Red Bean Challah

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I’ve been baking as a hobby for a long time now, since I was eight or so. And it never ceases to amaze me– the transformation that takes place in the oven. My heart still beats a little faster from the excitement as I turn on the oven light to check in on whatever I’m baking. Sometimes I get panicky if I see that something’s overflowing, like a bubbling pie that I forgot to put a tray under, or muffin cups that I’ve eagerly overfilled. Most of the time I can tell that something’s almost done baking… its scent starts to waft through the house.

This challah is a perfect example of that. It came together so fast that I was disappointed it was over already. Literally less than 10 minutes to measure out and combine the ingredients. After that, all the work is done by the mixer to knead the dough, and by the yeast to perform its magic to aerate the dough.

Then you weave and shape the challah– therapeutic, really– and after a transformation in the oven, you’ll quickly be rewarded with a tender, soft, light bread.

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Honey Challah

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If you ask me at any given moment, would I rather live in the past or in the present, I would unfailingly choose the past. My nostalgia can be overwhelmingly hopeless at times… as if I were clutching onto fragile branches of the past, while the currents of now and today are grasping at me, relentlessly pulling me deeper into turbulent water.

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With two unexpected events that occured within the past two months– my grandma’s passing, and my brother’s wedding reception date set– I felt like I’ve been ripped away from what I’ve always known and thrown into the deep. While one is a cause for mourning and the other celebration…neither of those events did I ever expect to happen now. Continue reading →