Feel good foods: Harbord Bakery 1kg Sweet Raisin Challah Crown
Anyone who knows me, knows I LUV bread. Not just any kind, but specifically artisan or plain bread (e.g. plain buns from HK or Japanese bakeries, unadulterated by fillings or toppings). Sometimes I have the craving for the incorporation of wheat in my plain breads (if it's artisan, then most always), sometimes some fruit and nuts. On this particular incident I was in Pusateri's giving into a craving for the whole wheat challah from Harbord Bakery (or perhaps a cinnamon raisin bread from Whole Foods if the challah was unavailable). However what greeted me was this: a Sweet Challah Crown, but not just any crown but one studded with RAISINS! Putting together two components together was a HUGE loaf that was around 12 inches in diameter, and over 1 kg (about 2.5lbs) in weight. Debating whether it would be too gluttonous to purchase (as, shamefully, I would have no problem what-so-ever finishing… by the end of this afternoon) I walked around the store a bit (looking for the Bonne Maman Chestnut spread I was hoping to pick up. Unfortunately the store doesn't carry it anymore. Boo! :( ) but finally decided that I was a pretty good girl with the amount of work I had finished this week, which justified a reward to myself (plus I felt a carb-y pick me up for a pretty drab day thus far was warranted). About 30 minutes after purchase, 1/3 of the crown fell prey to my stomach acids (and I was being good and not digging in like I would normally). There's also something therapeutic about the barbaric tearing away at a giant loaf in the comfort of one's home. Mmmm :)
I've always enjoyed Harbord Bakery's challah breads because it is very much like the "pai bao" or "chan bao" (aka sweetened plain dinner buns/rolls) from HK style bakeries. Its taste is consistently not too sweet, its sponge moist, light and fluffy, whereas some of the pai baos I've had are sometimes a little on the drier side and brushed with too much fake butter/oil. Here's hoping that some of that crown sees the lights of tomorrow… for my own health's sake. ;)
Update: 2 hours later... a nub is left. Ooops.
BTW, did I mention that I LUV bread?