06 October 2005

I've Got a Shabbat Feeling (even though it's Thursday)

teeny tiny challah
Originally uploaded by crunchy granola.
Phantom Scribbler shared her challah recipe with the commenting pixies, and I decided to try it today. Not sure if 3.5 cups of flour would fit in my bread machine, I halved the recipe (Curious Girl sometimes gets a baby challah at the bakery we go to, and she really likes it. She was very enthusiastic about making a teeny tiny challah. A round one, she wanted.). The plan was to do the dough today, braid it and let it rise in the oven this aft, and then let it stay in the fridge overnight so we could have warm challah for Shabbat. But when we took it out of the oven CG wanted to eat it right away ("No, we need to bake it first."). Then she wanted to take it with us to some friends for dinner. What the heck, I thought? So we called ahead, told them to preheat the oven, and you can see the result. The braids got a little mixed together as the loaf rose--obviously I have a little to learn about the art of small challah braiding--but it tastes even better than it looks. And it was really fun to have Curious Girl helping with the dough, and to have her and her two little friends helping with the egg/water brushing at the end.

Dinner was lovely. We're becoming friends with a family we've met through Curious Girl, and we're having dinner together every three or four weeks (on a night when Mr. Friend is working late and Ms. Friend and her two girls are on their own for dinner). It's a pleasure alternating the creation of simple, kid-friendly meals, building in the rituals of regular conversation for adults, quiet times for getting to know each others' kids, and fun times watching the girls playing so nicely. It makes us feel more rooted in this community. It makes us feel at home.

Shabbat shalom came a bit early this week. Thanks, Phantom.


Phantom Scribbler said...

Oh, you're very welcome. I love the teeny tiny challah. I wish I had tips and tricks on small challah braiding, but I think it just relates to the amount of the rise. (Though I'm happy to be told otherwise.) Anyway, my challahs look like that more frequently than not, and nobody seems to care.

We had a similar dinner arrangement with some neighbors one year when my husband was teaching at night. It really cemented our friendship.

susan said...

I think the problem was the loaf was so very small that when I pulled it around for the circle, the two sides touched each other. With a bigger batch of dough I could have made more of a round wreath challah and that might have kept the braids more distinct. I didn't (with my little helper!) get the braids all even (Curious Girl kept saying "you make a snake. I make a rolly ball," so it wasn't easy to persuade her to part with her pieces to form the loaf). Still, it tasted darn good.

Piece of Work said...

Yum, that looks great! Sounds like a nice dinner routine you have going with your neighbors, too.