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Bread Machine Challah

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When we lived in Chicago I worked part-time as an on-call chaplain at a hospital downtown. On-call chaplaincy means you live in the hospital for a day and a night, wearing a pager and trolling around the hospital looking for trouble. I loved it! However, the hunger you feel after being on-call is unlike any other. Luckily, one of the perks of being the on-call chaplain was getting the leftover challah that a local bakery provided for the Jewish patients’ Sabbath. Challah is incredible. Every religion and denomination has their specialty. Lutherans have hot dishes and Jewish folks have bread. Heaven help me, it is delicious.

Depending on the religious holiday, challah is shaped into various kinds of loaves. Braiding is the traditional method and I think it is pretty easy so that’s what I go with. If you are in a pinch, put it in a loaf pan. Challah is a sweet, rich bread so if you have any left over use it in things like bread pudding and french toast. Also, slathered with Nutella this stuff will change your life. Note: this is not a traditional recipe (parve) as it has milk in it.

Bread Machine Challah

  •          3/4 cup buttermilk
  •          2 eggs
  •          3 tablespoons butter
  •          3 cups bread flour
  •          1/4 cup sugar
  •          1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  •          1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place all ingredients into bread machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Set to dough setting.

Remove from machine and cut into 3 separate pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and braid. Place on parchment covered baking sheet and allow to rest about an hour (until doubled in size). Brush egg wash from 1 egg beaten and 1 tablespoon water onto bread. Bake in oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

C’est tres fantastique

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Don’t judge the title… I made my French teacher weep in high school and my college professor just gave up.

Mmmmm… French Toast. So delicious and a great way to get rid of the loaf of French bread hardening on my counter. Also, I had a hankering for baked French Toast. Tonight’s dinner? Breakfast for dinner!

This recipe calls for an 8-hour-rest-period for your French Toast but I was making it for dinner and I didn’t decide that until I got home from church/vestry meeting so it was closer to a 3-hour-rest-period. Whatevs. As long as the bread gets a chance to relax and soak-up the egg-milk mixture we’re good.

I don’t make any claims that this recipe makes for a heart or blood sugar healthy dinner. But pair it with bacon and oh my goodness it makes a psyche healthy meal.

Baked French Toast

  •          1 loaf French bread, cut in 1 inch slices (I didn’t have/use a whole loaf)
  •          6 eggs
  •          2 cups milk (throw some cream in there and live a little)
  •          2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •       ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •        ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  •          ¾ cup butter
  •          1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  •          3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Prepare a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange the slices of bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over bread slices, cover, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flip bread in egg mixture. In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup; heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture.

Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Flip bread halfway through baking.