Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb

The Sacred KA

That's what people on TWoP call the always color-coordinated KitchenAid stand mixers that lurk in the corner of Sandra Lee's counter (there's one in a lovely shade of lavender, for example, and I could covet the copper one.) Why are they "sacred"? Because she never uses them - preferring a hand-mixer or a different brand of stand mixer. They're clearly part of the day-cor.

*My* KA has been even more sacred than that. It's been in its original, unopened box for six years or more, since my mother-in-law bought it for me. I don't bake, after all, so why take it out?

Today, we dug it out and opened the box (oh, no! It's no longer a collector's item!) and I made a batch of bread with it. I'd made the poolish (you lesser, untrained folks might call it a "sponge" or a "sourdough" - they're all the same thing. The only variation is whether one has put in salt or not. With salt is a "biga", according to Chef Mark. Salt and yeast don't like each other, so he prefers a poolish. It's basically equal parts flour and water with a pinch of dry yeast that you let sit out overnight.)

And now there is about two pounds or so of dough sitting on my stove rising. Not enough to take challah(*) at all, let alone with a bracha.

If this works out, next batch of bread will be larger since it's all about the same work, and then I can take challah.

(*)Challah has two definitions. One is a braided brioche-like bread used for Shabbos and to make the best french toast. The other is more technical - one is supposed to tithe a certain percentage to the priestly caste. Since this is a Torah requirement, there is a blessing, a bracha, to be said, even if these days the piece of dough is destroyed. However, the percentage is so small that one needs a large amount of dough - the dough from 5 lbs of flour. One can separate from a smaller amount of dough, but without a bracha, and below that (below 2.5 pounds), one does nothing. I used about a pound of flour.

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