Thursday, November 09, 2006

The stupidest cooking mistake ever

Okay, fine, maybe not ever. But it was pretty dumb.

I'm making challah. It's Thursday, you know--everybody's doing it, right? I made a double batch, so this is--let's see--eight pounds of organic whole-wheat flour, fourteen from-the-farm eggs with shells that you actually have to whack, five cups of water, two of oil, one of honey, etc. I let it all rise. I braided it--six huge loaves plus a big pan of rolls. I lined the pans up on the counter, right up next to each other so I could sprinkle the seeds on in one fell swoop without making a mess. I reached into the cupboard for the jar of poppyseeds, and went swoop over my challahs.

With the jar of black pepper.

Top me, please. It'll make me feel better.

11 comments:

Sarah said...

My parents always served egg nog with nutmeg sprinkled on top during the holidays, so the first time they ever came to visit me in my very own apartment, during the holiday season, I served egg nog -- with paprika sprinkled on top. I knew it was something red, but I couldn't remember what.

shanna said...

I'm sure I've done far, far worse, but I usually block these things out, so I'll have to consult with Julian for a reminder and get back to you.

shanna said...

Oh, wait, I have one challah-related one...I think maybe it's not quite as bad, since it was my first time making challah, but:

I had a recipe from Miriam (I think I've since passed this along to you). It was for ~5 lb worth of flour. I thought to myself, "Whoa...way too much for a first try. I'll make half this amount." So I dutifully marked down the half-quantities for every ingredient and got to work. Well, it seems that either I forgot to do the math for the water, or else I thought I hadn't added it all at the proofing stage and so added more (I think Miriam told me she didn't put allt he water in at the beginning,a nd that's where I got the idea). Whatever the case, I got to kneading, and had a big sticky mess. So I added more flour. And some more. And then a little bit more. And finally I had more or less the texture I knew I wanted, but I'd added way more flour than I thought I was supposed to. Nothing to do about it then, right? So I let it rise and divided and shaped and baked and ended up with several loaves that were almost, but not quite, water challah. And I hate water challah.

Okay, that's not so bad. Like I said, I know I have worse, I just can't think of anything right now. But I will check all of my spice jars very carefully today, that's for sure.

Maven said...

oh no! that's terrible! i would have cried, mamesh. i type these words as my challah dough is on its first rise now.

i ask you though, 14 eggs? that's a lot! i have an amazing, yummy recipe, 19 cups of flower and only 3 eggs, very yummy. (you can email me if you want it.)

Jacque said...

My neice always requests my homemade pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Well, its not frozen and I mix the ingredients myself (canned pumpkin) but to her, that is homemade. Well.... last year I made her a very special one, just for her, one that she didn't have to share with anyone, in a heart shaped pan and given to her with great fan-fare....

It was special all right, I forgot to add the sugar!

ikkinlala said...

I actually don't think challah would be bad with black pepper, although poppy seeds would definitely have been better.

Muffin&Bear Mom said...

Challah story - made mine...in a rush. Without eggs. Even months later, the Muffin (3) still reminds me to add the eggs.

Jessica said...

oh NO! i've actually done that on top of my scrambled eggs before...they came out blue. but all of your challah...thats horrible!

Amanda said...

My great grandmother once made me cinnamon-sugar toast, but used curry instead of cinnamon.

gack.

miriam p said...

I did the pepper for poppy seeds thing myself, but not on all my challah, since I was planning to sesame seed some of them instead. But I will tell you that when the pepper got used up and I went to buy a new one, I got the short squat boxy kind of pepper jar instead of the one that matched the poppy seeds so well!

I almost completely forgot the salt once, and tried to mix it in to ready-to-shape challah... that was umm, interesting.
(No, it didn't quite work, but a (Russian) Shabbos guest commented that it reminded her more of Russian bread that way, and she liked it.) And we won't discuss the time I completely forgot the eggs...

And for the record, the version I gave Shanna was already cut down, b/c the recipe I received was intended to feed upwards of 150 people. I only feed nine, so cut it had to be... I kept it to ~5 lbs of flour so I could "take challah," though, and I usually wind up freezing one or two loaves. Eventually I can take a week off and just pull some from the freezer instead.

jasmin said...

Well, the first time I tried to make bread -- regular plain white wheaten bread -- I was probably around 14 and didn't have a whole lot of experience cooking so not much of a feel for proportions and ingredients either.

So when the typo in the cookbook said add 2 TABLEspoons of salt, I did...