said...

Alison: it is times like this that I miss you the most.

Peaceful Knitter said...

Beautiful bread! Makes me want to get out my mixing bowls...

Terri said...

I will bake the challah Friday, but tomorrow I will be baking the homey cake.

Off to look for a copy of your cookbook.

Terri said...

Amazon has used books for as little as .97. I splurged and paid 1.99 for a "very good" copy. Thank you for the suggestion!