Thursday, March 31, 2011

One step closer to Culinary Goddess status.

I'd just gotten home from running errands; was just about to enter the house when the UPS truck pulled up out front. "Could it be?", I thought, "Had it gotten here that quickly?" The driver pulled out a rather large box, carried it up to me, and the sender label told me, "Yes!!! It was here!!!".

My new toy, shiny, bright red, super powered; and it was all mine. Removing it from the box, setting it up on the counter; the polished feel of it; the stream lined construction. I have the power!!!  and the next step to becoming a culinary goddess had been taken.

The Kitchen Aid Professional 5 Plus Stand Up Mixer, and it was all mine.  Oh, the baking I could now do; the creation and kneading of dough...bread, pizza...the selection would be endless.  And did I happen to mention that it was all mine?

The Kitchen Aid Stand Up Mixer has been on my wish list for years, but something else has always taken priority over its purchase.  Then the red model came out, and it was so beautiful.  I went on Ebay and watched the auctions of this mixer; then I struck!  Roy calls me an "Ebay Ninja" because I time the auctions of items I want carefully, and put in my winning bid at just the right moment.  While it did come with 3 attachments, I still need to purchase one more, the pour shield.  Piece of cake...pun intended.

Two items I want to make are Challah Bread and Black and White Cookies (they're a New York thing).  I went online, and while I could have them shipped, ready made, to me; the shipping costs are insulting.

I have the power!!!

Challah Bread

Challah is traditional Jewish bread made with eggs, sugar, and no dairy.  It can be used to make an exceptional French toast.


1 packet yeast
1 and ½ cups warm water (between 105-110F)
½ cup sugar or honey
6 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
½ cup canola oil
3 large eggs, beaten; plus 1 egg for glazing

Preparation of the Dough:

In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, water and sugar or honey; set aside to proof (mixture will become bubbly).

Once yeast mixture is proofed, sift into a large mixing bowl, 4 cups of flour and salt.  Add the yeast mixture, oil and 3 eggs.  Add one cup of flour little by little until dough becomes soft and elastic.  Knead dough for 5 minutes; adding last one cup of flour to board and hands as need; remove to greased bowl for first rising; cover with clean, linen towel.

After two hours, dough will have doubled in size; punch down the dough, re-cover and let rise for another hour.

Preparation of the Loaf:

Remove dough from bowl and divide in half.  Take one half and divide into thirds; roll out each of the three between your hands to make thick ropes; lay out these onto a floured surface. Join them at one end and make them into a loose braid.  Repeat with second half of dough. Cover the loaves loosely and let them rise at room temperature for a ½ hour.

Preheat oven to 350F; line baking pan with parchment paper; transfer braids to paper.  Brush with the remaining egg to glaze.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes; till loaves are a medium-dark brown. (High altitude: add 5-10 minutes to baking time)

Makes 2 loaves.

Mary Cokenour

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