Friday, April 22, 2011

A new tradition

Do you have a certain recipe that you just can't seem to master?
Mine is Hot Cross Buns.
(and banana bread. but that's a whole other tangent)
My mom made Hot Cross Buns every Good Friday.
It was tradition.
In fact I was talking with my grandma this morning and she said that her mom would make them for her when she was little. Then she started making them for my mom and aunt when they were little. And then my mom and aunt started making them for us when we were little.

I've tried making them for my little people.
Several times.
they just
turn out.

Sadly this is not the year I get to celebrate victory over my hot cross buns battle.
I tried again today
I have no idea what my problem is.

It makes me sad.
IF my mom was still here I would call her and have her come over and make them with me.
Maybe she can show me in heaven's oven when we meet again...

So, after yet another failed attempt
I decided to try a new tradition.
(still won't give up on those hot cross buns, but figured i needed a little pick me up. I mean come on, the effort it takes to make homemade buns and then not have them turn out is just sad.)

So today, I also tried Challah Bread.

{….”In Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals and two holiday meals each begin with two complete loaves of bread. This “double loaf” commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt. The manna did not fall on the Sabbath or holidays; instead, a double portion would fall the day before the holiday or sabbath. It is these hunks of bread, recognizable by their traditional braided style (although some more modern recipes are not braided) that are commonly referred to as challah.”"}

And it is gorgeous.
I was seriously giddy when I took them out of the oven.
I mean, look.

I know, right?!
I may or may not have taken the tray upstairs and woken Chris up from his little afternoon nap to show him what I accomplished.

And friends, it not only looks yummy, it tastes amazing.
So, so, soft.
It's just perfect.
And my house smells like a bakery.

So, today I suppose I CAN celebrate a victory in the kitchen.
A double portion of delicious bread.

Challah Bread

{recipe from Your HomeBased Mom}

2 packages dry active yeast (about 4 1/2 tsp)

2 1/2 C warm water

6 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp salt

1/3 C vegetable or canola oil

3 eggs plus white of one additional egg for glaze

6 1/2 to 8 1/2 C flour (add until dough is slightly sticky)

Glaze: 1 egg white {oops! i made mine with the yoke by accident!} mixed with 1 tsp cold water.

Dissolve yeast in warm water and allow yeast to proof (bubble) Add sugar, salt, oil eggs and flour in with yeast mixture and mix until slightly sticky. I do this in my Kitchen Aid. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Divide dough in half. Take each half and divide into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and brain 3 ropes together on a greased cookie sheet. Place both braids on cookie sheet and allow to rise a second time for 30-60 minutes. Brush loaves with glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until bread is golden brown.


  1. Sorry to hear that the hot cross buns did not turn out but I am excited for this post. I was reading another blog which posted Challah french toast and having no idea what Challah bread was, thought I would just use a french loaf. After reading your blog...problem solved! Here is the link if you'd like to use her recipe.

    As for banana bread, when I have a few more minutes, I am going to send you the easiest recipe that I probably make on a weekly basis. I am actually about to make some for a friend that just had a baby.

    Take care,

  2. yea!!! Wow -- those loaves are beautiful!! I've always wanted an Easter tradition, and that Challah looks like it might be one for us too. It's supposedly excellent in French Toast!

  3. Hey! Amazing bread! My mom & I were talking as SHE made hot cross buns each Easter too when we were little. She is going to email me the recepie & I'll give it a whirl. I'll let you know if anything I can figure out.

    Did you make the bread in your mix master? If so, I just wondered as the manual says 6 cups flour max...and if it worked with up to 8 I'll give it a try. Otherwise I may just cut the recepie in half. It looks AMAZING! I so want to make some now, but I just made & iced a cake for the past 3 hours, so I think I'll wait til Monday. Thanks for sharing a great recepie!

  4. wendy- yup, i sure did. and it worked perfectly!

    i think i used about 7- 7 1/2 cups. i just added enough to make the dough just a little sticky.

    hope you enjoy making it.
    it is SO yummy :)

  5. oh yum! those look delish.
    and perhaps you need to practice those hot cross buns more this year so for next year you have it down pat ;)
    happy easter darling!
    i am really going to have to try this recipe soon.

  6. [and only slighty jealous you have a kitchenaid mixer!]

  7. Great job! I have never been a baker. Breads, cupcakes, etc don't really work for me.

    I don't have the patience I guess.

    But this recipe I think I can try. It doesn't seem too high maintenence.

    Thanks, friend!!

  8. Sara! That is a thing of beauty! Wow! Happy Easter, my new friend!

  9. Fantastic job Sara! I can so totally relate. By the way - I have the world's easiest and yummiest banana bread recipe if you want to actually master that one.

  10. That looks SO beautiful, Sara! Way to go! And I wish you luck with mastering those Hot Cross buns!


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