Would you like to know why? Because I'm going to tell you.
(Please forgive the photo, but I wanted to offer proof!)
I made this bread a few days ago. As in, I came home from the gym, got Shira set up in her kitchen exersaucer (from where she can supervise), and made this most delightful bread. It took about 10 minutes from start to oven, and was cooling on the counter an hour later. And it is with thanks to the internet that our family came to devour this bread.
I started making my own challah a few years ago, though only very sporadically. After a year of classes and meetings and more classes, I had converted to Judaism before Matt and I were married (I was finally a Jew just a few days after Passover 2007). So when I began making challah, my kitchen wasn't filled with recipes passed down from parents and grandparents. I was faced instead with a few Jewish cookbooks and a counter covered in flour, yeast, and honey. Never mind trying to braid it. I was proud of my lumpy bread, and Matt, Alyce and the cats all enjoyed it. But making challah without a community of challah bakers and eaters was a lonely business, and so it didn't happen too often (we had just moved to Delaware, hadn't found a synagogue yet, and didn't know a single person).
There are a lot of reasons that I credit the internet, and blogging community in particular, for changing how I felt about baking my own bread, and how I felt about parenting. I was lonely for some community in so many ways when we first moved here, but discovering the incredible writing of, let's face it, some pretty fantastic blogs, opened up a community for me that I hadn't expected. I was trying really hard to make some in-person friends, but it was the community of parents and cooks and knitters and general life-adventurers that got me through. Oh, I'm just swooning now. Forgive me. If I sound a bit crazy-woman-on-the-interwebs, well, so be it.
But back to bread. I started making challah again because it was showing up again and again on some of my favourite blogs. All of a sudden I have only one recipe to follow, but I got my community of challah bakers, because of course one recipe linked to another, and another, and another, and you see where I'm going with this. If blogs are good at one thing, it's gently pushing you in the direction of twenty other good ideas.
I now make a pretty decent challah. But why stop there? Why not also make this wonderful soda bread, too? And then take a photo of it and share it on your own blog. Interwebs, you've created a monster.
For those of you who observe it, have a wonderful Shabbat! For the rest of you, enjoy the greatest of Friday nights.
P.S. My favourite challah recipe.
P.P.S. The soda bread recipe that you need to make this week. Update: I forgot to add that I had to add more all-purpose flour to get the consistency right. Since I don't have a kitchen scale, it might be just because I had the conversions a bit wrong.