I finally caved and bought a bread machine to make challah. Just a few questions.
1) I've read on these boards that people make more than one batch of dough in the machine and then combine them, and if the quantity is sufficient,, challah can be taken. But won't the first batch already be rising by the time the second is done, and so how can they be combined? Hasn't the first one gotten a "head start" and they will finish rising at different times?
How can you combine them once the rising of the first has started? And if you want to add a third, that prolongs the process even more. I hope I'm making sense.
2) Are rising times specific to recipes? For instance, I'd really like to use Joan Nathan's method which involves 3 risings, one of which can be in the refrigerator. I don't however, necessarily want to use her recipe. Can I use a different recipe which seems more appealing, but use Joan's rising instructions? Some recipes have just a single rising, punch down, rest a few minutes, braid and put in the oven.
3) Has anyone used the bread machine to make dough for sufganiyot? Recipes? What I'd really like to do is make some dough, freeze the already cut and shaped doughnuts, so all I have to do is defrost them and fry. As a secondary question, how much ahead of time can I make them so they're still good for dessert.
I'm having a huge a huge crowd for Channukah/Thanksgiving and I would have to have as much as possible done in advance. This is always a problem for me because I like to serve freshly made food. Except for a few things that age well (soup, stuffed cabbage) I'm always (always!) hanging out in the kitchen while everyone else is in the dining room eating. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.