My mom is an outstanding baker. She’s a pretty good all-around cook (she has this great ability to take ordinary ingredients and turn them into something totally delicious), but when it comes to baking, I have never met anyone with the skills she has. Her breads and not only beautiful, but they are sooooooooooo good.
A little late in life, I’ve realized that I need to learn these skills. Slowly, she’s been passing recipes on to me. Finding time to work on your baking skills with young children is proving to be difficult. Two years ago she gave me her Italian bread recipe, and I think I’ve made it three times. In my defense though, in those 2 years I had a baby AND worked really hard to lose some weight- and having homemade bread in the house is NOT conducive to weight loss for me.
I have found success with her orange scones (mmmmmm, orange scones), I’ve made those many times. But mostly we make her sugar cookies (the cut-out kind). Christmas isn’t the same (in our house) without them!
When she came to visit recently, I encouraged her to bring along her challah bread recipe. First of all, it’s delicious. Secondly, one of the families I tutor is Jewish, and I thought this would be a nice just-before-Hanukkah gift for them.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to help her mix it up. I was either getting a baby to sleep, taking a shower, or planning lessons. But..we did get to help her roll it out and braid it!
Wanda has a way with bread dough. She can pull it and stretch it and shape it, and it looks beautiful. I can pull it and stretch it and shape it, and it looks like a failed home ec project. This time, though, I can blame any irregularities on the kids, right?
So here she is, helping the kids shape the three strands of the braid of one loaf. You can see that she already did the first one in the pan.
They had fun working with the dough! Which reminded me that we need to make pizza again (another dough I’ve had success with!).
They’re pretty much a bunch of goofballs!
And of course, I don’t have a final product shot. I had already delivered one loaf to the family I tutor, and the 2nd loaf was half gone before I remembered, and then I was too busy buttering a nice slice of homemade challah to care.