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The Joy of Making Bread from Scratch

27 January 2009 2,041 views No Comment

One of the saddest things that has happened to me in Austin was when I left my hand-written recipe notebook in a grocery cart at Fiesta. When I went back to find it, it was gone. If you take anything away from this blog, please remember to write your name and contact information in the front of any books that mean something to you.

rollWhen I was in high school, one of my favorite things to do on a lazy Sunday, snow day, or holiday, was bake fresh bread. I love the smell of risen dough, baking bread and fresh bread. I love the rising process that forces you to stay home and watch movies, read books, and take naps. Sharing fresh bread with family and friends is one of the most special things you can do.

braidI don’t use a bread machine but I do use a KitchenAid — helps ease the burden on me to do all the kneading because there is a special bread hook attachment that slams the dough against the sides while it’s mixing.

Over the Christmas and New Years holiday this year, I spent a day making challot and babka. The recipes I found allowed me to make four challot and two babkas. While everything tasted fine in the end, I wouldn’t use these same recipes again. I found them on the Internet and the babka recipe especially was lacking in important details and explanation. It also seemed more like cinnamon swirl bread than true babka.

challahBelow is the slide show with some photos of the process. If anyone has a great recipe for babka or challah — or any other type of fresh bread, I’d love to try it next time.

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