Monday Night Martha: Pumpkin Challah Bread

Amy Silverman and I wondered that as we tried to figure out a time to hang out and catch up amid the stress of work, personal obligations, and the holidays. Then we realized that if we tag-teamed some holiday cooking -- over Thai takeout and drinks, chez Amy -- we'd get our socializing in. Then we thought, why not take some photos and blog about it, too? Next thing you know, we came up with Monday Night Martha. (You know which Martha I'm talking about.)

Amy found a great recipe for pumpkin challah bread, and I was definitely game -- I'm a pumpkin fanatic, and for all the baking I've done, I've never actually made bread from scratch. This was perfect.

Also, who needs an electric mixer when you want to build up your biceps? That was my thought as I stirred the dough and Amy continued to add more and more flour. Eventually, my arm cramped up, so Amy dug in and squished it with her hands. Fine by me.

I kneaded the dough, let it rise, and then separated it into two little loaves, following Martha's instructions to a T. Funny, the recipe didn't mention anything about braiding the dough at that point, and I was way too hungry for Thai food to think straight, so I made two round blobs.

By the time Amy realized I'd left out that artistic flourish, the dough had already risen some more, and was ready for the oven.

But I don't have any regrets. When the loaves were done baking, I cracked up as I pulled them out of the oven; they looked just like giant ass cheeks.

Calling Sir Mix-A-Lot! I can't get your damn song out of my head. -- Michele Laudig


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