There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

But first, a word from my sponsor . . .
Depending on to whom you listen, however, our standard of living, may, or may not, be threatened by climate change--global warming. Though scary, it is hard to sift through all the shouting and conflicting information to figure out who is right on this issue.
One person, Greg Craven, has suggested changing the question from "which side is right" to "what is the wisest thing to do given the uncertainties and the risks involved?" To me, this seems like a very productive way to refocus the conversation. So, if you are confused about, concerned by, or interested in the issue of global warming please take a few minutes to watch his VIDEO. If you find it interesting or helpful, please pass it on to others.

This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Whole Grain Challah with Cranberries and Orange Zest

  I made the Whole Grain Challah with Cranberries and Orange Zest using egg substitute and canola oil.  I first made the braided loaf, per the directions. 

Then I made two smaller loaves, to pass along, using the letter fold.   All turned out great.  I thought the amount of orange was just right, subtle but noticeable.  I would add more craisins, but I like lots of stuff in bread that is supposed to have stuff in it.

Ever since reading Zoe's post about English Muffins I have made them with all sorts of dough, and the challah was no exception.  Because I like the look of both top and bottom of the muffin being flat I cook them on my griddle, but I have also baked them as Zoe recommends.  You can flip them in the oven after a few minutes if you want.  I think the key to the English Muffin effect is plenty of corn meal.

To make getting them onto the griddle easier I put plenty of cornmeal on parchment paper, roll out the dough, cut it with a 3 inch biscuit cutter, put it on the paper and sprinkle the tops well with corn meal. 

Then, I cut the parchment paper around each muffin-not too hard, especially with one of these cutters.  Then after the muffins have risen 20-30 minutes I transfer them, parchment paper and all, to a 375 degree griddle.  I cook each side 7-8 minutes. 

After a few minutes on the first side, I slide the muffins off the parchment paper to let them brown better.  

And there we are.  I like making English Muffins to use up dough when I have too much and it is getting down to the wire.  I split them and freeze them to toast for breakfast.  


  1. Great idea with the muffins and I love our instructions and pics! Fabulouso!

  2. I haven't tried the english muffins, yours are beautiful! Thanks for the tips in making them. I love the letter fold and briad as well. This dough was wonderful to work with don't you think?

  3. Oh my....did you make those english muffins just for me? English muffins are one of my favorite foods. They look incredible!

  4. Now I have to make English muffins. Your parchment method is so simple. Your small loves look great slashed and floured. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow, thanks for the step by step. I will have to give English muffins a try!!! Judy L, TN

  6. Those English muffins look so yummy! Great way to use up dough, and I like that they can be frozen.

  7. I would never have thought, in a million years, to make English Muffins! What a fabulous idea and so easy too!

    How do you do a letter fold?

    Zoey is so cute!

  8. Challah English muffins?!?!? Excellent! what a great idea.

  9. What a great idea to use the rest of the dough for English muffins! I also love the look of your letter folded challah. Nice!


  10. your breads look great! I love the english muffins. What a wonderful idea

  11. Love the english muffins!!! they look fantastic!!!

  12. I am so impressed...those English muffins sound amazing! Oh boy, another one for the list! :D

  13. I love English muffins. Great idea to make them with the challah dough!