Sunday, March 18, 2012

Holy crap, we made a challah!

Phredward and I had a little bit of cooking insanity yesterday. In chronological order, we made cornbread, a crustless broccoli-spinach quiche, cranberry sauce, bbq chicken, steak fajitas, and grilled asparagus. But the most crazy thing that we made is this challah.
It's crazy because neither of us have ever made bread before, and the whole time, I was pretty sure we were screwing it up, but it turns out, we are freaky bread savants! Bread geniuses! Or maybe it was just beginner's luck.

We followed the Challah #1 recipe from California Kosher, but subbed whole wheat flour for the white that the recipe calls for. The main reason I was pretty sure we were doing it wrong is that neither of us knew anything about how to knead bread dough. We just kind of rolled it into a ball and then mushed it down and then repeated. Also, we didn't really know when it might be done, so eventually we just stopped and put it aside to rise.

But then, while we were waiting, I watched a bunch of YouTube videos about kneading dough, and they all said that it's important to stretch the dough out as you knead, so as to lengthen the glutens. But.. lengthen the glutens? That doesn't sound like a real thing. Nonetheless, I was nervous, so I insisted that we knead it again after the second rising, and then let it rise some more. And then I was sure that I had ruined everything.

We braided the challah according to the instructions in this video, and as you can see, it turned out amazing. I think next time I will bake it a little less. The recipe called for an hour, but we pulled it out after 50 minutes, and I think even 45 would have been plenty.

I didn't make enough changes to the challah recipe to justify copying it into my blog, so instead, I'll give you my mom's recipe for broccoli-spinach quiche. This is really easy and really delicious.

Crustless Broccoli-Spinach Quiche

  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2T onion soup powder
  • 2T mayonnaise
  • 2T flour
  • 1T oil
  • bread crumbs
Mix together all of the ingredients except the bread crumbs. If you drained the frozen vegetables, you will probably need to add a little water, so don't do that. Pour into a greased 9-inch pan and top liberally breadcrumbs. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

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