Friday, February 29, 2008

A Bread of Memories

In 1993-1994, my family and I lived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We traded living places with a local family...we went to their two bedroom apartment and they took our house...I slept on the couch the whole year. Anyway, my dad was the supervisor for 3 college students from MC. They did have local families take care of them; however, they spend a lot of time at our apartment. We spent a lot of time playing cards...a LOT. We also ate together a good bit. One of our favorite things to get was ekmek. Daddy would get two loaves on his was home from university. When he got home, they would still be warm...and the attack would begin, especially with the college students there! Basim, the lone male, would probably eat half a loaf alone! Toppings included butter, homemade raspberry jam, nutella, and even Milky Way topping. Soooo good! Why do I tell you all of this? The February challenge for Daring Bakers was to make Julia Child's French bread. When I tasted the bread, fresh out of the oven (no, I did NOT wait the two hours you were supposed to wait) I went on a time machine journey back to Bishkek! It tasted so much like Ekmek! I don't really know how to rate this recipe. First of all, it takes just about all day to make...this is why I made it the FIRST Saturday it was available, a first! Next, the bread really doesn't hold for many days. For a large gathering, it would be great. For just a few people, it might not be worth it...even though we ate all of it and enjoyed it. Oh...just a thought...once this bread sits for a few days, it would be a GREAT soup sopper....kind of crusty and soaks up liquid just deliciously! So, maybe it's not so bad for just a few people. Thanks to Mary at The Sour Dough & Sara at I Like to Cook for this wonderful challenge. Once again, a recipe that I wouldn't have done had I not been part of this group! Check out the other great posts here. Because this is such a long recipe, I'm not posting it here. If you'd like it, check out Sara's posting here.

21 comments:

Breadchick said...

Great story and glad the bread brought back good memories.

Thanks for baking with Sara and I this month.

Susan said...

If you have leftover (stale) bread, try putting it into panzanella (tomato bread salad) or toasting thin slices in the oven for crostini.

Anyway, your bread looks great and thanks for sharing the story!

As a fellow healthcare provider, I love the name of your blog.

L Vanel said...

Oh La! Bishkek! This is a memory that I share too but I did not have hot fresh bread there! L

Peabody said...

What great memories. Great bread.

Big Boys Oven said...

Oh this another perfect 10 score! WELL DONE! so lovely!

Jaime said...

great job! it had to be good to bring back so many fond memories :) there are many things you can do with the rest of it...aside from stew, it's great in a bread pudding or as garlic bread :)

acupofjoy said...

Wow! Kyrgystan! Tell me more! How exciting! Lovely loaves. This was only my second Daring Baker's Challenge. I'm enjoying it so much! Please visit my site often!

Claire said...

Mary - It was a great challenge and not one I would have thought of! Thanks for having us do it.

Susan - I've made panzanella before and LOVE it; however, it's not really tomato season, so that did not come to mind. This bread would be great in panzanella. Thanks for stopping in...glad you like the name!

Ivanel - The hot fresh bread was indeed a treat...it sold out quickly. Usually it was the bread from the "state run" stores...hmmmm.

Peabody - The memories are fun, aren't they! Thanks.

BBO - Thanks! I'm definitely enjoying these challenges.

Jaime - I didn't think of bread pudding...would make good French toast (Pain pardu) as well!

cup of joy - Will most definitely come back by...I'll have to do a post here sometime about Bishkek. My family lived there for a year as ISC with the foreign mission board. It was a wonderful experience.

Aamena said...

wow your bread looks so nice and soft.. mine was pretty dense i think, and somewhat chewy... :(

Sara said...

Great job!

Erika W. said...

That looks amazing Claire! Great job!

Quellia said...

Always nice when a recipe evokes a nice family memory!

Jenny said...

Have you tried that Ekmek recipe that you linked to? Looks like a good one to try.

I agree that this recipe made a lot, but I just froze half of it after baking. Hopefully I'll be able to use it still!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Nice bread!

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Annie said...

Your bread looks perfect!

I could probably eat a whole loaf myself- that's probably why I don't bake it that often.

Deborah said...

Such great memories!! Great job on this challenge.

Brilynn said...

I didn't wait the 2 hours either, I can't resist fresh bread!

Mandy said...

thanks for sharing the story. BTW, I didn't wait for the 2 hours of cooling too.

Andrea said...

It sounds like you have some wonderful memories of that bread! It's always fun to cook when we have memories floating around the kitchen. Great job on the challenge!

Tim said...

Good JOb!: )