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 . . .
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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, May 3, 2011

Braided Challah with Whole Wheat and Wheat Germ

I wanted to make a Challah to take to some friends,  and in looking through the HB in 5 index I found this one.  I had not made it before, so I looked on our baking schedule to see when it was on the docket, so I could save my notes for that post.  I did not find it on the schedule, though I could have missed it.  Either way, in the interest of fully completing our appointed rounds, here it is. 

As is my wont, I used egg substitute and canola oil.  In addition to the usual suspects this dough also called for a teaspoon of vanilla.  The dough mixed up nicely, and rose well.  After its STINT in the fridge, I braided using a two strand braid.  The dough was easy to work with.  As I rolled the strands I sprinkled some poppy seeds on the counter so that they got rolled into each strand.  I find this more satisfactory that sprinkling them on top at the end of the rise.   After a 90 minute rise I brushed the loaf with an egg substitute wash, and into the oven it went, at 350 for 35 minutes.
 At that point I thought it could use a few minutes more, so I slid it off the cookie sheet and directly onto the baking stone for 5 more minutes.  And Viola!
 We both thought this Challah was very good, and would recommend it.

Since I have four (counting Marissa) wonderful, brilliant and beautiful daughters I have on occasion meditated in these posting on variations of the theme that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Here is yet another  variation on that theme from DR. MARDY'S QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  "That which doesn't kill us may make us stronger, but never forget that it also leaves a scar." 

Or if not a scar, at least a mark. 


  1. I probably missed a few of the recipes in the book for our schedule. My method for scheduling the posts wasn't foolproof for sure...LOL!

    But your Challah looks very good and has wonderful crumb!

  2. A great looking loaf and as usual you've a least left a mark. :)