Why Does my Challah Taste Soapy?

Why does my challah taste soapy? The Never Cook Naked guys help a reader with a mouthful of suds. It turns out that sometimes things aren’t always as good as they look–like a gorgeous but simpleton date or the dishes you thought you washed properly.

4 silver spoons, a wooden spatula, and a white saucer all covered with suds.

Dear Never Cook Naked Guys: We once made the most beautiful challah, but it tasted like soap. Turns out we’d proofed the dough in a bowl that had been washed but not adequately rinsed. How could something that still looked so yummy taste like a punishment from childhood?—Kibbutz Dropout

Dear Dropout: Have you ever been on a date with a gorgeous guy who turns out to be an idiot? We have. Repeatedly. So we learned pretty quickly that the way something looks is no guarantee of its quality. Else how would divorce attorneys find work?

Cooking is like romance. It’s all about what happens behind the scenes. In affairs of the heart, it’s really not about his house, his clothes, or his car. It’s about his grooming regimen, his showering habits.

Accordingly, with affairs of the stomach, it’s all about the behind-the-scenes prep. An otherwise lovely soup is ruined by chunks of vegetables too big to fit on a spoon. Cakes are destroyed by improper measuring. And you might as well mix shrimp paste into challah if the bowl is shmutsik.

Nothing’s for sure in this life. The best we can do is to cross our “t’s,” dot our “i’s,” see if he’s got a ring around the collar and rinse our mixing bowls thoroughly.

Our very clever, very clothed Never Cook Naked columnists are at your disposal, able to troubleshoot everything from questionable table etiquette to tricky cooking techniques (as well as, natch, proper cooking attire). Curious to learn more solutions to culinary conundrums? Just ask! Drop us a comment below.

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