We were planning to go to the country this weekend to see if the house still stands after a 6 week absence but the weather report changed our minds (40 mph winds and rain). So I asked my husband if he'd like me to warm up the apartment by baking his favorite challah (though he still hasn't gotten quite to the bottom of the bread in the freezer drawer). His answer was "if you have the time." My answer is above.The 75 grams/2.6 oz. of old starter are defrosting in the water for the dough and it will take all of 5 minutes to mix the rest of the ingredients. After a short kneading and rising, into the frig for its overnight flavor development. Braiding tomorrow morning will take 10 minutes and then rising on its own and into the oven with a little help from me. I have a smidgen of ham left over from the Cubanos. Would it be sacrilege to have it on the challah? I know it would be delicious. This reminds me of an article I did many years ago for my late mentor, Cecily Brownstone, of Associated Press. The recipe that accompanied it was for mini challah rolls. She called me many months later, very distraught, to tell me that a food editor in the mid-west just ran the article. When I asked her what was wrong with that she said: "I guess she was saving it for a Jewish holiday but Passover wasn't the appropriate one!" (Only matzo--unleavened bread can be eaten during Passover. It is the very symbol of the holiday.) The headline read: Bake Challah for Passover! (Oy vay!!!) Getting back to my challah, on second thought, somehow ham requires mayo and the leftover Swiss cheese is also a natural addition.I can't see either on challah. Besides--honey or butter are the only gilding challah really requires. (Saved!) Hey! it's taken almost as long to write about it as to make it!
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