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Sourdough Hybrid Challah... the taste test

To put it bluntly:  Despite a very promising rise, the Hybrid Sourdough Challah was a letdown, flavourwise.  Drat, drat, drat!
Nobody spit it out, but nobody said "mmm" either.
 
The loaves were truly gorgeous, but the bread tasted overly dry and the flavour was bland, to say the least.  Not enough salt, not enough sugar, not enough ANYTHING. 
Maybe that's because I had a cold and couldn't taste it...?
 
Anyway, it wasn't Happy Bread, which puts me back at the drawing board, sourdough-wise.  I will climb this mountain, but I think that for Rosh Hashanah and the other holidays coming up, I'd better back off and go back to my regular "challah" recipe.  (which is just plain bread with a bit of extra sugar added)
 
Technically, any bread can be called "challah" if it has a small portion taken from the dough which is set aside, a remnant of the ritual in the Jerusalem Temple?  We don't feed it to the priests anymore (which is good, because I'm sure they'd have been alternately disappointed and disgusted by my sourdough letdowns lately), but we're still not allowed to eat it.
 
So challah does not mean egg bread - sorry!
And challah does not mean the distinctive three-braid shape - sorry!  (I generally do a four-braid anyway, simply because it looks WAY cooler for no more effort!)
 
Challah simply means, as it says in Yiddish on the old boxes of Manischewitz matzah, "challah hoht genemt" - "challah has been taken."
Challah is defined not by what is IN the recipe or IN the pan, but by what is NOT there - the small portion taken away.
 
Speaking of which.  My mother says not to burn it in the oven.  I always thought you did, and generally just leave it on the pan.
Guess I've got some googling ahead before I do a Rosh Hashanah challah workshop for the kiddies this Wednesday!!!

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