Friday, April 18, 2014

Bread Pudding in Minutes! (Microwave Recipe)

(Adapted from Microwave Cooking by Sanjeev Kapoor)

This week I decided to post a recipe I have been making over quite a few years...since my little S was born. When Little S was a toddler, I did not have an OTG. I just had a microwave and did lot of microwave cooking too. At that time, hubby dear gifted me a book on microwave cooking by Sanjeev Kapoor. From that book, I learned how to make Gujarati Kadhi and Bhindi Masala in the microwave.

This easy bread pudding was one of those recipes I picked up from that book. The recipe is so simple, and most of the ingredients are generally available at home at all times. As a harried and over-tired full-time working mom of a toddler, this recipe saved my life many times.




It has got the goodness of milk, eggs, and butter. I really do not know any vegetarian alternatives to replace eggs for this recipe. All of these are nutritious for growing children.

Here is the simple recipe:

Ingredients:

Milk: Half liter (Any type of milk. I used toned milk. You can use full-cream milk too.)
Eggs: 2
Sugar: 3 and a half tablespoons (add more according to taste)
Bread: 3-4 slices
Butter: 2 tablepsoons
Vanilla essence: 1 and a half teaspoon

For decoration:
Cashews and raisins: a handful
Tutti-fruiti: 1 tsp

Process:

1. Boil the milk and add sugar to the scalding hot milk. Adding sugar to the scalding milk enables easy mixing of the sugar. You can add more sugar to make it sweeter. I just love my bread pudding mildly sweet.
2. Tear the bread into pieces with your hands and dunk the pieces in the milk. You need not cut the pieces with a knife. The best part of this recipe is that you can use stale bread for this recipe too!
3. Let the bread pieces soak in the milk till the milk cools to room temperature.
4. Once the milk has cooled, add the eggs, vanilla essence, and butter. Mix well with a spoon. Pour Tutti fruit and raisins on top.

5. Pour the mixture into a microwave dish and place it inside the microwave. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 10 minutes.

6. After 10 minutes are over, let it sit inside the microwave for 5 more minutes. This standing time is vital.
7. Take the pudding out of the microwave. Let is cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours. Serve topped with chocolate sauce.





Enjoy! Your children will love it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tete-a-tete with Celebrity French Chef Marc Thuet

Thanks to the Kolkata Food Bloggers, I was invited to a meeting with the celebrity French chef Marc Thuet at The Hub, Taj Bengal. It was a blistering hot afternoon, when I reached the Taj. There were butterflies in my stomach....I was so nervous!

The Taj Bengal

Firstly, I had never met a celebrity chef before (only seen them on TV) and second I had limited knowledge about French food. According to me, French food is light on taste and uses lot of cheese. Now I like my food spicy, hot, and tangy. But I was in for surprises....

After settling in and saying all the "how-do-yous" we met Biana Zorich, Chef Marc's lovely wife and business partner. She broke the ice pretty fast and very soon we were all chatting away merrily. She educated me about the fact that French food is lighter on spices but uses the freshest of ingredients. All the meat and vegetables have to be absolutely fresh to bring out the subtle flavors. The use of cheese (especially goat cheese) gives a delicate flavor to the dishes that needs to be savored.

Chef Marc Thuet and Biana Zorich
Soon after, we were served the soup. The soup was a cold soup called "Cold Cucumber Soup with Goat Cheese and Sun-dried Tomatoes". The soup was really refreshing since it was deliciously cool and flavoured with mint with a generous drizzle of olive oil. There were chunks of soft goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, that gave a yummy texture to the soup. I loved it!


Cold Cucumber Soup with Goat Cheese and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Next up was the classic French Baguette. Being a bread enthusiast, I was beaming with happiness to taste this classic bread. It's now on my bookmarked list! The baguette is a sourdough bread and the yeast used in this bread is made from a culture that the Chef had carried all the way from Canada! The best way to eat a baguette is to dip a piece in olive oil and pop it into your mouth. The crusty exterior and the pillow soft interior, is what a baguette is famous for!


French Baguette with Olive Oil
The main course started off with the "Cured Quebec Duck Magret, Sweet Water Prawns, Black Cumin Caramel and Mango". This dish beautiful in appearance and taste. I will do the picture do all the talking.


Cured Quebec Duck Magret, Sweet Water Prawns, 
Black Cumin Caramel and Mango
This was followed by the "Gremolata Crusted Lamb Rack, Basil, and Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes". This dish was Wow! At the first look, I though that perhaps the lamb meat was rare done. When I bit into the meat, I was pleasantly surprised. The meat was tender and juicy with a hint of freshly crushed pepper. 


Gremolata Crusted Lamb Rack, Basil, and Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
For those who are sea-food allergic, Biana asked for a special dish "Cured Duck with Parmesan Shavings and Rocket Leaves". Here it is:

Cured Duck with Parmesan Shavings and Rocket Leaves
The masterpiece of the entire meal was the Risotto. This was "Wild Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan Shavings". Frankly, I am not an ardent Risotto fan, but this was something special. The rice was al-dente (meaning not fully cooked) and cooked in a creamy, cheesy sauce. The taste was like a childhood comfort food. I loved it so much that I polished it off the plate before I could click any pictures!

The desserts were exquisite and to-die for. There was "Chocolate Caramel Mousse Verrine with Sea Salt Crumble" and "Saffron Tartlet with Golden Peach and Alphonso Compote, Maple Syrup and Walnut Crumble". The mousse had combined the taste of chocolate with sea-salt and slight bitterness...but it was unforgettable. The Tartlet was fruity and delicate in flavour.


While we were savoring the desserts, the Chef came out to meet us. Big, blonde, with a powerful voice, Chef Marc Thuet is a personality to remember. His arms were tattooed till the elbow and a pair of shades rest on his blonde hair. The Chef is a fourth-generation chef who began his apprenticeship in his uncle's restaurant at the age of twelve. Born in Alsace, France, Chef Marc is currently based in Canada. He has appeared in reality television series "Conviction Kitchen" where he trains twelve ex-cons to run a restaurant in Vancouver. The Chef believes in using solely organic and fresh ingredients.

Interestingly, he told us that he had chalked up a menu in Canada which he promptly discarded after arriving in Kolkata. The reason? The temperature in Canada was minus 20 degrees C whereas in Kolkata it is 38 degrees C! He then decided upon a menu that would be suitable to the taste, palate, and weather conditions in Kolkata. Here is a sneak-peek into the menu:


It was wonderful talking to the Chef and learning the differences between French and Indian cuisine.


Chatting with the Chef
I came away with a very satisfied feel. The food was light, non-spicy, and easy on the stomach. 

The French Culinary Experience is part of the International Vine and Food Festival being held at Taj Bengal. You can catch lunch or dinner till the 18th of April 2014, for INR 2500 (plus taxes) for two. Don't miss it!

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Luscious Bengali Cheesecake: Bhapa Doi

(Adapted from Bhapa Doi Recipe on Allrecipes.co.in and Bhapa Doi: Steamed Sweet Yoghurt on PreeOccupied)

Bengalis love doi (curd) in all forms. Whether its the plain unsweetened doi/dahi or the gorgeous coffee colored mishti doi..its doi all the way! Dahi also forms an integral part of the Bengali cuisine because many dishes require dahi as a major ingredient such as Doi Maach. After every lip-smacking Sunday meal, the true-blue Bong will look forward to a small pot of chilled mishti doi in summers. Last year, both my dad and my hubby had boycotted me because I forgot to arrange for mishti doi for the special Jamai Shoshti meal!

This time the Kolkata Food Bloggers had come up with the interesting event for Poila Boisakh (the Bengali New Year's day). The challenge was to cook a typical Bengali dish, but the catch was that it had to be vegetarian. This is truly a challenge for me, because most of my favorite dishes fall into the non-veg category. I was at the verge of tearing my hair when hubby-man suggested that I should try to make Bhapa Doi (bh-aaa-paaa do-ee) for this event. And Bhapa Doi it is! :)






I got two wonderful recipes from here and here. My recipe is a mix and match of both.


Here is how I made it:

Ingredients:

Dahi/Doi/Yoghurt: 1 cup (plain unsweetened)
Milk: 1 cup (I used full cream.)
Condensed milk: 1 tin
Green cardamom: 2 pods (powdered)

For decoration:
Raisins: A handful
Pistachios: 5-6 (chopped)
Tutti-Fruti: 1 tablespoon (optional)

Process:

1. Beat the curd well till there are no lumps. The curd should be thick. If you feel that the curd is watery, hang it up in a muslin cloth for two hours to get rid of the whey.
2. Add milk and condensed milk. Beat the mixture well. Add the powdered green cardamom. (I did not add green cardamom because I did not have it around.)
3. Pour the mixture into six ramekins.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. 
5. Place the ramekins on a baking tray. Pour scalding hot water in the tray taking care that the water should not spill into the ramekins. (Its very important to use hot water. If you use cold water, your cooking time will increase.)The tray should be 3/4th filled with hot water.
6. Bake for 35 minutes. When the bhapa doi inside the ramekins appears set, take it out of the oven. In case the mixture is not set, bake for 10 more minutes. Cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours. For best results refrigerate overnight. And this recipe does not require gelatin or agar-agar. Once you refrigerate the ramekins adequately, you can de-mold without any crumbling.
You can also make bhapa doi in the pressure cooker. Just steam the mixture in a tight fitted steel container with lid. Steam without the weight for nearly 20-25 minutes. You can also steam the mixture in a steamer for 35 minutes on the gas.
7. Serve chilled topped with some more raisins or tutti fruti. You also also top with mango slices.



Enjoy!

I am sending this recipe for the ongoing event at the Kolkata Food Bloggers "Poila Boishakh with Veg Bengali Dishes".



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Restaurant Review: Dilligate

Recently, I got a e-mail invite to attend the launch of new restaurant called Dilligate as a member of the Kolkata Food Bloggers. Initially, I was a bit hesitant to go without my family, especially my little S, who loves eating out. Due my hubby's constant encouragement and some prodding, I just decided to take the plunge and go ahead.


Dilligate Deluxe Restaurant
Address:
29/8, Dr Ambedkar Sarani, Topsia EM Bypass Crossing
Kolkata - 700046
Pocket Pinch (for 2 people): Rs 500-600 approx

When I entered the venue, it was pleasantly spacious and cool. The ambiance was soothing with low lighting. Being my first time, I was quite nervous. I was met at the door by the smiling PR personnel who escorted me inside. There I met Manjari (Chowdhury), my fellow KFBian and we got chatting with each other. It was also nice to meet fellow blogger Poorna Banerjee.

In the meantime, the starters were being served. I tasted the Hara Bhara Kebab (INR 145) and Crispy Chilly Baby Corn (INR 140).


The Crispy Chilly Babycorn lived up to its name by being crispy but was a bit more than my taste. But the Hara Bhara Kebab was just right. It was soft, flavorful, and tasted just right accompanied by the aromatic green chutney.

After tasting the succulent starters we got chatting with one of the Directors of the joint, who was a pretty, young lady. She told us that Dilligate restaurant has been founded by Manish Singh, who is a Food Consultant (and the Director of the Dhanoa Group) and Mukesh Agarwal, Director at Rajami Retail Pvt Ltd. Dilligate has been conceived keeping in mind that today every person wants good quality food within a comfortable budget. So, at this joint you can have a decent meal with 500-600 INR.

The Menu
Also, it is a multi-cuisine restaurant, so in her words, "If a group of 5 people come for a meal and order 5 different types of food, they can have it all under one roof at Dilligate". You get some lovely North Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, and Continental food all under one roof, here.

The street food of Kolkata also features prominently on the menu. The Dilligate Special Mughai Paratha is worth mentioning. You also get a wide variety of kathi rolls with different fillings such as chicken, mutton, aloo, and paneer. Cheese spinach rolls are a signature dish.

Sheekh Kebabs, Drums of Heaven, Spinach Cheese Roll, and Chicken Biryani.(clockwise)

By this time, the main course was ready! One look at the entire spread, and I was about to faint! I mean there were: Mughlai, Chinese, and Continental dishes in a buffet spread. I was in a real quandary what to eat and what not to eat? Even if I sampled a spoonful of every dish, they would have to widen the doorway for me!

Finally, I settled for Fish in Coriander Sauce (INR 215), Stir Fry Garlic Pepper Chicken with Exotic Vegetables (INR 175), Veg Fried Rice (INR 110), and Noodles Salad.

My plate! :)

The hubby man tells me to never go for Chinese food in a multi-cuisine restaurant. But I can vouch for the Chinese food. It was yum! Super yum! Light, non-oily, and the taste was just right.

Another dish that became the universal favorite among all the guest were the mutton dishes. They were well cooked. I sampled just a teeny-weeny bit, but it was spicy..way too spicy for me!






Also, a special mention for the Malai Kofta (INR 175).



The desserts that I sampled were Darsan (INR 120) and mini Gulabjamuns. The Darsan was crunchy and mildly sweet so it appealed to my taste buds.

One more special mention. I loved the cheeky and quirky pictures that were used as wall decorations. One says "Eat, Sleep..., Bhangra!" I liked this one too much! Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith as The Paranthe Kid!



The seating was done up in green and the sofas were pretty comfy. The music played old Bollywood songs that gave a 'Delhi-wala' feel!




After the meal, I left with a very satisfied and pleasant feeling in my heart. I am definitely coming back with my family for a cozy meal. Super-like!

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Healthy Snack: Khaman Dhokla

(Adapted from Nylon Khaman Dhokla by Tarla Dalal and Besan ka Dhokla by nishamadhulika.com)

The hubby-man is extremely fond of eating Khaman Dhokla. Whenever, we eat some snacks outside, he is sure to order Dhokla. One time, he got a packet of Dhokla mix. After cajoling me several times (and not getting any response), he tried to steam Dhokla batter in my idli molds. The mini-Dhoklas turned into hard crunchy biscuits! This has become the standing joke in the family, but since then he has nursed a grudge against me that I just do not take any pains to make food that I don't have any affinity to.

The ongoing online event at KFB, "East or West, Food is the Best" caught me offguard. I no clue about any food from the wetsern, central, or eastern part of India, barring our dear Bengali food. Suddenly, it dawned upon me that I should try out Khaman Dhokla for this event and please my long-suffering hubby-man too!



Khaman Dhokla is a Gujarati snack. Being a steamed, non-fried dish, it is low on calories and uses very less oil. Its also purely vegetarian and simple to make. I got a lovely recipe from Tarla Dalal's website here. She calls it the Nylon Khaman Dhokla. Don't be turned of by the name! These Dhoklas are so soft and spongy that the reference is apt. I also got a recipe from nishamadhulika.com here.

I actually did some mix and match from both these recipes.

Here is how I made it:

Ingredients:

Besan: 1 cup
Sooji/Semolina: 1 and a half tbsp
Ginger and green chilli paste: 1 teaspoon
Eno fruit salt: 2 tsp
Sugar: 4 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
Oil: 1and a half tsp

For tempering/tadka:

Black mustard seeds/Rai: 1 tsp
White sesame seeds/ Til: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 3-4 (slit longitudinally)
Curry leaves: 3-4 chopped
Asafoetida/ Hing: a pinch
Sugar: 1 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tsp (optional)
Water: 1/2 cup
Oil: 1and a half tsp 

For decoration:

Coriander (chopped fine): a handful
Grated coconut (optional)

Process:

1. In a bowl, mix besan, sooji, ginger-chilli paste, salt, sugar, and lemon juice. 


2. Add half a cup of water and mix till lump-free. You can add more water, but the mix should not be thin and runy. Batter should be thick like cake batter. Add a fistful more besan if the batter appears runny.


3.In the meantime, add two glasses of water inside the steamer and put it on the gas. Grease a thali/baking tray with oil. Luckily for me, my cake tin fit snugly inside my steamer!
4. Add the Eno fruit salt into the batter and immediately pour the batter into the tin. Remember to add the Eno fruit salt immediately before you put the batter for steaming.
5.By this time,the water inside will be boiling. Place the tin containing batter in the steamer and close the lid.



5. Steam the batter for 15-20 minutes on medium flame. Avoid lowering the flame to the minimum (simmer) because then the Dhokla will not rise. Medium flame works best! I had to steam for complete 20 minutes. Having some batter left, I poured it in another greased cake tin and steamed it inside the pressure cooker for 10-12 minutes. Remember to remove the weight from the pressure cooker lid before steaming.

6. After 20 minutes, open the lid of the steamer. Insert a knife into the Dhokla. If the knife comes out clean, your Dhokla is done. Keep aside to cool.



7. After the some time, de-mold the Dhokla from the tin. If the Dhokla has steamed properly, it will de-mold easily without breaking. Cut it into shapes of your choice, I cut it into squares.

Just loved the soft and spongy consistency!

Tempering/Tadka:

1. Heat about 1 and a half tsp of oil in a pan.
2. Add all the tempering items and let the mustard seeds sputter.
3. Add half a cup of water in the pan. Next add sugar and salt. Let the mixture simmer for 1-2 minutes.
4. Take off the flame and add lemon juice.
5. Just before serving, pour the tempering mixture on the Dhoklas with a spoon. Decorate with chopped coriander and grated coconut. I didn't have coconut, so I used chopped coriander.
6. Serve warm with green chutney! 

Enjoy home-made, healthy Dhoklas for breakfast or an anytime snack.

I am sending this recipe for the KFB ongoing event "East or West, Food is the Best".


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The No-Grind Dosa Batter!

(Adapted from Edible Garden: Dosa Batter With Urad Flour & Rice Flour (No-Grind Dosa Batter Recipe))


Idlis and dosas are one of my most favorite vegetarian food. Once a week, I cursorily have a vegetarian day. This is quite a feat for a fishivorous me! The designated day being Saturday, I start having strong cravings for crispy, crunchy dosas. Masala dosas are superhit any day with me and my hubby man.


Recently, I came across a very easy breakfast dish called Appe. Appe is mostly a breakfast dish from the coastal regions of South India. These small fried dumplings can be made from dosa batter.




Appes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. My little S really loves them! I even went ahead and bought a Appe Patra to make them.

This Friday, I was all geared up to make dosa batter, when my mixer/grinder conked off! Sorely disappointed, I turned to the Net for some solution.
Lo and behold! I found a recipe for instant dosa batter using rice flour and urad dal flour on my fave blog Edible Garden. I found the recipe here. I also got another recipe from my super-talented friend Dassana's blog. You can find her recipe here.

This recipe is excellent for people who do not have a mixer/wet grinder. Or those like me who are too lazy and want a shortcut route to good dosa batter!

So, here goes the recipe:

For the dosa batter:

Rice flour: 3 cups
Urad dal flour: 1 cup
Salt: 2 tsp (adjust to taste)
Sesame oil/refined oil: 3-4 tsp approx

Procedure (for preparing Rice Appes):

1.  Mix the urad dal and rice flour in a deep-bottom bowl. I used a stainless steeel bowl.
2. Add salt. Add enough water to make a lump-free batter. Keep covered in a warm/dry place for 8-10 hours/overnight. (I kept the bowl in my microwave.)
3. Next morning, take the batter out from the microwave. The batter will appear puffed up and there will be bubbles on the surface.


4. Now is the time to take out your Appe Patra. Here is mine:

 5. Grease the Appe Patra with oil. Light the gas and keep the patra on the flame. After the pan heats up, add spoonfuls of the batter in each mould. Lower the flame and keep covered.

 6. After 10-12 minutes, remove the cover. The undersides of the appes will appear golden-brown. Turn the appes using a fork so that the other side cooks as well.

7. Once both the sides have cooked well and appear golden-brown, remove the appes and place them on a plate. Savour these crunchy delicacies with any chutney of your choice. We had it with home-made onion-tomato chutney. My hubby added some sour curd to the chutney to give it a creamy consistency. 15 minutes from the pan to your table!





Now, for the dosa recipe. Here goes:

Ingredients:

For the potato stuffing:

2 big potatoes: boiled, peeled, mashed
1 onion: chopped
1 tomato: chopped
I small carrot: diced into small pieces
Ginger paste: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric: a pinch
Chilli powder: 1/4th tsp
Juice of a lemon: 1 tsp

For the tadka/tempering:
Black mustard seeds: a pinch
Curry leaves: 4-5
Green chilli: 1
Arhar/Toor dal: 1/2 tsp 
Refined oil: 1 tsp

For the dosa: 

Dosa batter: 2cups (recipe given above)
Oil for frying

Procedure:

 1. Heat oil in a a non-stick pan. Add the tempering items. When you get a delicious aroma of the curry leaves, add onion. Stir for a while till the onions turn pink. Add the ginger paste and stir fry for a bit.
2. Add the carrots and tomatoes. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

3. Now add the mashed potatoes. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, and salt. Stir for a minute.
4. Add 1/4th cup water and let the curry simmer for a while. When the water dries up, add lime juice and remove from flame. Set aside to cool.
5. To prepare the dosa, heat a griddle/non-stick dosa pan. Rub with the half slice of an onion dipped in oil. This will grease the pan and leave a delicious aroma of the onion.
6. Add a ladle-full of batter in the middle of the pan. Spread in a circle using the back side of your ladle.  Drizzle oil on the dosa.


 Note: You can add water in order to thin the batter further. I added water to this batter and I had a bad time because the dosa stuck to the pan! However, when I used the batter as it is, no sticking! In case the dosa sticks to the pan, add a fistful of rice flour to the batter and mix it till lump-free. Your dosa will never stick to the pan!

 7. When the dosa turns brown towards the edges, try to flip the dosa to the other side. When both sides have cooked, add a spoonful of the potato stuffing in the center of the dosa.

8. Fold the dosa in two, like an omlette. Serve hot with your fave chutney and sambhar. We just had it with onion-tomato chutney.


Enjoy piping hot! You can store this easy-peasy batter in the fridge for a couple of days! :)



Friday, February 28, 2014

Braided Bread

(Adapted from theKitchn: How to make Challah Bread) 

 
The month of February is possibly everyone's favorite month of the year. The severe chill of harsh winters mellows down to a soft chill in the air. You get more sunshiny days, more holidays and the very soul bursts out in jubilation that its Spring! Spring! Spring!
 
Winters are always the time to dine well. That is not to say that one does not eat well in summers. Somehow, the winters for me (and my family) are always synonymous with lovely soups, crunchy home-made bread, succulent roasted chicken, and dreamy "oh-so-melt-in-the-mouth" cakes! Ummmmm!
 
So before the winter finally bids goodbye, I decided to crank up my oven and bake a braided bread that I had bookmarked for a long, long, time. The Bread # 14 February challenge on the We Knead to Bake Group was to bake a bread of one's own choice. All the more reason for me to go right ahead and bake this beautiful braided challah bread.
 
 
 
The challah is basically a Jewish bread that is baked on Hanukkah. For the Jewish high holidays, this bread is wound into a circle after braiding that gives a lovely braided bun. The recipe contains eggs. But this bread does not have any dairy products like milk or butter as per Jewish traditions.
 
Nonetheless, you will get a super-soft, sweet bread that complements any meat dish. I got the recipe here.
 
Here is how I made it:
 

Ingredients:

Instant yeast: 2 tsp
Warm water: 1 cup
All-purpose flour: 4 -41/2 cups
White granulated sugar: 1/4th cup
Salt: 2 tsp
Eggs: 2
1 large egg yolk
Oil: 1/4th cup
 
For egg-wash:
One egg white mixed with 1/2 cup water
 

Process:

1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water and add a healthy pinch of sugar. Keep undisturbed for a few minutes. After several minutes, you can see a frothy layer on top of the yeast mixture. This signifies that the yeast is active.
2. Mix flour, sugar, salt in a bowl.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the eggs, egg yolk, and oil. Now start mixing the dough with hands or using the dough hook in a stand mixer.
4. When the dough is firm, smooth and springs back on punching down, it is ready. Place dough in a deep-bottom pan and keep covered with cling film or a kitchen towel in a dry, warm place.
Dough before rising
 
5. After 1 and a half to 2 hours the dough will rise to double its size.
Dough after rising
6. Separate the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll out on a working surface dusted with some dry flour. Each piece should look like a long rope with 1/2 inch thickness.
 
3 of the ropes
7. Gather the ropes and squeeze them together at the very top. If you want to braid a three-strand challah, braid it like one braids hair. For a six stranded challah, visit this link to view the step-by-step process of braiding.
 
 
Here are some pictures of the braiding process:
 


 
 
8. Once you finish braiding, tuck the loose ends under the loaf and pinch to seal the edges.
 
 
 
 9. Line a baking tray with butter paper. Grease with oil or dust with some dry flour. Place the braided loaf on the tray and cover with a kitchen towel. Keep in a warm, dry place for 20 minutes.
 
10. After 20 minutes the loaf will rise and appear puffed up. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F or 176 degrees C for about 20 minutes.
11. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on the loaf and apply the egg-wash all over the loaf carefully. Each nook and crevice should be covered with egg wash. Place the loaf in pre-heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. You may rotate the tray half-way during baking time, to enable uniform baking.
12. Take the challah out of the oven. If the braided loaf is uniformly brown on all sides, it is done!
13. Cool the loaf to room temperature before slicing. Enjoy!