Monday, June 20, 2016
Dinner parties are still alive and well. For our Summer Solstice Celebration this year we decided finger food would be the nicest and easiest way to accomplish the feast. The kids went walking and brought back some beautiful bouquets for the tables. I made Sun Bread and a Sun Cake. And, oh, these kids love punch. The punch tradition has been going strong now for a few years. I found a few punch bowls and cups at local thrift stores and now we have enough reusable glasses to host a large part. It is so great and really lives out some good old fashion environmental ethics. No single use stuff plastic.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Tomorrow is the longest day of the year. Summer Solstice is upon us. This is a wonderful bread to celebrate with. This Whole Wheat Challah recipe is straight from King Arthur Flour. It is perfect just as is. You can form it into so many shapes. A simple braid is standard, but the sun is spectacular. I got the sun idea from the book Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven. Here is her recipe in the book. I prefer KAF's recipe, but I use her shaping to make the sun.
Whole Wheat Challah
1/2 cup (4 ounces) lukewarm water
6 tablespoons (2 5/8 ounces) vegetable oil
1/4 cup (3 ounces) honey
2 large eggs
2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- Combine all of the ingredients and mix and knead them—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—until you have a soft, smooth dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
- Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a baking sheet.
- Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into two pieces. Form a large ball with one piece for the center of the sun (here is a good guide for that). Place ball in center of baking sheet.
- Split remaining dough in half. Form 5-7 snakes. Curl those into "snails." Then form 5-7 triangles.
- Attach the curls and triangles to the center ball, using a little water if necessary.
- Cover the sun gently with damp towel or lightly greased plastic wrap and allow it to rise for about 1 hour, until it’s puffy, but not doubled in bulk. Near the end of the bread’s rise, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Uncover and bake the bread for 15 minutes, tent it with foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until it’s a deep, golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and after a minute or so carefully transfer it to a rack. Cool the bread before cutting it.