I'm not really into making bread. I feel like I should be weaving poetic yarns about the wonder that is yeast, the therapeutic effects of kneading dough and the satisfaction that comes from baking your very own loaf of bread.
But I just can't.
Every now and then I'll get it in my head that bread needs to be baked. So I'll do it. Half-heartedly. Despite this exertion of effort, it never strikes the same chord as a well-chosen purchased loaf.
My response after baking such bread is more, "well look at that, I made some bread, I'm now totally Martha Stewart" (okay, maybe I don't really think that last part, but we can all dream our dreams) and less, "oh my god, this is so good, definitely worth the time and energy." To be honest, I'm not quite sure why I continue to have at it. I'm pretty sure this is sheer insanity at play.
The one exception, the one that I can enthusiastically undertake, is challah. It is the one bread that makes me think, "yes, yes this is indeed worth it". All rich and subtly sweet, it is difficult to not love. Yet, when I make it, I never feel like I'm letting it reach its fullest potential. I just serve it with some breakfast or dinner with a bit of butter and call it a day.
Rather then letting the challah rolls sulk with their their accompanying condiment of generic unsalted butter, I decided to throw them a bone and turn them into miniature dessert sandwiches with a lavender blueberry sauce and salted chocolate. Served with vanilla ice cream. Blueberries and chocolate are such a fun and under-appreciated combination (I still need to make that tart, it sounds ridiculously amazing). I originally envisioned the two of them mingling in an ice cream sandwich. But structural issues were encountered so I just spooned some vanilla ice cream on top of each bite. This time, the challah became everything it could be - and more.
challah rolls (I like this recipe from Food 52, and just formed them into small rolls instead of a loaf)
unsalted butter to spread on toasted roll
1 square sea salt chocolate (I like Lindt's sea salt chocolate bar)
fleur de sel, optional
serve with vanilla ice cream
For the blueberry sauce:
2 cups blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons red wine
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground lavender
Place all the ingredients for the blueberry sauce in a medium pot over medium-low heat and gently boil, stirring often. Let it cook together for about 5-10 minutes. Let cool.
To make the sliders, slice the roll of challah in half, and toast. Spread the toasted roll with unsalted butter. Place a square of sea salt chocolate, sprinkle more fleur de sel if wanted, and then spread some blueberry sauce on top. Serve with vanilla ice cream.