Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Challah Days!

First things first, let me get the required verbiage in before I forget - again:

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.

Okay, that taken care of, this was my first attempt at challah.  We were supposed to make it in school, but somehow didn’t get to it.  Making the dough itself isn’t much different than making any other enriched bread dough.  However, because it’s a traditional Jewish bread, there are certain dietary rules to be kept in mind if you’re keeping your challah true to tradition.  This usually means no dairy in the bread.  Ruth provided some great information about the history of challah and what the different braids and shapes symbolize.  (She also included videos of braiding techniques which I tried to watch, but since my laptop doesn’t seem to like video I finally gave up in frustration.)  Of the recipes provided, I went with the Easy Challah mostly because it was a smaller quantity.  I do want to try the recipe for Honey White Challah at some point though.  It sounds really good and my braiding skills can use a lot more practice.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Almost a Garden

After an unsuccessful attempt at starting age-old seeds back in January, my second attempt with new seeds was a little too successful.  I ended up giving about half of my seedlings to our former neighbor for his garden.  The remaining seedlings have been transplanted to pots, and this what I have now:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Brioche and Preserves

This morning I got up early to get the mini ganache-filled peanut butter brioche loaves shaped, proofed and baked before it got too hot.  I shaped and filled them using the same method as the chocolate-filled chocolate brioche, just spreading a thin layer of ganache over two-thirds of the dough.  While it was tempting to slather on the ganache, I knew it would just ooze out and make a mess once the dough was rolled up.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Produce Projects and Brioche

Produce Projects: 

Last week I got a little carried away at the farmer’s and produce markets.  I came home with strawberries, cherries, rhubarb, ginger and coconuts.  There were definite plans for each of my purchases but I knew it would take awhile to get everything done.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Good Day at the Market

Every Saturday, April through November, the Farmer’s Market sets up in the parking lot of a small strip mall.  While I don’t make it every Saturday, I am managing to go more this year than last.  (That’s not difficult seeing as we only made it once last year.)  Tug and I usually saunter in around 10:00 a.m., do a walk through and decide what we’re going to get.  Today, I got up early so I could be there at 8:00 a.m. to meet my friend, Terry.  The plan was to scope out some of my competition for home-baked goods.  The problem:  none of my competition showed up this morning.  That was disappointing, but I consoled myself with the fact that I got to see Terry and that this is what I brought home with me:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

While perusing through my blog roll today, I read this post from Beth at Parsimonia.  It was inspired by this post, which apparently started somewhat of a blog trend to use today to disclose things about ourselves we may not normally share.  I debated, but figured, "why not?"  You can trust me completely when I say that what you read below is far from inclusive; but, in no particular order, here are 10 things I would not normally disclose: