Archive for February, 2013

Fig, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt Challah

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Stop the presses! I have very important news. Way more important than the Super Bowl, even if San Francisco just broke your heart. Actually, if San Francisco just broke your heart, as it did mine, then this news might cheer you up a little. I think I just found God.

What’s that you say? On a baking blog?

Yes. God, in the form of Smitten Kitchen’s Fig, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt Challah. I am a diehard challah fan, and this recipe just stepped it up a notch. Many notches, in fact. I made a double batch of the bread dough; I kept one loaf, just the plain challah bread recipe and braided it like a normal challah. It’s delicious and fluffy and beautiful:

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For months I have been hearing about the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Everyone says it’s amazing, and while I didn’t doubt the caliber of the recipes, photographs, and book itself, I did doubt the necessity of my owning it. I check Deb’s blog religiously, have made numerous amazing recipes from it, and spent way too many hours oggling her mouthwatering creations. I knew the book would be great, but I thought, “I can just check the recipes online! I don’t need to spend money on another book that will just clutter my shelves…” Boy, was I wrong. My girlfriend got the cookbook from the public library and if it weren’t a library book, I’d have dog-eared nearly all the pages to remember to make all the recipes as soon as possible! Every pastry, salad, vegetable main dish, and dessert look insanely good. I love when cookbooks have pictures for each recipe – otherwise, how can I really trust the recipe will make what it says? In any case, I now know that I need to own the book. Especially after I baked this challah.

I made the second loaf according to the Smitten Kitchen directions and loaded it up with fig jam and orange rind and damn. It has everything you want in a challah loaf, plus sweet gooey citrus deliciousness oozing out everywhere. Dessert, breakfast pastry, bread, all in one. And imagine using this to make french toast! To die for. Proof that I really need to go out and buy this book:

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If you’re wishing the 49ers had won, well, here’s a little bit of gold to hold you over till next year.

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