Thursday, March 13, 2008


There was this one moment from one day of my childhood that is still really clear in my head...and I am not sure why it has stuck with me. My cousin and I were outside of his house playing when a delivery truck came down our tiny dead-end street. A man leaned out wearing a
chefs hat and in a very strong accent hollered
"Doeszzz Yer Mummy Want Some Bread???"
perhaps that phrase is why this whole thing sticks with me to today. The man waited as we dutifully ran in to see if my Aunt needed any bread. She didn't but I can remember days when
she did and she would send us off to the bakery a couple blocks away with a few dollars in hand. I wish we still had a neighborhood bakery. I guess in its absence I am trying to be the person who can just whip up her own biscuits.

I used to be a total bread messer upper. I made it my goal to get it right and it seems that I
have stumbled on two key things...
1. The Right Recipe
2. Get your water the right temp before adding yeast (thank you jen for this tip)

Since the discover of these two rules I have been on a roll. Tim even commented the other night that I had perhaps mastered soups and bread. I think "mastered" is a bit much - but much
appreciated. I have a long way to go but am enjoying the path I am on.

My first success came from trying the Fugasse bread from a Moosewood cookbook. Moosewood is a fairly well known eatery in Ithica, NY. I received two of their cookbooks for Christmas...which is good because my previous copy involved tons of photocopied pages of their recipes which I copied from library books. If I knew I was going to copy that many pages - I should have just bought the book!

Since that success I created the Moosewood Herbed Quick Bread - which is perfect for sopping up soup. I look forward to giving it another go in the summer when I can use fresher herbs. Plus it is a great way to use up that last bit of cheese that sometimes can hang around the fridge...because you just chunk it up and toss it in the mix...and of course that means that is melts and makes gooey pockets in the hearty bread.

After that I tried my hand at a chocolate bread from Apples For looked good and had an amazing texture...but I really wanted an amazing chocolaty taste...there was a warning in the
recipe that this would not be the case...but I hoped none the less. It was ok with raspberry jam - but I think it might be an acquired taste. A Cracking Good Egg gave the bread a whirl and a review (recipe included) here.

so this brief history of creating and tasting semi decent breads led me to try the recipe that I have been holding onto for just the right time. While checking out steamykitchen I fell in love with the pictures of the Nutella and Roasted Hazelnut Challah. Nutella is another thing I can thank Jen for bringing into my world...and Little A LOVES I have saved a couple recipes with this ingredient and bought the mondo sized jar at our local big box food warehouse store.

So the deal with the Challah is that you make the dough long before you get to eat the spoils...days in advance. And it is so worth decide that you want to eat this in five days.

Here is my dough post 4 days chill in the fridge...covered but not an airtight seal:

and here it is sloughing off the chill while I roast some hazelnuts in the pan:

then the trickiest part...trying to get this dough to roll (no pulling and stretching here)...and also the best part stuffing with Nutella:

I am thinking of other things I could stuff in the dough...almond paste....sugar and Cinnamon...cherries or apple pie many options.

Next braid the dough...this was the part I could not wait to try my hand at. Steamykitchen had a good suggestion to braid from the middle to make sure it is even on all ends. Worked perfect.

Then brush with an egg wash - top with chopped roasted hazelnuts and bake...YUM!

Let me know if you try it!


Audrey said...

I'M SO HUNGRY NOW. thanks a lot, dayna. heh.

that hazelnut bread looks bomb!!!!! i'll have to give it a go sometime.

Jennifer said...

Oooh a two link mention on your blog! Tis a good day to be me. ;)

And now I gotta get to using some of that Nutella I luuuuurrrrve so much.

Jess said...

oh my! that's something i'll be making this weekend. love Nutella and hazelnuts both!

Jada2929 said...

Wow, impressive! You would fit in well here in Wisconsin, the town we live in has a bakery (or a bar) on every corner.
Thanks for visiting me today-- and yep, that blue is what went on the walls. And some on the floor. Oops. Most 3 year old girls would pick pink, but she has a thing with blue.

Dayna said...

ok - if any of you try this out...I want to hear how it all went :)

jada - I love the blue...I am trying to convince our LittleA to let us peel the wallpaper off...that was left by previous owners so that we can paint...she is some how attached to the 1980's floral print :)

Dee Light said...

Oh my goodness!! I love to make bread. Your goodies look wonderful!!

Audrey said...

dayna. it's almost been a week since you last posted. come on girl. chop chop. i must know what other hazelnutty goodness you've been whipping up. and did you see the chris' coffee cake recipe? yumm-o!