Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bread resolutions for 2014

Crafting some plans as I move on from bread #42

Utmost in the bread part of my brain is a plan, followed by some resolutions and then the equivalent of tiny pieces of paper with little notes scribbled on them - some in the form of random thoughts.

The challah plan is not well received
My daughters are off traveling and at school, both far away, far enough to finally start my long-planned challah series. They are both adamantly opposed to any change in the perfect challah they know and love, the one made every week since they were very small. [Photo: Deli in San Fransisco. They make a great havarti sandwich. Right in the Castro, up the block from the last streetcar stop.]

My husband is unenthusiastic as well. He likes the challah and the French Toast made from it and he doesn't want to eat more of what is essentially a white bread. He's all in favor of more whole grain, crusty breads. To reassure him, I will continue to make the favorites and he can contribute to the challah series by taste testing. There are friends and colleagues I think I can count on for that as well. Food disappears pretty quickly from my office kitchen and it's been a while since I brought in a home baked bread.

I woke up on this cold, grey Sunday morning and searched the indices of all of my bread books for recipes and created a handwritten table in my bread notebook to roughly compare egg to flour ratio and whether there were unusual ingredients or usual ingredients missing. The recipes range from two eggs or three eggs to a couple of eggs and up to four yolks. Some have a lower egg to flour ratio than mine and some it is impossible to tell. These are the recipes that measure egg amount in grams or in fractions. I'm not sure how one can reliably add half of an egg. That's what a digital scale is for.

Right now, there are 11 recipes. Well, there are more, but I intend at this point to try 11. Inside the Jewish Bakery is the source of quite a few. I passed over one egg-less recipe because there is no such thing as an egg-less challah. [Photo: The beautiful oven at Frank Pepe's pizza in New Haven. Worth going out of the way for.]

2014 bread resolutions
  1. Challah series - at least three.
  2. Taking photographs of the making of the doughs and breads.
  3. Not doing anything bread related until at least 6:45 in the morning and never while rushing to get out the door to go to work.
  4. Experimenting with more types of flours.
  5. Going through more bread books and experimenting with recipes.
  6. Maybe a bakery tour.
  7. Not totally bread related - figuring out how to make a really good corn muffin. I bought cornmeal on sale for this purpose. 
  8. Experiment to find a nice hot chocolate recipe.
Let me just say that not everything on this list will happen. This is perhaps a 2014-2015 resolution list. I like taking the bread journey slowly. [Photo: Broadway Deli in England, not anywhere in the City, obviously. That's NYC, by the way.]

My eyes are too big for my time
As for the random thoughts and post-its with bread names and the print outs of recipes I do not want to forget, I will get to them along the way.

Hoping for myself, my family and friends, and anyone who reads 108 breads or who has happened across this particular post, a very healthy and happy 2014. May you have fun, love, happiness and sweet surprises all through the year.

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