Saturday, November 20, 2004

braids braids braids

and for once i'm not talking about my hair. . .regular readers know mr. right loves a few things in life, two being pizza and of course challah.

yuppers, dear readers, i received today my two new bread books: maggie glezer's fantastic-looking big book of jewish baking -- more challah recipes than you could shake a smoked whitefish at -- and jeffrey hamelman's bread.

what's so cool is that glezer gives you a gazillion recipes for challah from all around the world and a few simple braiding techniques, while hamelman devotes an entire chapter to bread braiding, including such complex beauties as a starfish shape, all 5 arms interbraided!

the shape he calls the "winston knot" is particularly beautiful as well, looking very celtic. the 7-strand braid he offers is surprisingly elegant, and unlike many bread books, i think the instructions are very clear.

also worth noting is the hungarian shape he calls a "ring," which is a 6-pointed star braided into a surrounding circle. i've long been a big king arthur flour fan, and so hamelman, who is their head baking teacher, is a person i respect.

he offers but one challah recipe however. glezer's book is charming and remarkable for her organization; for example, she lists the challah recipes in the table of contents not alphabetically or anything dumb like that, but instead from least sweet-rich-n-eggy to most sweet-rich-n-eggy.

how sensible that is! because that's what you really wanna know, right? these books are going to be very hard for me to read, because i want to absorb one page from glezer and then get right back to hamelman: these two books fit hand in glove.

i love glezer's passion for bread, and hamelman's exactly perfect mix of baking science and practical artisan-level information. i highly recommend both of these books from spending my afternoon with them thus far. . .

jessica sent fresh dancing goat blend from batdorf (thanks, beautiful! you know mr. right lives on that coffee!) along with some of their holiday coffee-flavored chocolates. so you can guess right away how i spent the afternoon as soon as i came back from the hairdresser!

when thanksgiving is over with and all that nonsense clears away, it's full challah season. we here at bccy are just gonna braid & bake 'em all until spring. . .and possibly beyond.

first stop: czernowitzer challah.

posted by fortune | 7:07 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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