a beautiful bread?

i’ve been waiting for weeks and weeks, putting it off until i moved and then got settled, to start making bread again. having recently acquired a copy of beautiful breads and bountiful fillings, i was eager to inaugurate my metro-area bread making with a loaf of the concord grape bread. this was mainly inspired by the drool-inducing photographs of two sandwiches in the latter half of the book: the garden of eden, wherein ms. skye piles what seems like the contents of an orchard between two slices of concord grape bread and uses nut butter as the glue; and the grilled raspberry jam sauce with potato chip sandwich, which is exactly what it sounds like.

i’m honestly not sure where i went wrong. to the best of my knowledge, i followed the recipe exactly. it has an interesting ingredient list, going beyond the basics of yeast and flour and salt and encompassing such exotic components as boysenberry yogurt and vanilla soy milk. i chose a dry and calm day for the baking. i had a fresh packet of yeast and the proof gave off that delicious yeasty smell as it fed off the honeyed milk.

so why, then, did the bread fail to rise even when i alloted nearly triple the suggested time? i can think of only two reasons: the first is that i originally placed the bowl of dough in a warmed oven. this conceivably could have killed the yeast. the other--and i think perhaps more likely--reason is that i used the wrong kind of yeast. i like to keep a jar of active dry yeast in the fridge. i never have fresh yeast, and ms. skye does not specify her preference.

at any rate, my result was two loaves of rather flat and uninspiring bread. i dutifully sliced and froze them anyway, hoping that appearances would be deceiving and i had come away with a prize. unfortunately. the next day’s lunch (of the raspberry jam sandwich) was as near inedible as you can get and still be on this side of keeping the contents of your stomach from making a repeat appearance.

i admit that i’m discouraged. i had hoped to spend a few weekends now, early in the summer, making loaves of bread to keep handy for workaday lunches. now it seems a distant fantasy, especially with berry season knocking down the door and me with a pile of recipes i’ve been saving for nearly a year begging for my attention...


Alcie said...

Did you ever remake the Concord Grape Bread?

I made this bread myself and it was a total disaster just like yours.

chanel said...

I also made the concord grape bread and it didnt turn out well. im going to try again and this time half the recipe. I really think she adds way too much flour. its kinda insane.