It started so innocently. A naive shiksa baker with a lotta chutzpah, a missed slice of challah at a friend's recent wedding, a craving, a dream...
But then it that dream turned to drek.
First came a strange, knead-less recipe that, while it seemed to work well for Rebecca, and while it made a pretty braid on the cold cookie sheet:
nonetheless led to a dense, bloblike 'loaf.' Not exactly a mitzvah. Although we did eat it all.
Next, I decided to really roll up my sleeves and get to work. So I went back to a long-ago bookmarked recipe for a gorgeous challah from Deb. I figured it would be complicated, but I told myself it was worth the extra effort to get it right. I didn't have to be such a schlemiel, I just needed to focus.
I made another dough, this one kneaded. So far, so good.
And I even set up a little rolling/braiding station in the only part of the flat that gets decent light on these crappy London days: the floor by my bed.
And I even made a cheater's fancy challah with 2 braids stacked on top of one another! It was beautiful, and I was starting to feel like a maven.
Until it melted into a shapeless blob in the oven:
And I found out I'd seriously underbaked it (look closely at that delicious-looking crack– that's dough in there), and slapped myself for being such a schmuck. Of course I should have left it in! Challah's supposed to be golden, not tan! Oy vey. Back into the oven it went, for another 20 minutes!
Ah, that's better!
Now this is how challah should look!
We could hardly wait to cut into it and get a gorgeous slice of fluffy, delicious, eggy... it was still totally undercooked.
And then I totally plotzed.* A total of 7+ hours spent kneading and proofing and rolling and braiding, and what'd I have to show for it? BUPKES.
Sigh. I need to go bake something easy. That's really more my schtick.
*Honestly, I had an actual freak-out about how baking is the only thing I'm successful at in my life and now even that part of me is a failure. Therapy/Xanax, why can't you be free?