I get asked a lot at the bakery if I cook. More specifically if I bake. “Do I bake!” I reply. I look at whomever is asking me, and tell them that James is worthless in a home kitchen. He doesn’t know how to make anything in less than a 180 quart bowl. A 9×13 inch pan would be a math division nightmare for someone who cooks in quantities like James. But being married to a baker really does have its perks. My husband makes awesome cupcakes AND lets me take all the credit for them:) And his Honey Whole Wheat bread, still to this day, makes me smile in pure bliss as I take a bite of a BLT made with it. But being a bakers wife also has its downside. The main downside is that you quickly become the biggest bread snob on the planet. I won’t even both eating a lot of bread because either it’s not fresh enough, tasty enough, or worth the calories. I only want to eat the tastiest most homemade bread I can find. And another downfall of being a bakers wife is that I can spot a day old loaf of bread a mile away. Just the other day I was at a farmers market where some beautiful bread was being sold. I wanted every loaf, but on closer inspection the bread had been made the day before. It just didn’t have that, “I’m the best loaf on the planet!” feel, or texture anymore. It’s become somewhat of a problem.
It was the farmers market visit that sparked the idea for the loaf of bread I made at home. The bakery at the market had used such fun and interesting flavors together. Fresh raspberry, lemon, and sage. Strange cheeses and fruit. Nuts and herbs. It was so fun! I wanted some really different flavors in the loaf I was making. My all time favorite flavors to make are Cranberry Orange and Blueberry Lemon. I love the little bit of sweetness in my bread. I also like a lot of chunks. I purchased a container of dried figs recently and decided to give them a go. I actually had figs, walnuts, and blue cheese all at the ready. This indeed was going to be a lovely loaf of bread!
So the actual recipe is one I’ve made dozens of times, and yet each time I pull it out of the oven, I’m surprised! I take pictures, I make everyone in the house OOOH, and AHHH before cutting into the loaf, and I make the master bread baker tell me how AWESOME his wife is!! The figs and walnuts were fantastic. I’d leave the cheese out all together next time. But that’s just me. Find the flavor that sounds delish to you, or be as plain as could be. You won’t be disappointed either way. I love your guts!!