The bread in the BBA Challenge lineup is challah (Holla!). In my previous bread experiences, I have never met a challah that was particularly memorable. I have never been a fan of their egginess and their fancy shapes and their strange brown crusts. I was not excited about this one. But, my sense of order and rightness wouldn't allow me to skip ahead just because I didn't think I would like this one.
Luckily for me, my penchant for following the rules paid off. This bread was delicious. I loved it! It's slightly dense but pillowy soft and pleasingly chewy. I ate about half the loaf in a day; I just hacked off slices and ate them plain. I have since determined that it is equally dreamy with butter and/or jam. I have the last third of the loaf hoarded in the refrigerator for some serious french toasting this weekend.
I have never braided dough before. I thought it would be a disaster, but it ended up being quite simple - just start in the middle and braid towards the edges to get that tapered effect. The dough itself was very soft and airy; I thought it might float away before i had a chance to shape it. I had so much fun with this that now I want to braid all kinds of food - pasta? marshmallows? long beans? zucchini strips? - oh, the twisty possibilities.