Apparently when Bathfitter Guy had been at my house two weeks ago, he measured incorrectly and so the custom made shower did not fit and would have to be re-ordered. Re-ordering means waiting another 2 weeks before anything gets done and a big letdown for what started out to be such a promising day. At first I was mildly annoyed at being woken up by the sound of pounding at the door, but that went away when I realized that it was Bathfitter Guy, here to save the day. My calm lasted a mere quarter of an hour before Bathfitter Guy, (after making me move everything away from the shower) announced that there was nothing he could do, the measurements were wrong, see you later. Calm was replaced by exasperation. Was he serious? How dare he get my hopes up only to dash them again! Once Bathfitter Guy and Landlord had gone however, my mood switched from exasperated to sleepy and I realized that at least I could go back to bed, where I promptly forgot that anything was the matter. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
I wouldn’t want to let you down without bringing you back up again and so allow me to present to you the greatest thing since No Knead Bread: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. Jaden of my favourite Steamy Kitchen, brought this book to my attention when she made No Knead Sticky Pecan Caramel Cinnamon Rolls and gave a stellar review of the book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. This book takes the concept of no knead bread, expands it to include over 100 recipes and simplifies it to boot. What more could you ask for? I was sold on the book after seeing that first recipe, but then Jaden went ahead and made No Knead Nutella and Roasted Hazelnut Challah. That was enough to inspire me to make it immediately. And I was not letdown by the results, in fact, it was so good that it was almost as though Bathfitter Guy had returned and said “Just joshing, I’ll install your shower now.” Sadly, that wasn’t the case. But the Nutella and Hazelnut Challah is one of the prettiest loaves of bread I’ve ever made. I almost didn’t want to eat it because I wanted to spend more time basking in its beauty. Then I took one bite and realized that the beauty was doomed to be devoured in seconds. For a moment afterwards, I began to feel letdown again, this time because it was all gone. Then I remembered that the Master Challah Dough recipe makes enough dough for multiple loaves of bread and there was still a large chunk of it resting in the fridge. Will the wonders of this bread never end?! Back to the kitchen I went to create my own recipe for Maple Sugar and Nut Butterflies.
Why did I shape them into deformed butterflies? Because Bread Baking Day #6, (a monthly event that was started by Zorra) is being hosted by Eva of Sweet Sins and she’s chosen Shaped Bread as the theme for this round. I think the braided loaf and butterfly buns certainly qualify. There’s no limit to what you can do with this No Knead Master Challah Dough recipe, so have fun playing around with it. I know I’ll continue to do so. New shower or not, life must go on.
Master Challah Dough (From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois)
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbl instant yeast
1 1/2 tbl kosher salt (1 1/2 tsp table salt)
4 lg eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, water, honey, melted butter, yeast and salt. Stir well with a wooden spoon. Add in the flour. Stir until you don't see any more dry bits of flour. Cover (not airtight) and stick it in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 4 days. The longer you let it sit in the refrigerator, the better tasting the dough will be.
If you want, you can let it rise for 2 hours on the counter, pinch off the dough that you need to make your Challah. However, with only a 2-hour rise, the bread isn't very flavorful. Still good, but definitely not as good as if you had let it sit 1-4 days in the refrigerator.
To see the amazing and simple recipe for the No Knead Nutella and Roasted Hazelnut Challah, visit Jaden’s blog. To make the Maple Sugar and Nut Butterflies, simply roll out a chunk of the Master Challah Dough, spread it with butter and top with maple sugar and nuts, (I used almonds and hazelnuts). See this post on Gattina’s blog, Kitchen Unplugged for shaping instructions, (her recipe is different, but I got the shaping inspiration from her, even though hers turned out much more like butterflies).