Friday, December 5, 2008

Challah here I come!

I never quite really understood why when pursuing a culinary education there was automatically a divide between baking and cooking. “Thou shalt choose! Thou shalt become a pastry chef or a culinary chef!” in any case, not both!
And why not?

When I became a more enthusiast cook about 6 years ago (of course, I had fed myself before that!) I started to play around with more ingredients and new techniques and oddly enough I started to develop what I call a flourphobia.
Each and every time a recipe involved dipping my hands into flour my confections almost invariably turned out as hard as a rock and just plain inedible.
I was purposefully shying away from any recipe that would call for the slightest dusting of flour.

Six years down the road I am a more experienced baker, it took some time, but I guess I could never quite bring myself to give up on flour and dough, and I have to confess that today I find it almost addictive to work with flour.
One of the lessons I learned though was that when you’re baking you’re dealing with much more than just ingredients, your pots and pans and a goodwill to make something yummy. Baking involves chemistry, which honestly I am not eager to learn so I’ll just stick to the fundamentals. When I bake I feel I am truly creating something. Baking makes me feel like a magician, it is an art that I find irresistibly attractive, warm and comforting, almost the essence of life ….so reducing it to a couple of formulas….no thank you.
Today I am attempting to make my first Challah. I came across Challah when I lived in New-York. The sweet, buttery, soft and chewy texture of Challah was a perfect replica of my childhood’s brioche.
And here it is right out of the oven. I guess all I have to say is Mazel tov!

1 comment:

  1. Hello: I can almost smell the aroma of freshly baked challah! Well done photos, posting and comments! mc

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