Our delicious MMCC challah studded with sweet dried apples for a sweet new year.
Many many years ago, I tried to bake a recipe with yeast that I found in a cooking magazine, and achieved a hopeless result (don’t ask). I threw it away and then told myself I didn’t need to knead! I became apathetic, nervous and downright scared to try yeasty baking again. But since joining the MMCC project I’ve come up to speed and learnt some tricks along the way. I’ve been making our foolproof challah every couple of weeks. It fills the house with the welcoming smells of freshly baked bread and fills our shabbat guests quick smart as they ‘fress’ on breads and dips for entree. (Sometimes I think we should just skip main course and just serve challah, then dessert!)
So I decided to have a quick riff on challah with an adaptation of our classic recipe. It’s really just a little trick to get into the holiday spirit….
I started with wanting to make a round challah, the traditional symbolic shape for this time of year. I split my dough in half to make two loaves, checked chabad.org and tried to follow their method for a 4 piece round braid. I liked their little technique of rolling each piece of dough into a log, but found the method quite confusing as you braid the challah, then turn it upside down to bake. My challah looked squashed and sad, but morphed happily into a lop sided round challah in the oven.
Rushing to get the challah in the oven before cooking dinner for the family, I decided I needed a video to follow, someone to visually cue me. I started watching Cook Kosher which shows several different methods. The six plait looked like a no brainer so I hit the pause button pronto and got to work. It’s incredibly easy (watch the video) but my round challah looked a bit square. My two challahs were done before I watched the end of the video (d’oh) where I found the ultimate easy guide to a 4 piece round challah. Too late too late!
So today I started again. With last night’s experience under my belt I merged Chabad and Cook Kosher. I rolled the four pieces of dough and stuffed them with pieces of chopped apple (sultanas are great too) and think I’ve got it.
The moral of my little riff? With a bit of practice, anyone can bake!