I am probably the only person making challah, as opposed to hunting down challah crumbs and eradicating them, this week before Passover. But I needed some for a story. Where I live, you can only get bakery challah on Fridays (and certainly not this Friday), so I headed straight for A Blessing of Bread–a book I’ve owned for years but never had occasion to use before–and strapped on the apron.
Maggie Glezer has dozens of challah recipes, and I picked the most straightforward one. I’m only halfway through the recipe now, but I have to say I am impressed with the recipe writing. Thank you for actually reminding me to measure the oil before the honey so the honey slides out easily. Thank you for suggesting that I soak the mixing bowl in hot water while I’m kneading so I can easily clean and dry it and make a nice warm rising place for the dough. When I talk about looking for thoughtful recipes, this is what I mean.
In the meantime, congratulations to three of my favorite thoughtful authors: Amy Traverso (gorgeous glossary of heirloom apples!), Molly Stevens (bottomless supply of technical tips!), and Claudia Roden (fascinating socio-culinary essays!). All of them won big at the IACP awards this year. (And, can I just say, all of them were on my NPR shortlist last year! Superabit omnia virtus.)