Saturday, January 29, 2022

Homemade Challah

Greetings from the snowy, windy, freezing Jersey shore! This is not where I expected to find myself at this time of year, but it is what it is (as “they” say). 

During the previous snowstorm a couple of weeks ago, I retrieved a container of homemade split pea soup from the freezer to enjoy over the next couple of days. It was a beautiful, thick, stick-to-your-ribs soup, flavored with a ham bone generously provided by my cousin at Christmas. But as I started to defrost it, I realized it needed something. Not anything added to the soup itself, but an accompaniment. And what goes better with a steaming bowl of hearty soup than fresh bread. Not wanting to go out during the storm, I realized I had all the ingredients for homemade bread right here. I never attempted challah before, but I thought, “what the heck, I’ll try it!” I’m so glad I did. Not only did it come out great, but it was SO easy! 

yeasty, bubbly goodness

Using a recipe from I spent a glorious few hours kneading, rolling, and rising the dough, while the wonderful yeasty fragrance perfumed my kitchen. I held my breath after it baked and sliced off the end to sample it. It was damn good! Eating it later with the pea soup was pure bliss. The next day (and the day after that), I ate the bread slathered with salted butter for breakfast. The bread sat on my counter for almost a week as I nibbled a slice here and there every day (it keeps well wrapped in plastic wrap).

Don’t let anyone tell you baking homemade bread is hard. It’s not. It does require time and patience. The end result is totally worth it.

If you are in the path of winter storm “Kenan,” I hope you are warm and safe. Stay in, listen to music, read a good book, make soup, bake bread.

Thought you'd enjoy this picture from Twitter of these adorable "snow cats!"

Until next time, eat well, stay warm, be happy.

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