Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Almost Challahpocalypse--or Challah 3, The Final Battle

Several hours ago, I cleaned the kitchen and got everything prepped for the third attempt at making gluten-free, dairy free challah. I decided give the first challah recipe that I tried two weeks ago another chance with a tougher mixer and the right yeast. That recipe at least tasted really good, even if the end result was dense and chewy.

It started off well enough. All the ingredients were at hand, all the bowls and measuring cups in the right place. Everything was great until I had to combine the wet and dry ingredients.

And then I remembered how much I hate mixing GFDF dough. 

Mixers weren't made to deal with substances that resemble like a mixture of sticky taffy and slimy wet clay. The dough, if you could call it that, kept trying to ride up the beaters. I had to stop the machine every minute or so just to scoop the dough off them and encourage everything to mix together. GF dough is incredibly sticky--most of the dough ended up stuck to the spatula or my hands. Some ended up on the coffee pot, the stove, my sweater, my hair. Towards the end, the beaters were completely stuck to the dough and I couldn't get them out without brute force and harsh language.

When it had finally all mixed together, I was so irritated with the whole process that I decided that today would be the last day I'd ever make GF bread. Ever. The whole process is just too ridiculously messy and complicated. As I washed the slimy dough off my fingers again, I considered going off bread entirely.

slimy dough

So instead of just finishing the challah that I'd actually started on, I decided to make another challah from a bread mix in the bread machine to see if that could do a better job of it. Then I'd call it quits. When Eric came downstairs he found me cursing like a mad sailor underneath the table, trying to find an extension cord for the bread machine.

But even the bread machine was having a bad day and couldn't mix it well enough. Once again, I had to mix it all together with my hands. Even so, the dough stuck to the sides of the container and wouldn't come off. I gave up, closed the lid, and let it do whatever it wanted to the bread. 

more slimy dough, but in a bread machine

After about an hour, I started rethinking my decision to give up bread, because the kitchen started to smell amazing. 

And it actually came out okay, after all that.

Of course, I had to try out a piece or two. This time it was much softer, a little fluffier. I'd say this is the best one I've done yet. It's still gluten-free, still not exactly challah, but I'm not making any more of this for a while, so this is as good as it's gonna get.

Oh, and the bread machine version was okay, but I wouldn't make it again. Not only does the rectangular shape make it look too much like it's trying to be real bread, but it was also fairly boring. It'll be fine as thick toast for breakfast. Or maybe challah French toast? I've heard that's really good. 

The challah saga may have ended, but I haven't given up the fight. I'm just resting for a while.

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