First Time For Everything…Including Breadmaking


I have never ever been able to make bread successfully.  In all the years of trying, my bread has always been too dense, or too hard.  It was so difficult that at one point, I doubted if I would ever be able to make it in my lifetime.  However, thanks to Shanna Ward at Curls and Carrots, I finally managed to make a whiskey egg-bread with some slight modifications to her friend’s challah recipe.

whiskey egg bread

whiskey egg bread

I only did a few modifications, but they weren’t intended.  I was truly intent on following the original recipe, but I remember that Shanna had posted a honey-challah recipe on her blog, and so I wanted to compare and contrast to see if I could somewhat combine the two recipes in hopes of making that Tennessee whiskey bread for the lobster roll I tried two Saturdays ago.

I did get permission to add whiskey to a challah recipe, not wanting to offend her or her religion.  The only part that I took from Shanna’s recipe was to add honey.  So therefore I added a little bit of Irish whiskey in honor of St. Patrick’s Day (which was when I made the bread).  The one thing that I did do differently this time was jack up the heat in my house to about 75-78 degrees.  It was hot.  But I believe this was the right temperature for my bread to rise adequately.  Anyways, I hope that all of these little notes help you get a wonderful bread.  As Shanna mentioned, it is amazing for french toast the next day!


  • 2 pkgs active dry yeast
  • ½ cup hot hot tap water (not instant hot)
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 6 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 tablespoons of Irish whiskey


In a medium-sized bowl, mix the 2 packets of active dry yeast in the 1/2 cup of hot (but not boiling) water after mixing in the 3 tablespoons of honey.  Set aside and let it froth.

honey water

honey water

Sift and pulse/mix the 6 cups of flour, salt, sugar.  Then add the eggs, 1/2 cup of oil and 1 cup of lukewarm water as well as the now frothed yeast mixture.   Mix together on slow speed – if using the Kitchenaid Mixer, use the spiral dough hook on low for a small amount of time. (For me it was approximately 10-15 minutes though).  Five minutes before the end, add in the teaspoons of whiskey.

mixed dough

mixed dough

Add a little bit more flour towards the end (I ended up adding about 1 small coffee cup more but I may actually omit this the next time OR add more oil by 1/2 cup because I want the bread to be a little bit softer for my personal taste).  Then transfer the dough to an oiled bowl.  Cover with a wet cloth, set aside in a warm area, and let it rise for about 2-3 hours. (King Arthur flour advocates that if you have too much flour, the bread will come out very dry and can actually come out fairly dense.  Therefore, less flour is more!) *The dough is going to be very viscous and more soft than say, pizza dough which has more form* 

After the first rise, punch down the dough, cover with a warm cloth and let it rise a second time for 2-3 hours.

punched dough

Pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.

Punch down the dough after the second rise and divide in half to make two loaves of bread.

Grease two bread pans and shape the two halves in each pan respectively.  Let both pans rise for an addition 30-45 minutes.

one regular, one topped with saffron and cinnamon

one regular, one topped with saffron and cinnamon

Brush the top of both loaves with beaten egg.  Bake for 30-45 minutes.  Let cool for 1-2 hours on the side.

baking in the oven

baking in the oven

Tada! And here we have our fabulous and successful first bread baking ever!  Thank you again to Shanna.  If you wanted to check out her blog, you’ll find some amazing recipes at Curls and Carrots!

Until next time…


This entry was published on March 26, 2014 at 21:18. It’s filed under bakings, recipes, The Gastronome and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “First Time For Everything…Including Breadmaking

  1. Vera, This looks amazing. Better than anything I have made… now you’ve got me craving your delicious bread. Saffron and cinnamon?! YUM! 🙂 As soon as we have whiskey in the house again (about seven months from now!) I am making your bread. Have a lovely day, amiga. xx Shanna

    • Allo Shanna! i think you could just add whiskey, cinnamon, and saffron (Expensive bread!) to your honey challah recipe and it will be just as good if not better. May try it again with nutmeg and see how it works. I do tend to think of you when I use my saffron 😉 although I will draw the line at tumeric HAHA. xox*

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