Homemade Challah breadHomemade Challah breadHomemade Challah bread
Today I am sharing this recipe for the traditional Jewish egg bread, Challah. I will be the first to admit that when I first read the name, long back, I pronounced the “ch” in challah bread how you pronounce it in “chart”. I must have heard someone say it “Halla” and thats when I corrected myself. If you are not sure how to pronounce Challah bread, check it out here.

Baking Challah bread at home has always been on my wish list. I think its the braiding that has always caught my attention and with easter only a week away I thought it would be perfect to have a go at one of the prettiest shaped breads I know.

It also gave me the opportunity to finally bake from the Hot Bread Kitchen cookbook that I have had on my shelf for a while. This recipe for whole wheat challah bread is from there.

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Herb infused olive oil

Today I am sharing this easy recipe for Herb infused Olive Oil.

I remember a few years back I went to this restaurant in Delhi. I can not recollect the name of the place (I am growing old), but what I remember is the big basket of assorted bread and the bottle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that they kept before our meal was served. That moment is when my love affair with dipping bread in olive oil started.

When I was in the US, the days when I wanted a quick snack, I would take a nice crusty loaf of bread and serve it with some herb oil. This herb oil recipe that I first used to make focaccia has been a favorite in my kitchen. Its a great way to use up all the fresh herbs that are growing in the garden or when you have extra from the store after using it in a particular recipe, which I always did.

Don’t have fresh herbs? You can use dried and still get great results.

Use this herb oil recipe to make focaccia; or as a dipping oil for your baguette. The herb infused olive oil also does well as a salad dressing or  you can use it to drizzle over your pasta. Looking for favor ideas for your wedding? Herb infused olive oil bottles are an elegant gift to give your guests.

Since there are not too many ingredients- make sure you use the best. You want the herb flavor to be more pronounced, so there is no need to use extra virgin olive oil. Make sure to wash all the herbs going into your oil and let them dry as much as possible, preferably overnight. This will decrease the risk of bacteria growth.

There are two ways to go about infusing the olive oil. You could go the slow way and cover all your herbs with olive oil in a sealed bottle and let sit in a dark place for 1-2 weeks. Or you could heat your olive oil to 100 F and then add all your ingredients to let infuse. This makes the oil infuse more quickly and you can enjoy the benefits of this simple yet flavorful recipe.

This recipe is adapted from the gorgeous  Bread Baker’s Apprentice cookbook by Peter Reinhart .

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Sweet Tahini buns or halva buns are a Turkish bread made from tahini, brown sugar and pastry dough.

Sweet Tahini Buns

If you know me I am a cookbook hoarder. And whenever I get a new cookbook I love going through it, oggling at the pictures, making mental notes of what I want to make from them and getting inspired. I have a fairly good collection of cookbooks and put a lot of thought before picking a cookbook out. Recently I got to a review copy for Food with Friends by Leela Cyd. I love cookbooks with beautiful pictures (well, you do eat with your eyes first, don’t you) and this one doesn’t disappoint at all. Each recipe is accompanied with perfectly styled photographs, tempting me to bookmark each and every recipe.

“Leela Cyd is from Santa Barbara, California. She is a lifestyle and food photographer, shooting for editorial clients such as Sweet Paul magazine, Kinfolk and Conde Nast Traveler. Food with Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings focuses on accessible, quick and joyful food to share.”

At a very young Leela traveled  with her photographer dad as an assistant visiting countries like Spain, Morocco, Laos, Myanmar and South India, and you can find a lot of influence from her travels in the recipes that she shares in her cookbook, which is what I love about this cookbook.

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