Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Heroine

When I made my first white bread a few weeks ago, My Beloved remarked that when he was a boy Pepperidge Farm used to make his favorite whole wheat bread, too, so we got Mrs. Rudkin's book out again and scanned the pages for that recipe.

I received this cookbook as a first-wedding present, back when God was a child, and Margaret Rudkin has been one of my holy trinity of cooks ever since - Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Margaret Rudkin. The publication date is 1963. I've made many recipes from it, mostly traditional Irish recipes and of course the standard white bread, but had never attempted whole wheat bread before.

I have to admit, it wasn't an unqualified success, although the scent of this bread baking surpassed even the heavenly aroma of the white bread. It didn't rise as much as we'd have liked - I either need to give it more time or use more yeast - and the recipe said to bake it for 50 minutes, which is about 15 minutes too long; toasting, the crust burns before the middle is quite ready.

This is dense, serious bread, bread to sustain the family during hard times. It has the flavor My Beloved remembered but our taste is for lighter breads, even in a whole wheat loaf. So, next time I'll do some tweaking to the recipe with apologies to dear Mrs. Rudkin. She's still my heroine but she must have had a cooler oven and a warmer kitchen than I.



Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

ooh real bread, that you have to chew, blissikins.

Thursday, May 15, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, yes, truly chewy and with the specific gravity of lead! :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008  

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