Saturday, October 31, 2009

Master BREAD BAKER Strikes Again

Last night, Jackie and I was invited out to dinner at a friend's house. Of course, I was reminded to double check my 4 Steps To Being a GOOD GUEST post that I ranted and raved about a few weeks ago (for a reminder, click HERE). So, I called ahead, found out what the hostess had in mind and made an offer to bring something. She had planned a dip and chips, Lasagna and salad, along with a dessert. All that was missing was...


So, I followed my second step to being a good guest, and offered to bring a loaf of bread. My hostess agreed, and whoo whoo... I got to make another loaf of bread. Now, I only have one success under my belt, but it was very successful. So, I used my one and only recipe for FUGASSE BREAD that you can find by clicking HERE.

Now, if you happen to double check that post (which you will need in order to see the recipe, easy to follow, and no need to reprint again so soon as it's already out there), you notice that the above loaf does not look anything like my original loaf. Well, you can blame Wandering Coyote from RETORTE for the new look of my one and only bread recipe. In my comment section, she mentioned "traditional Fougasse shape". So, I did some checking, and found out that as visually appealing a big hunk of bread was (to me), there were more options to shaping this recipe other than a ball. Still wasn't willing to use the shape of the traditional Fougasse, but I was inspired to see what I could do...

Here's what I did...

A long snake! That I twisted into a more interesting shape (still not traditional, I'm not a traditional kind of guy).

OK, I got a little tip for you (Master Baker's like to pass on tips)... I carry my insulation around with me, so as President Ford suggested back in 1974, in order to create oil import independence (thank god we paid attention back then so future generations would not be stuck with that burden), I keep my heat set at a lower temperature than average (I am comfortable at 60 to 65). The recipe suggests during the second rise to cover and let it sit in a warm spot. Well, I had no warm spots in my house, so I started pre-heating the oven and set the bread on top of the stove, covered it and was STUNNED at how much it rose!

I sprinkled some more cheese so that it would be pretty, and some sea salt so it would be tasty. I baked as suggested in the original recipe...

And everybody... OHHH AHHHH

So, some things I learned... This recipe works great for shaping bread. HMMM, I wonder what else I can shape this as??? And, oh yeah, I altered the recipe just a bit, by adding a finely diced jalapeno pepper. Added a lot to the taste.

This was very well received, as I followed my other three rules, I was on time, appropriate for the event, and brought a bottle of wine. My mother would have been proud, and a great fun time was had by all.

I have another party to go to tonight (spend a summer cooking meat for friends, and suddenly you are on a bunch of folks invite list). This is kind of a neighborhood tradition, when our fun neighbors, Tom and Lucia host the post trick or treat wienie roast. About 8:30, we all shut off the porch lights, blow out the punkin candles and meet in their back yard with their firepit and our weenie sticks... And a surprise or two... One of which I will blog about tomorrow, the other is...

This work of culinary art in the making...

While the first twistybread was cooking, I started making my art project... Two circles, and a couple of bone shapes, and let them rise on the top of the stove...

Skipping ahead, cause I forgot to take more photos in between, I took the smaller of the two circles, turned it upside down, and put the larger of the two circles on top of the bottom of the first... Kind of looks like a cauldron doesn't it???

Tonight, I will fill the little bowl with some marinara dipping sauce (looks like blood), And I will need a couple more bowls of dipping sauce. Once people ohhh and ahhh, I will disassemble, tear the bread into manageable chunks, and let the natives go wild! Use your mind's eye to imagine the Bones in a cauldron of blood (bread with the marinara sauce), and it will be a treat for everyone!

with the...

OK... That kick ass award I invented yesterday (the I CAN COOK THAT AWARD) now goes out to three inspirations for this days' project...

The original recipe Fugasse Bread recipe comes from ADVENTURES WITH THE WOODS. I would not be the master baker I am now without her easy to follow and SPECTACULAR recipe. Take a look at her blog for more wonderful things...

Also, WANDERING COYOTE from RETORTE certainly deserves some of the blame/credit for letting me know there was more possibilities for this bread beyond just a ball (good looking though that ball was). Her comments are always welcome, but absolutely encoureaged when a simple off hand remark makes me dig into making this better. Someday, I may even make the bread in the traditional shape, but before I do that, there are just too many shapes to ponder, and Shelly's recipe is just too much fun to shape, but credit Coyote with planting the bread shaping idea in my head.

And finally, Mary over at ONE PERFECT BITE made this post yesterday, about the bread of the dead (pictured here). She had a terrific story behind this Bread of the Dead that tied into the Mexican Holiday, Day of the Dead. My finished product only slightly resembles her masterpiece, but I would be lying if I didn't give Mary credit for the idea and look of my cauldron of blood bread.

So.. (THA TA TATA), I present my newly created award...

To these three wonderful bloggers, and remind them of the simple rules...
1) Take inspiration from or outright steal a recipe from a fellow blogger
2) Actually make the item, or make a close copy of the item
3) Blog about your efforts, giving proper credit and links to the inspiree
4)If you receive the award, be honored, as there is no greater feeling than having your efforts not just recognized, but duplicated! That is the only real rule, is to feel honored. BUT, feel free to post this in your side bar and to pass it on to one of your favorite bloggers which you have made one of their recipes.

Thanks guys, and grilling posts are coming soon!


  1. Cool! I'm glad you tried something different! this is one of the great things about bread baking - you can get so creative with the shaping and the flavouring. I think adding jalapeno is a great idea. I also really like your cauldron & bones.

    I know you were on a timeline with this bread recipe, but if you had all day, you can rise your bread in cooler temperatures - hell, you can even rise your bread in the fridge if you want to ( it just takes longer, BUT the flavour develops a lot more, and the texture will change, too, the longer you let your dough rise.

  2. Impressive I must say! Gorgeous bread! I thought is said Master Bater, not Master Bread Maker, at first glance, LOL

  3. Ooh, I love the cauldron bread! And your kitties are cute, as always.

  4. I love all of the bread shapes you've got going on. Once I get better at making bread in general, I would love to experiment with some fun shapes!

    Bread is integral to any good meal, so you did good by bringing your host this loaf. :D

  5. Great job, seriously. I need to bake some bread in the Egg soon, you are inspiring me.

  6. You are seriously whuppin ass and taking names with your bread making, Dave! I'm totally impressed! You are well on your way to being a master baker :). WC does have awesome ideas and info, so she's a great resource. I love your new badge, too, BTW. I so appreciate all your kind really means a lot to me!

  7. Shaking my head in dazed amazement. Well done!

  8. bread must be in the air...I just made some today LOL. that an arrowana in that fish tank?

  9. Wow! I need to invite you to one of my parties. None of my guests ever bring anything this good.

  10. Great looking bread; you did an amazing job on all and I can only imagine how wonderful it tasted!

  11. Fantastic bread're the best !

  12. Dave- the bread looks really good. I have yet to get the courage up to make and bake bread. However, I am feeling inspired!
    Glad to know that your mother would be proud!

    P.S. You created a very ice blog award.

  13. ooops! I meant "nice" not "ice"

  14. Nice bread! Everyone likes fresh, home made baked goods!

  15. Fabulous! Love the creativeness! As you know, I'm not a baker, but some of the stuff you're posting is pushing me a little bit closer.

    I have a question about the Inspiration award. As we speak, I'm typing up a post which is totally inspired from a recipe from another blogger? Do I give the award to her in this post I'm currently creating? Do you have to give me the award for posting something that I made from another blogger? I'm confused.

  16. Awesome recipe! I so love that your a guy baking bread. Be sure to pop over and link it to my annual bread round up that began today.

    Thanks for stopping by also. The meatball stew turned out awesome and you're right it's a great potluck item.

  17. I got so excited about the bread I forgot to mention something to you about guest hosting at OuR KrAzY KiTcHeN. We'd love it if you're available. Please contact me at

  18. That is a lovely looking loaf of bread! Very nicely done. My mouth is watering just looking at it. Peppers are an interesting addition in bread so I will have to try this recipe as well.