What a difference time and experience make.
Years ago I bought a bread cookbook that contained some enticing recipes. I made one that was full of dried fruits and nuts.
It was a dud. A veritable lethal weapon.
I was so disappointed. The cookbook went back on the shelf. Occasionally, I'd revisit the recipes, but when I remembered the dud, I'd put it back again.
This month's challenge from the Bread Baking Babes was Shepherd's Bread, and surprise, surprise! it's in my dud-of-a-bread-cookbook!
Well, all those babes can't be wrong, so I retrieved the book, made the appropriate notes, and forged ahead.
Can I tell you that this is one of my all time favorite breads? The flavor is rich, the crumb is beautiful, the staying power is great. I made this loaf one week ago, and it's still good to go.
I only made half a recipe because I don't have two giant pots to use, and this bread is a terrific riser with superb oven spring. I used my 5-quart corning ware pot with lid, lining the bottom with parchment paper to prevent sticking. The whole process went smoothly and the resulting bread was well worth the time and effort.
This is definitely a bread I will make again.
The babe of the month was Karen of Bake My Day. The bread recipe, Shepherd's Bread, can be found in Bread for All Seasons by Beth Hensperger. If you're feeling unusually adventurous, try baking it in an open fire (instructions provided).
There's a good chance now, that I will give this cookbook another try.