Since I began baking in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge six weeks ago, I’ve received some great response from a lot of my readers. Namely, I’ve had people ask me: what in the world do you do with all of that bread?
Seeing as I live alone and try to eat from food groups that don’t consist solely of “unbleached bread flour” you are correct in assuming that I don’t consume all of the bread that I bake.
So for your reading pleasure, here are a few things I’ve done with some of the breads I’ve baked since beginning the challenge:
I give it away. It would be nice if I could tout my selflessness here and say that I’ve donated homemade breads to local homeless shelters or community agencies but that’s not quite the case. It turns out that homemade bagels make a great hostess gift and I haven’t walked into my mother’s house in ages without being greeted by “what kind of bread are we getting?
Say no to store bought bread. I’ll admit to Pepperidge Farm and anyone else who’s interested that it’s been a long time since I’ve purchased store bought bread. It’s not just that I think homemade bread is ten times more delicious so why buy what you can make better, but since I’ve had an excess of bread in the house lately, I’ve crossed the staple off my list and have had toasted brioche with my eggs, turkey sandwiches on sesame seed bagels.
Freeze It. At any given time, if you open my freezer, you'll be greeted with a few things: a container of ice cream, usually half-to-three-quarters eaten, a stack of freezer-safe Ziploc bags full of soup that I made back in March and a plethora of aluminum foil-wrapped packages, all oddly misshapen and unlabeled. Unless I've recently cleaned out my freezer to make a donation to Hungry Family or Friends, I have bread in my freezer, usually enough for any occasion.
As you might have guessed, this week's featured bread was Challah, a traditional Jewish braided bread most commonly enjoyed on holidays like Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. My flour was a little dry so the dough was hard to shape but turned out better than I expected.
I've never been able to braid my own hair – but go figure, I can braid bread.
For some more information about baking challah, email me or check out these fabulous bakers:
Baking + Cooking for Two: Petite Braided Challah
Salt & Serenity: Peter Reinhart's Challah
Pete Eatemall: Holla for Challah!
Flour Grrrl: Happy Challah Days Ahead
JennEtcetera: Can I Get a Challah!