Sunday, May 27, 2012

BBB Buddy: Shepherd's Bread

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.

Until recently.  

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.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Time and experience ... really! Dare I say it, this is simply the very best kind of story! The very best. It's why I love baking bread. It's why I love trying a recipe. (Right, it is why!)
This is certainly not in the lethal weapon category.
Oven spring yes ... but only when done in the covered pot.
Gorgeous gorgeous loaf.

Karen Baking Soda said...

I know what you mean; there are a few books in my house that have a dud trigger for me. And eh... this is one of them! LOL did you ever try the Bourbon dinner rolls? That was my dud (oh help it's all coming back now haha)

It looks gorgeous and so well risen!

Elizabeth said...

I hate that when that happens! And bread being full of dried fruits and nuts sounds so wonderful - interesting that one of the last dried fruits and nuts loaves of bread I made was also a doorstop - hmmmmm. How fortuitous that you didn't throw the book away in a rage (I might do something like that...). Are you going to try making the fruit and nut one again? I can't wait to hear if it works!

How fantastic that THIS bread worked for you. And how. It's beautiful. (I just can't get over the oven spring on the Shepherd bread.)

Many thanks for baking with us once again.