Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Shabbat Shalom!

Last Friday we had a Shabbat dinner, something we haven't done in a while. We started having them last summer, when Amy decided "she" wanted to learn how to make challah (and by "she," I mean "me"). Our friend Lauren taught us, and I've been making it weekly on and off ever since. I made a few tweaks to Lauren's recipe: I increased the salt, twice. In addition to more salt in the dough, I also sprinkle sea salt (I like Maldon Fleur de Sel, though any kind of coarse salt will do) on top of the loaves just before they bake. It looks great, and the large crystals add a nice salty crunch. I was also having a problem with some of the loaves burning on the bottom; the recipe yields 4 small loaves of challah, and I can fit two loaves on one baking sheet. To keep the loaves on the baking sheet on the lower rack in the oven from burning, I stack a second baking sheet underneath the first. This provides enough insulation to keep the bottom light and golden.

It's a good thing the recipe makes so many loaves. One of the loaves always disappears moments after coming out of the oven (there's nothing like warm bread and butter, even on a sunny May afternoon). And sometimes (just sometimes), we have a loaf left over to make french toast Saturday morning. And if we're lucky, Matty will make his famous banana rum sauce to go with it. I'll post the recipe here as soon as I figure out how to do it.

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