We got a welcome break yesterday from the routine when some friends at church took us for a long drive in the country to see the fall colors -- mostly in Ozark County, a rugged area, where she grew up.
As we passed one place, she pointed and said, “The man who lives there is a banker…”
Richard, sitting next to me in the back seat, thought she had said “…baker,” and piped up
“I love bread. I could eat my way through a bakery.”
I am not sure what she thought about this non sequitur. She didn't say anything, but from what I could see of her face, she was little puzzled and was thinking about how she was going to respond. I quickly told Richard that she had said “banker” instead of “baker” and we had a bit of a laugh, and the conversation veered off into our respective abilities at "hearing" what we thought other people were saying.
But the fact is, he does love bread, and I make a lot of the bread we eat. I occasionally try to create some of the fancy-shaped artisan bread he likes but it seldom works.
I use the same basic recipe and try to put some variety into the shape of the bread – I have a French loaf pan, or I make flat bread in the cast iron skillet, or I use the pizza stone to make pita bread, or I make small round loaves.
Earlier in the week I decided to make Pilgrim’s Bread, which comes from my Mennonite cookbook (but which appears on a number of cooking Web sites) and is not something I ordinarily make for him because it has more oil (I leave the oil out of his bread) and sweetener (I use just enough to keep the yeast happy) which raises the calorie count. It has an interesting texture and flavor, being made with rye flour, corn meal, and wheat flour. I alter the recipe by using sorghum for the sweetener and use all whole wheat flour instead of part white flour.
I had just emptied a large can of peaches into a container and it seemed like it might be a nice size for a small round bread loaf, so I cut out three small loaves, which I thought might turn out sort of like a like giant biscuit. The rest of the dough I made into small “long” loaves.
Richard observed this with some amusement. Offering opinions.
The bread rose nicely but it did not turn out like giant biscuits. It did not hold it shape, but sort of slumped to the side.
Given that the dough was a little dark to begin with, and then I cooked it a little bit too long so it got just a little bit too brown…
When I pulled it out of the oven, well, he began to laugh and for good reason I think…
Not my best moment in the kitchen (although the bread tasted great).