One enormous loaf of “Sister Bread” or “Pain a la Suzanne”
Mixed: Wednesday, 8 pm
Folded: Thursday, 10 am
Molded: Thursday, 10:20 am
Baked: Thursday 1 pm
Gave to: 18 very hungry Thanksgiving meal family folk–minus my sister 😦
My sister was once described as an Eveready Battery. She’s a dynamo, who charges into the world at 4am, teaches 23 aerobic classes in one week (I’m not kidding!), who somehow manages to still bake pies for parties, and can beat all of her siblings at pushups, long distance anything, and crossword puzzles.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day and Suzanne could not join us for the big turkey meal out on the terrace. Unable to recharge her massive battery in time, she opted out of the two-hour drive to the desert and stayed home to celebrate the holiday, (which was also her birthday,) with a friend. Missing her, and in her honor, my older baker brother and I made the coolest loaf of bread ever, and named it Pain a la Suzanne. Only problem is, we ate it!
For all those people whose lives are just jam-packed with busyness as Suzie’s is, this loaf of bread is perfect. You need only the most basic ingredients–you quickly mix it the night before, then fold and mold it after a 15-18 hour rise, then bake it in a large enamel pot in the oven. The end result is a very crusty hearth loaf that has a sturdy, chewy, delicious crumb. The originator of this no nonsense recipe is Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan–and I just dare you to try it!
Here’s a link to the recipe, followed by a photo of the bread coming out of the oven.
And here is my brother and husband trying to beam the bread from the desert to the coast. It didn’t work, and as I mentioned above, we ate it…
But even though we ate it, we’ll be baking again tomorrow, and the day after. We’ll get her a loaf soon–no worries there.
Happy Birthday, Suzanne. We love you…
Jane, this bread looks so amazing and seems easy enough even for me to handle! I am inspired to give it a try. My only problem seems to be that I don’t have the required pot to bake it in. Do you think a regular (i.e. not cast iron, enamel, glass or ceramic) pot would do?
So far I have tried this bread in both a le crueset-type cast iron pot and in a small enamel Chantal pan. I don’t think metal would be the best thing–though who knows? My best guess is that the metal conducts heat just too fast and would probably burn the bread on the outside while not cooking it well on the inside.
It might be fun for you to head next door, to one of your neighbor’s, and see what pots they have in their kitchen cupboards 🙂 Then, you could share the bread with them as a thanks!
That is a great idea! I think I’ll do just that. Thanks!