So much so for a laugh...! Ok I am not a sceptic, its just that I couldn't resist adding humour to my last post while I bid adieu to 2008. Its been a year well lived! Have nurtured some great friendships..both in the real and the virtual world. Hope I have touched a few lives on the way.
As I look forward to the year 2009...I can't help but anticipate what it holds for me...for us! However one things for sure...I am going to welcome it with all my heart !!
My experimentations with food knows no bounds. Mum didn't tell me that I couldn't play with my food..so here I am, playing with what I have at hand.Had seen pictures of challahs and wreath breads in so many T.V. shows and cook books. Had wanted to make them for sometime and I am glad I did it today, with obviously my 'savoury' twist in this overtly 'sweet' season. Trying something new is always so gratifying!
I made this Cheesy Herb Challah in the evening to go with my Masala Cola. (will post that later)
Challah is a special braided bread eaten by some groups of Sephardic Jews on the Sabbath and holidays.
According to Jewish tradition, Sabbath and holiday meals begin with a blessing over four loaves of bread (two Friday night and two Saturday afternoon). This "double loaf" commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt. The manna did not fall on the Sabbath or holidays; instead, a double portion fell before the Sabbath and holidays.It is these chunks of bread, recognizable by their traditional braided style, that are commonly referred to as challah.
Cheesy Herb Challah
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp sugar
a pinch of salt
½ cup warm milk
1 egg , beaten
Extra flour for dusting
1 cup cream cheese
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp dried oregano flakes
In a small bowl of warm milk, add the sugar, salt, yeast and butter. Mix well and rest for 5 mins.
Tip: If the yeast is good, you will see bubbles.
In a large bowl, sieve the flour and make a well in the center. Add the beaten egg and the yeast-mix liquid. Slowly incorporate the flour into the liquid with your hands and knead well to form a soft pliable dough. Put the dough in a greased bowl covered with cling wrap.Let rest for 30 minutes till double in size.
Tip: Take care to place the bowl in a warm place, preferably near the gas stove/oven.
When the dough has risen, punch down and knead again. Let rest covered.
After the second rise, punch down the dough and knead well again.
Roll out the dough into approximately a 6x7 inch rectangle.
For the filling- mix the cream cheese, garlic and oregano together.
On the rolled out dough, spread the filling, leaving about a cm. on each side.
Now, gently yet firmly roll the rectangle dough with the spread, (away from you) to form a long cylinder.
Using a very sharp knife carefully cut the cylinder lengthways in half.
Working with the cut sides facing upwards, twist the halves together to form a braid/plait.
Put on a baking tray and shape the twists into a neat ring, twisting ad pinching the ends of the strands together to close the ring.
(I made a small wreath/challah as I was experimenting. Double the quantity if you want a bigger one.)
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the ring is firm and golden. (or MW for 10 minutes on medium high setting).
Since this is the last post of 2008, I send it over to a lot of friends..that I made this year. :)
I send this over to Lynn (of CookieBakerLynn) for the baking event she is hosting this month.
And to SriLekha(of Me and My kitchen) for her EFM-Savouries for December'08.
Also I share this with Lore for her monthly event-Culinarty Original Recipe.
Heres' for you too Trupti (of Recipe Center) for her Winter Treat event.
The goodness of cheese is good for a pregnant woman, hence this also goes to Sangeeth (of Art of cooking Indian Food) for her Eat Healthy-Pregnancy event.
It was a recipe inspired from a cookery show I had seen long back on Discovery, so this goes to Ruth (of Ruth's Kitchen) for her Bookmarked Recipes event.
In the nick of time, I rush this over to Annarasa for her Bread Baking Day #15 event-Festive Breads.
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!! My heartiest wishes for a great year ahead. :)