Sep. 29th, 2009

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This weekend, for Erev Yom Kippur, I baked challah for the first time. It was a lot of fun -- I did a six-strand braid, which came out looking really gorgeous -- but only mildly successful. The good side is that it tasted phenomenal, but I was disappointed at how little it rose. It rose enough to be tasty and edible, but it was still very heavy for challah.

I suspect that the biggest problem was somewhere around the kneading process. Per instructions, I mixed all the ingredients together in the mixing bowl, and then turned the dough out onto a well-floured surface. I floured my hands thoroughly as well, and then plunged them... directly into the dough. And when I pulled out, I took half the dough with me.

In other words, it was astoundingly sticky still, and got all over my hands nearly beyond my ability to remove. I eventually salvaged most of it, but only through the application of a LOT more flour. The recipe's advice was to only add "as much flour as aboslutely necessary," but I don't know whether the amount I needed was standard or whether I messed something else up earlier.

Does anybody with any experience in baking bread have any thoughts on this? I'm sure that I followed the recipe carefully until that point; should I have kept it in the mixer for longer, perhaps? Would that have made any difference? I want to try again, but I'd love to have a game plan for this issue if possible.

Mashup Corner

I've got well over 100 of these, so I figure that I'll toss in some links to other really good ones. Today's goes in the category of "How the hell does that work?" -- though it may not do much for anybody not previously familiar with both of the component songs. It's a mind warp if you are, though.

"Wicked Wedding"
Billy Idol - "White Wedding"
Chris Isaak - "Wicked Game"


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