How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
This challah bread recipe involved much more waiting and more complicated steps than the previous two recipes. (By the way, if my writing sounds terrible and florid at the same time, chalk it up to my current reading material: Clive Cussler’s classic stink bomb Dragon, which has so much bad writing that Ian finally asked me to please stop sharing choice portions out loud because I was reading the entire book to him.) I waited for 15 minutes between bouts of adding flour, plus of course the usual 1.5-hour yeasty-beasty rising wait, but then after I braided it and applied the first coat of egg whites, it spent another 1.5 hours rising before I applied the second egg white coat. Then the loaf baked in a mere 20 minutes rather than taking 35 to 40 minutes as the recipe predicted. The half-sesame seed application results from some dissension among parties I polled. I attribute this to Mom’s convection oven, which cooked it to a beautiful even golden all around. All told I spent about 4 hours on the bread, far too much time for a weekday activity, but an incredibly satisfying way to spend the time.
In general I find producing something tangible to show for my efforts — and this bread took effort, between all the kneading and then whipping the egg whites into a froth with a little tiny whisk, besides all the time invested — feels far more satisfying than producing something intangible, like a Word document or a computer program. For example, I feel prouder of this loaf of bread than of my NaNoWriMo novel, even though the novel took many more hours. To me there’s just nothing like holding something I made from scratch in my hands. Or better yet, tasting something delicious I made from scratch. Mmmmmm. Nothing beats homemade bread, I tell you.
I also made 2 loaves of banana nut chocolate chip bread, of which 1/2 of one loaf remains. That was just quick bread — and now, having ventured in to yeast bread land, I understand why they call bread that only takes an hour and a half from prep to done “quick.”