Hallelujah Challah

With the purchase of a breadmaker some years ago, I became a confident baker of Sabbath challah. With the task of kneading accomplished by the machine, my only job was to braid and bake. This arrangement worked for a good while, but with the machine’s breakdown, challah from the grocery took the place of homemade.

I thought about replacing the machine and reinstituting the tradition of Friday baking, because I missed the aroma of the bread in the oven…a signal of sorts that a change in the weekly routine was soon to begin. But something held me back from making the purchase.

When a hurt wrist and hand surgery put the stop to baking altogether, and cookie production ceased, my husband decided to put things to right and brought home a kitchen helper like I had only dreamed of

 

ka buttercup_ (Small)

I love love love love love love love love this machine.

With dough making a breeze, challah baking is again a Friday happening.

KitchenAid Challah am.com

For the record, I am not the advertising ambassador for KitchenAid. I could be, because I love (x10) this mixer. The recipe I use is adapted from the breadmaker, in case you’re thinking, oh, my! I need to do this.

Hallelujah Challah

Into 1 cup of warm water, pour contents of 2 packets of yeast and 3 T sugar. Stir to mix in. Then wait for it to become foamy.

In a measuring cup, combine 2 egg yolks, 1/3 c oil, 1 c water, 1 t salt and 1/3 sugar. Sift 7 cups flour into a bowl.

Put the dough hook in place. Into the KA bowl, alternately add flour and liquid, mixing the additions on speed 2. You’re done when the dough comes together. You may not use all the flour – the dough shouldn’t be dry, but rather a little sticky.

Oil the inside of a large bowl. Remove the dough from the KA bowl, round it, and roll it around in the bowl to get it oiled up. Cover with a cloth and let it rise. TIP: put a cup of warm water in the microwave with the covered bowl. Heat from the water will help with the rising. After an hour or so, punch the dough down. Round it, oil it and again cover to rise a half hour or so.

This recipe makes 2 large loaves.

Cut the dough mass in half. Cut each half into 3 pieces. Roll the pieces into ropes. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, lay 3 ropes side by side and braid. Tuck under both ends. Repeat with 2nd set of 3 ropes. Cover and let the loaves rise. Peeking under the tent is part of the fun, so peek away.

Brush the loaves with egg whites, adding seeds or not. Bake at 345/350 degrees for 25/30 minutes.

Have a lovely week-end!  With challah french toast on Sunday, how else can it be?

xx EllynAnne

Downton Abbey Mixes It Up

 

I am no stranger to lusting after a kitchen utility, most recently and especially, a KitchenAid stand mixer. My desire for this mother of all mixers was kept in check because financing such an extreme upgrade just wasn’t possible. Surgery on my right hand changed that.

With a weakened wrist and damaged dumb joint curtailing all baking production, my husband, for whom a home without cookies is somebody else’s house, bought me a helpmate:

ka buttercup_ (Medium)

It’s weird to be in love with an appliance, but head over heels am I for “Daffodil,” my very own KA artisan. Had I understood how life changing this mixer can be to even a modest cook, I’d have ruined my hand years ago.

For last Sunday’s premiere of the new season of Downton Abbey, Daffy turned out a scrumptious crust that served as the base for a salmon quiche, which we ate while watching the show. The crust was delectable, so delicious it merited mewing, and we’re dog people.

As I was scraping minuets of crust to the fork’s tines so as not to leave a crumb on the plate, Daisy of Downton was unboxing an electrical hand mixer.  Her excitement for a convenience that would make her life as a kitchen apprentice easier and more enjoyable was adorably portrayed, although not shared by her mentor, who would be just fine, thank-you-very-much, with her trusty rotary hand beater.

Having labored with the old way of mixing a batter or whipping cream, Daisy was intrigued by the electric gadgetry. Reading the instruction manual, she immediately applied the new technology to the evening’s dessert – a whipped confection that was ready in minutes, not hours.

Raised with every conceivable household convenience, modern women watching the show would have a hard time imagining the effect electrical kitchen utilities had on women of earlier times. Having just experienced a personal domestic hallelujah, I totally felt Daisy’s spirits lift at the wonder of a single invention.

Curious as to what other kitchen inventions were changing the landscape of the 1920s’ cook, I looked through my cache of old magazines.

From early editions of Woman’s World and Modern Priscilla, we were giddy for

kitchen utilities 1920s am.com

a metal slanted grater, waffle iron cleaner, date pitter, combination measuring and sifting cup, extending casserole holder, jar opener, can opener, crank food grater, rolling pin cover and a drip coffee maker.

kitchen utilities 11920s 2 am.com

And what a surprise to turn the pages of an early 1920s issue of American Cookery and find an advertisement for the mixer that so enthralled Daisy:

Elec Mixer 1920s ad

And to turn the page again, to the mixer that ninety years later, so enthralled me!

mixer_KA 1920s ad am.com

The price of the KitchenAid isn’t revealed in the ad, but it figures it was in line with an electric vacuum cleaner costing $39.00, which in today’s dollars is $415.00.

A four hundred dollar investment in a kitchen utility is significant by any standard, but Daisy and I both know the cost of our domestic happiness is priceless.