I recently enrolled in a babkha and challah baking class at the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham, North Carolina (https://shalomdch.org/explore-federation/about-us/who-we-are/jcc/).
It was much easier that I thought it would be. The baker had already mixed and proofed the dough so half the work was done. The dough is enriched with eggs, oil, and some sugar. We used the same dough for both breads.
The first step for challah is to divide the dough and make two long ribbons about 18 inches in length.
Than we made a two stranded braid: the detailed instructions can be found anywhere on the internet. There are many good recipes out there with detailed instructions. My ends did not want to stay tucked!
They were placed in a warm oven to proof or rise before baking.
Babkha is made with the same dough but it is rolled flat in a trapezoid shape. The shmear (cinnamon and butter filling) is spread over the dough and then the dough is rolled to make a log. This log is folded into an “S” shape and baked in a loaf pan after a streusel is sprinkled over the top.
The instructor, John Trimpli, sent us all home with dough and extra shmear and streusel.
The student’s babkha loaves cooling.
The Fiat was smelling so good on my half-an-hour drive home.
After a 15-hour day, I am looking forward to munching on the challah and braiding and baking on my own but it is late ….so tomorrow.
On a social note: The JCC had gender neutral single-use bathrooms.
More pictures to come as I try baking these at home.
The snow is slowly melting.
The temperature should reach 62f by tomorrow! Wow! That should melt the remainder of the snow!
Gus is still on vacation! He thinks you should take it easy today!
I am sure there is some garden work to do? The freezing and thawing of the ground usually heaves a brick or two out of place. The gutters are probably in need of cleaning, too!
Today will be a good day for an iced double mocha latte at Cup-A-Joe while the snow melts. Relax and read the paper out the recycle bin and chat with people I know.
Tomorrow will be a better day to do yard work if the rain holds off with the warm temps in the 60s.
The temperatures have been freezing! Too cold to work in the yard and to do the usual hardscape maintainance I like to do during the Winter! The days have been in the low 30s or even upper 20s with the night temps in the low twenties and a few times down to about 10f! Just crazy.
So my thoughts turn to cooking. I set my internet radio to Amsterdam Dance Radio or put a Depeche Mode CD in!
I have been looking at the label recipes of the Hershey’s Cocoa package and decided to make the chocolate cake recipe and the frosting recipe, too!
HERSHEY’S “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING (recipe follows)
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
The two layers cooling in the pans. The middle cooked slower then the side so next time I will cook them on the lower shelf and not on the top shelf.
“PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
- 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Soften butter at room temperature. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
- Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
Hmm, chocolate buttercream frosting!
And the final product! Hmm, I don’t think I would be a good sculptor or mason as I am very messy!
But it all taste the same in the end!!
Of course, later in the day we headed to downtown Raleigh (http://www.godowntownraleigh.com/) and The Borough restaurant (http://theboroughraleigh.com/) for my favorite drink: “How do you Q?” Pretty, isn’t it?