Monday, August 26, 2013


Edited with an epilogue, a week later September first, when I returned home.

I haven't been to visit the Grandchildren since the last of December.  They have been unable to visit me with their school schedules and with the summer camp schedules.  One of the things they look forward to is Shabbat with the baking of the Challah and the resulting Cinnamon rolls. 
The following are my usual renditions of Challah and Cinnamon rolls:
I arrived at the Grands on Thursday afternoon and the first question from my grandson was, "Tomorrow is Friday, "Are you going to make Cinnamon rolls?"  I answered, "If we have the ingredients to make Challah for Shabbat."  I was told everything was in stock.
Friday morning, I was told the kids only had a half day school could I wait to bake till they got home.  I said sure, it would on take 4 -5 hours time to finish the bread.  Things began to happen and it turned out they had to do stuff for school after school was out, so I was on my own.
I was very lucky that was the case.  I can truly say I have never had a failure before.  I've had batches that weren't as tender and soft,  but not failures.  In fact, no one thought anything was wrong with the bread, but to me they were mediocre loaves.  

Friday was humid, the whole month had been humid, I started the bread.  I mixed the wet ingredients first and then started adding my dry ingredients.  Normally the most flour I have ever had to add is under ten cups.  I lost count at ten.  I was using All Purpose Flour, because that was what was available.  That was not the problem.  All purpose flour does not result in a horribly dense loaf.   Too much of any type flour does that. 

The dough I was working with kept staying like it was a brioche dough.  It took forever till I could knead it properly and then it wanted to go back to the brioche consistency.  I set it aside to rise, the first thing I noticed it didn't rise very fast.  It was like it was a cold day in a house heated with a wood stove. 

When I panned it, it still  didn't rise quickly on this second rising and when it was put in the oven it seemed to not stay even at the height it was.  Turning out the finished loaves was so disappointing. Their color wasn't even golden.  It was sort of a muddied brown.  At Shabbat dinner the bread when pulled apart, didn't pull apart.  It was so dense it kind of broke up. 

The comments at the table were, "Baba, this isn't the same recipe you usually use."  There was plenty of left overs.  The birds enjoyed the crumbs tremendously.

The cinnamon rolls, they had a saving grace, They can be dunked into a hot liquid of your choice.  I guarantee they soaked up lots.

What caused the catastrophe?  I can blame it on the weather, or the all purpose flour, or maybe the yeast was old, or was it the salted butter I used; she isn't kosher.  What ever the cause it sure put a cloud over dinner.

Shabbat is over and before I leave Tampa I am going to have to make another batch of bread with Cinnamon rolls for the Grands.  Maybe this time it will be edible.

(Thursday before I left Tampa, I  made them Challah for their Shabbat the next day.  I purchased new bread flour, new yeast, butter with no salt, used bottled water.  I left nothing to chance.  The weather alas was just as humid.  The saying is, "You can't do anything about the weather".  I couldn't but decided it was worth the try.

Worth the try it was.  The bread and rolls turned out spectacular.  My grands were thrilled with the cinnamon rolls for supper and said they couldn't wait till the next night for Shabbat so they could have the Challah.

I am home now and working on the first clue for the Mystery for my Guild. 
I am Chairman of my quilt guild's mystery quilt this year.  The instructions for the beginning of the mystery are on this blog.  It is the introduction, about choosing your fabrics:

A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind
First Clue to be presented October 16.
Other blog sites by me:
Where I have stories of my cats and other pets
a blog about my courtship with my husband,
and a blog about my most embarrassing moment.
A "Soap box" blog where I do air my opinions.
blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures
Blog about an endangered beneficial beetle
New Blog:
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maggie said...

Dear Gloria,
You are being way too hard on yourself. I'm sure it wasn't as bad as you think, and besides, we are all entitled to a few mess-ups. Trust me, I don't make bread but I have messed up simple things that I've made before such as Chocolate chip cookies..Huh??Who messes up chocolate chip cookies???
You were probably under enough pressure that you could have made a mistake along the way.
Cheers up my friend, they will love you no matter what! (me too) love

Sheepish said...

Oh Maggie, no mistake here...wish I could blame it on a mistake and the bread was as bad as I thought. (The first loaf I ever baked turned out way better than these did). The kids wouldn't eat it even when I tried to turn it into French toast. Yesterday, The grands asked me when I was going to have a "re do" on the cinnamon rolls.

Rosh Hashanah is next week and I have to practice. Both nights I will be baking the round Challahs for the dinners at the cousins.