I feel so fortunate to have a cozy home that can even beat the arctic chill(with temperatures dropping as low as -23F last night) in the air and to be able to bake and cook my choicest foods in the kitchen,I know there are many unlucky who will be going cold and hungry this winter.The BloggerAid group, started by Ivy of Kopiaste,Val from more than burnt toast focuses on raising awareness about hunger and donation to World food program ,the United Nations' frontline agency in the fight against global hunger. To be a part of this noble cause ,join in the growing community of international bloggers determined to make a difference in aid of world famine. Also check out the beautiful gift items currently on sale ,to raise money through the BloggerAid initiative for the World Food Programme.The host of the Bloggeraid event this month is Giz and Physgard of Equal Oppurtuinity Kitchen.
Baking is also a nice way to warm up homes.I baked this lovely challah last week,perfect to serve guests on festive occasions.I was always awed by beauty of the braided challah,I made it simple by choosing a 3 plait challah.There are more other interesting ways to braid a challah.
3 cups all purpose flour
2 organic eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped dried fruits,I used plums,blueberries,cranberries and cherries
1 egg yolk for brushing
Combine water and sugar in a small bowl.Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside until foamy,about 8 minutes
Combine the flour with the dried fruit in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Whisk sugar with eggs, oil and salt in a small bowl and pour into the well. Add yeast mixture and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until soft and supple,about 10 minutes.
Shape dough in to a ball and place in lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size,about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375F
To Braid the Challah
Here is a video of 3 braid challah,very helpful indeed.
Turn dough on to a clean work surface and divide in to 3 equal pieces. Arrange ropes side by side on the work surface.
Starting at the far end braid the ropes. When the braid is finished,tuck both ends under and pinch to seal. Place loaf on a prepared baking sheet.Cover and let arise for another hour.
Whisk the egg yolks with a tablespoon of water.Brush loaf with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown,about 35-40 minutes.Cool on rack and slice,serve with any fruit preserves.
Cook 2 cups of cranberries with 1/2 a cup of water and 2 tablespoon of brown sugar,until all mushy and tender about 20 minutes.Cool and store in sterilized jars.
I'm also sending the festive Challah to the Bread Baking day-Festive Breads event,hosting this month is Annarasa, Purva's Christmas feast Event and JZ's Santa's Holiday Challenge