Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Bit of Brioche--Small Batch Bread Baking

A Bit of Brioche--Small Batch Bread Baking

Yield, 8 - 9 ounces of brioche dough

3 large muffin size rolls


6 cupcake size rolls

Why bake bread in small batches?

  • The fun of baking bread, without a lot of leftovers to tempt you and your waistline.  
  • Great for two-person households. 
  • Less fuss than making a whole batch.  Some recipes can be hand-mixed in a bowl.  Faster measuring.
  • You can start this recipe in the morning, and have fresh bread for dinner.
  • It's possible to bake these in your oven either before, during or after using the oven for something else to save energy. If your toaster oven is large enough, you can probably bake a small batch there (would suggest rotating the pan, as toaster ovens don't have good air circulation).
  • Your kitchen will smell great!

Although many brioche recipes were researched, this recipe was adapted from Peter Reinhart's wonderful book, "The Bread Baker's Apprentice."  There's a larger proportion of egg yolk in my version of this recipe, which makes it much richer.  The final rolls are light, sweet, and buttery.

RECIPE (Step by Step pictures following recipe)


2 TBSP                  Unbleached Bread Flour
1/2 tsp                    instant yeast
2TBSP                   whole milk, lukewarm (90-100 degrees)                   


1 egg + 1 yolk        slightly beaten
13 TBSP                 unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 tsp                  granulated sugar
1/4 tsp                     salt
1/4 Cup                   unsalted butter, room temperature

EGG WASH (Optional)--1 egg + 1 TBSP whisked together

Start by making the sponge:
The sponge for this size recipe is quite small.  You can even mix the sponge in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Stir together the flour and the yeast, then add the milk.  Be sure to mix well, so all the flour is added.  Cover the sponge with plastic wrap, and place it in a warm spot for 30 minutes.  I put it in my microwave, with a hot cup of water.  After 30 minutes, the sponge will rise slightly.  It will be bubbly and very sticky.

Make the dough:
Place the egg, yolk, and sponge in the mixing bowl of your stand mixture.  Mix on medium speed for a minute until it's smooth.  I tried using a  hand mixer, but the dough gets very stiff after adding the flour later on.  It was too much for a hand mixer; it began smoking!

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and mix on low speed for about 2 minutes.   The dough will be very stiff.  If you are stronger than I am, you can mix the ingredients by hand to lessen cleanup.  You won't need to knead the dough!

Cover the dough  with plastic wrap, so it doesn't dry out, and let it rest for 5 minutes to let the gluten start to develop.

After 5 minutes, add the butter 1/3 at a time, making sure it gets well incorporated after each addition. The dough will soften up considerably when you add the butter.  You'll probably want to scape down the dough from time to time to make sure everything gets mixed.  Continue mixing for a few minutes more to make sure the dough is very well mixed.  The dough will be soft and sticky.

Place the dough into a wide oiled bowl or onto an greased cookie sheet, turning it to coat the dough. The dough is easier to handle when it is cold, so flatten the dough to help it get colder easily.  Place plastic wrap right onto the dough so that it doesn't develop a skin.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight to firm up. It was much easier removing the dough from the pan that had been refrigerated overnight.  It was less sticky.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and put it on a lightly floured work surface.

For smaller rolls, shape the dough into 6 pieces, about 1 1/2 ounces each. Place them in a cupcake-sized muffin pan (1/2 cup size).  For larger rolls, cut the dough into 3 pieces, and place in larger muffin pans (2/3 cup size).  You will want to fill the cups only half full, to allow for rising.  If you have the petites brioches fluted pans, you can probably make one or two less of the cupcake size to make a tete on each remaining roll.

Let the dough rise for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, about a half hour before baking.  Put a rack in the middle of the oven.

The egg wash is optional.  I did 3 test batches for this recipe.  I didn't use egg wash on the first two batches.  I got a soft crust on top.  When I added egg wash on the third test, I got a crisp crust on the outside.  Both are good; it depends on your preference.  I was going to do a fourth test of turning down to temperature to 375 degrees (the higher temperature to encourage more rise).  However, now we have a lot of tempting bread around the house; it's no longer a small batch!  :)

If you brush with egg wash, cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayefor 15 minutes more.

When you bake the larger rolls, 3 cups will be empty.  Fill the empty cups halfway with water to prevent warping of the pan.

Bake 10-12 minutes, in the center of the oven, until thermometer in center registers 180 degrees.

Remove the rolls as soon as they are done.  Let them cool on a rack for about 20 minutes (if you can wait, LOL)

I hope you enjoy making your rolls, and eating them!  I decided to place all the pictures after the recipe so you can copy the recipe easier.  I'd love to hear your comments!!!



Mixing up the sponge--easy to do in small bowl or measuring cup


A quick way of softening butter--place in bowl of hot water


The sponge gets bubbly and rises some after 30 minutes in a warm spot.


The sponge is very sticky!

The dough is a bit shaggy and sticky after all the mixing is done



1 1/2 ounces looks like this!  Filling the cups halfway full for small rolls
They rise beautifully in 2 hours


Large rolls--makes 3 rolls, three ounces each

The one on the left is baked without egg wash, and longer.  The right one has egg wash

The finished rolls, these are with egg wash
The inside of a roll, egg wash used here--YUM!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Conquering Bread and Cake Fears

Donna with her first breads, and my first cake!

Conquering Bread and Cake Fears

Bakers usually seem to fit into one of the two baking categories.  Either you gravitate toward bread baking, or you prefer cake and pastry baking. 

Bread baking means working with yeast and developing gluten.  You can get rough with the dough, especially when kneading it.

On the other hand, when a cake or pie crust is being made, baking powder or baking soda are used.  The goal of making a cake or pie crust is to limit the amount of gluten created to create a more tender finished product

There's a difference in approaches, also.  My favorite example of the difference is of being a parent of a small child.  One way of raising the child is to tell it precisely what it needs.  In cake baking, it's extremely precise in ingredients and methods.  When and how you do something is as important as an ingredient of the recipe. Extremely detailed.

The other way of raising a child seems to be to see what it needs and then provide that for them.  That's like bread baking.  Humidity and many other factors can affect the dough.  Most of the time, you start with your recipe, see what it needs, and then see what the dough needs.  You might need to add more liquid or more flour until it feels right.  You wait for the dough to rise and may have to help it along.  Lots of patience.

I consider myself a bread baker.  Oh, I have made muffins, a few cupcakes and some cakes in 9" x 13" pans. I don't remember ever making a layer cake.

My baking buddy, Donna, is a cake baker.  She's a very good cake baker, in my opinion. She posts pictures of her cakes on her blog, "The Sweet, The Sassy, and The Blur."  Check out pictures of her cakes at the following link (but please come back here for the rest of the story...)  

Donna wanted to learn to finally use yeast and bake breads that don't contain preservatives.  I got a free Wilton beginning cake making class on Craftsy.  I'm healing from a broken ankle, so I figured it was time to try cakes.  We recently go together at my house to bake.  

We started off shaping bread dough: 

I remember how hard it was for me to remember the "right" texture of the dough.  I started baking with a bread machine in 2007.  I couldn't understand why the dough texture was dry when I followed the recipe exactly.  It got so that Carol, at Red Star Yeast Customer Service, knew who I was by my voice.  I didn't even have to say my name, I called so much for help. 

Donna said that she saw a bread baking demonstration with a mixer.  It may have been intimidating, because she didn't follow up with baking on her own.   No knead dough was probably the easiest way for Donna to venture into yeast baking. in my opinion.  I had baked the no knead recipes from "Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day" in the past. They have a lot of leeway and are very forgiving for a beginner, and makes good breads.  

All the ingredients are in place to make bread dough!
We used a scale to weigh out the ingredients for the dough.  This method is much easier than using cups and tablespoons.  The newest version of the book includes these measurements.

I showed Donna how the Olive Oil Dough should look after mixing

The Olive Oil dough is very much like the Master Dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day."   It's a versatile dough, and is great for pizza crust.

Donna mixed up the wet dough (she took the picture, LOL)

Donna was surprised how easily the dough mixed up by hand.  We mixed it in a large pot, so we didn't need any special equipment.  A mixer wasn't needed!  Rather than wait for the new batch to rise for a few hours, we used a batch of the dough I had prepared a few days earlier.  The "Master Dough" recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to 14 days!   The earlier batch had been stored overnight in the fridge. This dough is very wet, and easier to shape when cold.  

We set aside the newly mixed batch of dough to rise for several hours.  It more than doubled in size!  I showed Donna how to shape the breads.  She's a natural for the special shaping, having shaped fondant in her cake making.

Here's a quick video of the baking and shaping process:
The shaped breads, before rising

Don't they look great after baking?

Donna loved her breads, and so did her family.  She has added the recently released "The New Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day" book to her wish list!

Let's make a Cake!

While we waited for the breads to rise before baking, Donna showed me how to make a layer cake. We made a 9" two layer yellow cake with white buttercream (all white) frosting.

Baking a cake is very exacting.  You don't add all the eggs at once, you alternate adding certain ingredients, and placement of the pans in the oven--this has an impact on the finished cake!  Donna watched the whole process, all the while holding onto the recipe.  We used the yellow cake recipe from the Wilton online Craftsy class.  Here's a link to the recipe:

I'm just relieved that the batter is mixed and ready for the pan!!!
I was very glad when the cakes came out of the pan.  I'm so glad Donna showed me how to grease and flour the pans properly.  After the layers were baked Donna suggested that I trim off any "crust" from the sides of the layers.  That way, people will always be biting into a soft part of the cake.  It was difficult, because I could easily chop off a larger piece of cake.

Details, Details!

I'm hoping the Wilton cake strips I purchased later on will help eliminate this step.

The cake, with the crust removed.  Not too bad, huh?

We used Donna's buttercream frosting recipe. LOTS of butter and confectioners sugar!!!  I got to see how the yellow frosting actually became white and texture became fluffy when it was mixed for awhile! 

Donna showed me how to do a crumb layer, and then the final layer of icing.

Taste testing, always the best part


My hubby loved his taste test!
Donna inspired me so much in cake baking, that I decided to challenge myself to another cake.  I decided to bake my own birthday cake, and I succeeded.  Donna gave me the pink pearls and flower for the top of the cake, but I did everything else myself.  The whole cake was an adventure in parts and slight mishaps, but icing covers many secrets, LOL.  It was a yellow cake with chocolate custard filling and vanilla buttercream icing.

Donna came over on my birthday to share the cake with my husband and I.  It was like an afternoon tea party!


Donna inspired me further with a nice birthday surprise--the Wilton Course 1 kit!  It has lots of wonderful icing tips, bags, and other cake-making goodies.  I look forward to using them really soon.  What a creative journey!!!

And.... we conquered our baking fears!  YAAAY!

Have you conquered any baking or cooking fears?  I hope you will leave me some comments about your journey.
Photos by Donna Nave Smith

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Small Batch Bread Baking--Coffee Cake

Old Fashioned Coffee Cake--Small Batch Bread Baking

All of us "kids" who grew up going to one of the LA Unified School district schools have fond memories of the coffee cake.  All you have to do is mention the coffeecake to my classmates, and you'll see them salivating and having a big smile on their faces.
I was especially lucky.  My mom was a pastry chef for one of the high schools.  Yes, Mom was one of the nice lunch ladies in the cafeteria!  Sometimes, she would bring us a piece of coffee cake that she had left over from her lunch.  What a treat!

Mom at work (don't tell her I posted it)

Because of her work, I was able to get a recipe for the coffeecake.  I know that Mom started baking from scratch at the beginning of her career and they switched to mixes from headquarters later on.  So the coffeecake may have changed slightly.  

I've downsized this beloved recipe even further, which may change the flavor slightly.  It's easier not to measure 1/2 tsp + 1/16 tsp of an ingredient!  Also, baking in a different pan may change how it bakes up--that can change the flavor.  I added nuts to the topping; I think it tastes better.  But I've tried my best to make a wonderful cake for you.  It tastes great--we polished off a loaf in a sitting.  It's in a size that won't tempt you to eat too much!  That's the purpose of my Small Bread Baking project.


Old Fashioned Coffee Cake

Adapted from Los Angeles City Schools recipe

PORTIONS: 2-4 You can share a loaf and give one away/freeze it   (or two people can eat a warm loaf, LOL)

PANS: 2  mini foil pans, about 6" x 3"  in size.  1 1/2 cup capacity

TEMPERATURE: Conventional Oven, 375 F

BAKE TIME: 20-25 Min.

TOPPING (suggest you make topping first and set it aside so can put cake in oven as soon as mixed, for better rise).

1 TBSP      All purpose flour
1/4 Cup      Brown sugar, packed
1/16 tsp.     Salt
1 tsp.          Cinnamon

1/4 cup       Finely Chopped Walnuts
1 TBSP      Canola oil

In mixer bowl, combine all ingredients except oil. Mix well.  Add oil gradually and continue to blend until topping is crumbly.  I used my fingers.

1 Cup                All purpose flour (4.25 ounces)
2 1/2 TBSP       Non-fat dry milk
1/8 tsp               Salt
1/4 tsp               Nutmeg
1/4 tsp               Cinnamon
1 tsp                  Baking powder
1/8 tsp               Baking soda
1 1/2 tsp            Vinegar
6 TBSP             Water
1/4 Cup             Canola Oil
5 TBSP             Brown sugar, packed
1/4 Cup             Granulated sugar
1 1/2 TBSP       Egg (beat 1 egg, use half)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease and flour your pans.

In a bowl, combine flour, dry milk, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

Combine vinegar and water in a measuring cup. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, blend together the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar for 1 minute on low speed.  Tip:  A stand mixer makes it much easier to make the batter; a handheld mixer would work also.  Mixer timing is for stand mixer.

Add eggs and continue to blend low speed for 1 minute.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the water and vinegar mixture to the mixture in the bowl.

Scrape down bowl, then blend on medium speed for 1 additional minute.  Just a minute!  If you mix any cake too much, the cake becomes tough.
Divide batter between the 2 prepared foil mini loaf pans. Sprinkle half the topping evenly over batter in each pan.

Bake until tooth pick comes out clean when inserted in the center of cake, approximately 20-25 minutes.

Let the cakes cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before removing them so they will come out easier.  After removing them, let them cool awhile longer while they continue to set up. (If you can wait!!!)


I would love your suggestions for more small batch bread baking.  I'm working on ciabatta and cinnamon rolls also.

What would you like to see?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Small Batch Bread Baking--Cinnamon Buns

Small Batch Breads, Cinnamon Rolls

Recently, I heard about the book "Small Batch Baking," on  the"Karen's Kitchen Stories" website. I made the small caramel pecan tarts she adapted and posted. Then, I found the book in our local library.  It was exciting to make smaller quantities of desserts I have been craving. But there wouldn't bee a lot of leftovers to tempt my waistline. After making several of the recipes, I ordered the book and the library copy was returned.

At the same time, I got interested in "The Bread Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  Her recipes are superb; she has a science background and applies it to baking.  In her blog,  she mentioned ordering a two quart cast iron dutch oven so she could make smaller breads for her 2 person household.  There seems to be a number of small households who would love small bread sized recipes!

The "Small Batch Baking" book seemed to be mostly pastry, but I was eyeing the cinnamon bun recipe. It made only 4 cinnamon buns, and used a hot roll mix.  There wasn't a sweet yeast dough recipe in the book. I thought, "the cinnamon buns deserve a decadent and sweet dough. As a bread baker, I can do that from scratch!"

Many cinnamon bun dough recipes that were considered.  Then I saw the brioche recipe in "The Bread Bible."  It looked like it could work, if it were downsized.  I decided to streamline the recipe so it didn't need a starter sponge. 

The dough was mixed in my bread machine because I was trying to avoid hand kneading due to hand pain.  However, there was too little dough to reach the corners. It had to be mixed with a spatula.  Next time, I'll just mix it by hand; it won't take much kneading. 

Here's the dough recipe I adapted. It's still a work in progress. I figured the recipe in grams. If you use a measuring cup for the flour, spoon lightly into the cup.

Ingredient                Grams     Volume/Cups
Warm Water                            2 - 3 tsp
Granulated Sugar                    1 TBSP
Instant yeast                            1/2 tsp
Unbleached Flour    150          1/2 Cup
Egg, Large                               1
Salt                                          1/4 tsp
Unsalted Margarine                 2 1/2 TBSP

2-3 TBSP of butter to spread on dough
Cinnamon sugar mixture, (8 tsp granulated sugar to 1 tsp cinnamon).

Yeast dough baking means that you might have to add more flour and water. So start with 2 tsp of water.  Although this doesn't sound like much water, brioche has a lot more egg and butter/margarine than water.  The goal is to make a dough with a tacky touch. It should be slightly sticky when you touch it, but the dough shouldn't stick to your finger when you remove it from the dough.

I waited only about an hour for the dough to double. The hot roll mix said to wait 5 minutes after kneading, but they probably have dough conditioners. I might wait longer than an hour next time, or I might try the 5 minute wait and their 30 minute roll rise. This is a test kitchen mode, after all.

Then, I used a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a rectangle--10" x 13". It was too big. I'd suggest maybe 8"x 6", when making the buns. If the dough resists, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes before trying it again.

I Brushed 2 TBSP melted butter onto the rectangle; that seemed enough. Then, I sprinkled it with about 3 TBSP of the cinnamon sugar mixture .  I wanted to use up some cinnamon sugar mixture on hand. Next time, I think I'll try a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture, instead of granulated sugar. I'll post that when I do.

The dough was rolled up, jelly roll style, on the "short side" and cut into 4 pieces. You'll notice that the jelly roll gets longer when it's rolled up. That's why I would suggest a smaller rectangle of dough. Be sure to pinch the dough closed along the jelly roll, so it doesn't open up while it bakes.

I placed the 4 pieces into a greased loaf pan to bake, but a giant muffin pan might work better next time. If you use a muffin pan, place one bun in each greased cup. You probably want to fill the remaining cups halfway with water while they bake to protect the pan. The buns rose for about 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 350 degrees, for at least 30 minutes. This time, however, I used the toaster oven. It doesn't bake evenly, but I'm in a wheelchair right now from injuries and the toaster oven is safer for me. I turned the pan halfway around for more even baking, but they still got overbrowned. 

I wanted to use up some cream cheese frosting from my freezer this time. I'll post an icing recipe next time.

We ate the 3 of the cinnamon buns before snapping a picture.  Next time, I'll take pictures.

The shaping and baking is still a work in progress, but I think that the dough will work!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pletzlach, and Re-creating Memories


The pletzlach are baking right now.  The smell transports me to my childhood.  If I close my eyes, I can imagine that I am a teenager again.  I'm standing in the living room of our tract house in the Valley, the bedroom suburb just north of Los Angeles.   The smell is wafting from our tiny kitchen.  Mom's treat is almost ready!

The "onion and something's baking" smell is filling my living room and kitchen today.  Tears well up in my eyes--I'm smelling memories of my mom's kitchen.  It's a happy cry!

What are pletzlach, you ask?  Joan Nathan, in her book, "Jewish Cooking in America," says:
"Pletzel, which rhymes with pretzel, is the foccacia of the Jewish food world.  Also called pletzlach (like in our house), onion zemmel, onion pampalik, or onion board, it looks and tastes very much like the flat bread laden with onions and poppy seeds I recently ate in the marketplace of Izmir.  After all, pizza began as pita, sprinkled with olive oil and za'atar (a combination of spices), a meal for a poor person. "

A friend of mine told me about this book on Thanksgiving.  She said that the stories about the history of the foods and the old ads were lots of fun.  I learned that it wasn't only the suffrage movement that changed women in the early 20th century.  The manufacturing of foods like ketchup and frozen foods freed women up from making many foods from scratch.  Foods like Crisco enabled some women to make foods not possible for them earlier.

The recipe, "Pletzlach with Onions," tugged at my heart strings.  After seeing it, I found similar but different recipes from the New York Times online, and on various websites.  Joan Nathan's recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from the 1947 Community Cook Book from Woonsocket Rhode Island--one of her favorite cookbooks. 

Our HBin5 group did "historical recipes" last month.  This month, we are doing "family traditions" recipes.  I guess that this recipe fits both categories!

My recipe is an adaption of Joan Nathan's, as I am trying to figure out my mom's method (Mom didn't have recipes, she cooked by feel):

Pletzlach with Onions
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 TBSP vegetable oil (Mom wouldn't have used shortening here!)
1 cup plus 2 TBSP warm water
1 package instant yeast
4 cups all purpose flour (approx.  Mom used Gold Medal or Pillsbury)

1 large egg, beaten

1-2 onions, finely chopped (optional, saute' in vegetable oil ahead of time)
1 TBSP poppy seeds
kosher salt

1.  I lightly sauteed the onions in vegetable oil ahead of time.  I don't remember if Mom did this or not, but I remember the onions had a sheen to them.  Since the onions will be baked on the rolls, I don't want to brown the oinons.  I did this the day before.  The book says 4 cups of onions, and that was too much.

My dough really cleaned the bowl!

2.  In the mixing bowl of your mixer,  add the salt, sugar, oil, yeast, and warm water.  Gradually add enough flour, mixing, until you have a dough that holds together.  Usingn anything other than King Arthur flourn is a radical departure for me, but I'm trying to get Mom's bread texture).  Change to the dough hook, and knead together about 10 minutes (3 minutes on a Kitchenaid--special mixing action), or until dough is smooth. 

Before rising

After a 2 hour rise

Place dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

3.  Divide the dough into 10 parts, about 4 ounces each.  Roll or pat out into a circle 1/8 inch thick, about 4 inches in diameter.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Press down in the center, leaving an inch border.  Sprinkle with the onions, poppy seeds, and kosher salt and allow to rise a half hour.

4.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes or until golden.  We enjoyed them almost right out of the oven, with butter melting all over!

The texture was just as I remembered it to be.  The New York Times recipe contains eggs, but I just might stay with this one.  I think I might cut back on the dough, and try a bit of oil on top.

I've been really enjoying these with butter over the past few days.  They are great with soup!

Have you ever enjoyed pletzlach?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Rolls--knotted, roll, and bird rolls

This recipe for Pumpkin Knotted Rolls was chosen by Phyl of the Artisan Bread Bakers Group.  I did make a change to the recipe--I used water instead of milk.

"Dough gone wild!"  I left the house to do something, and came back about an hour after I should have.  This dough really rose:

Different shapes, different toppings:

Instead of just round or knotted rolls, I thought I'd try several shapes.  This sheet has  knotted rolls and bird rolls.  The bird rolls are simply knotted rolls that don't have the ends turned under.  I added currants for the eyes and pumpkin seeds for the beaks.

The next pan contains round rolls, shaped like a mini boule, and single braid rolls:

More bird rolls, so I can practice.  Each roll is 3 ounces of dough.

The finished products:

I put cinnamon and sugar on top of the egg wash for the birds on the left.  The rest had sesame seeds and/or pumpkin seeds.  We will have quite a taste testing!

We had a roll that was topped with sesame and pumpkin seeds for dinner.  It had a nice texture and crumb:

The rolls were slightly sweet, but still very good with our creamy mushroom-dill soup.
We can't wait to try the sweet bird rolls!

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you will leave a comment.  What are your favorite fall rolls?


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Raisin Challah

I did 2 batches of raisin challah dough. I made turban breads, and turned some of the twists into pastry:

First, I made a long "snake" with a "head" at the end.  Holding the snake in my left hand, I wrapped the snake around the head to make a turban.
I bought this Wilton extra large spatula to help me move my breads easier, but found my hands worked better.

Before rising, and on the Silpat:

After rising

Another method of making the turban.  First, make a braid.

Then, wrap the braid into a round loaf.

 Doesn't that braided loaf bake up beautifully?

With the rest of the raisin challah dough, I made "breakfast pastry."  I put almond icing on top, and almonds.  Really yummy, we ate one.  Some have been given as gifts, and I still have some in case we need a gift.  Good thing they are in the outside freezer, or they would be tough to resist.

Well, I've been really busy with the baking, but slow to blog.  Thanks for everyone's help and encouragement!