Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Apple Challah

Hi! Remember me? Given my absence from the food blog, you might think we haven't eaten in two weeks or that we've somehow managed to eat out every day. Neither is true. We're eating well enough but they've been old summer standbys, pastas and salads mostly--nothing exciting to write about. Yes, we all love summer's bounty and tomatoes and zucchini have been our constant companions. But just when it seems slightly dull, along comes yet another Jewish holiday, complete with lots of traditional foods.

Most of us get our traditional holiday foods through family and I do have a few of those though none are really strongly connected with holidays. I'll make my grandmother's brisket now and again but not for any particular occasion (though she would often make it for Rosh Hashanah). But my sheaf of go-to holiday recipes comes from another source altogether. Through the magic of the internet and, more specifically, a mailing list I've been a member of for 10 years, I've amassed a wonderful collection of recipes for all the Jewish holidays. When I start leafing through the smudgy pages, I'm always delighted when I realize I'm not doing so alone. There's a lovely group of women around the world who are making some of the very same dishes, year after year.

One of the best of these is apple challah, which is now essential at our Rosh Hashanah meals. Foods that are round and sweet are traditional for ushering the new year and this challah fits the bill perfectly. Because I am a bum, I make the dough in my bread machine. It took me a few tries to find the best method of baking and I've finally settled on a large, well oiled angel food cake pan which allows the dough to rise to impressive heights and pretty well eliminates sticking. You'll find the recipe here, along with my comments and suggestions.

We'll bring this challah tomorrow night when we have dinner with friends. We'll likely have it again in a few weeks when the sukkah goes up, but more on that later. L'shanah tovah (a good year) to all those who are celebrating this week and, for those of you who aren't, do give it a try anyway as apple season is certainly worthy of celebration.

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