How many blogs do you follow? Not sure the number I follow but it’s quite a few. There’s so many great bloggers out there, it's so hard to choose. One blog I particularly enjoy is Sweet and Savory. Chaya is amazing. She blogs almost every day, sometimes more than once a day and belongs to an endless number of groups. A few weeks ago, Chaya’s post was about The Modern Baker Challenge, a new group she’d joined. She and I exchanged emails about the group and the cookbook. She suggested this group would help me with My 50. I emailed Phyl, the organizer of the group, who was so welcoming and excited to have me join. It’s a small group and there aren’t a lot of rules. The group is baking through the cookbook, one section at a time. Each section will be available for baking for 90 days. You can bake as much or as little as you want. I did some reading about the author, Nick Malgieri . I really like his style of writing and baking. What's one more group? I ordered the book.
This cookbook could easily be one of those coffee table books we all love. It’s a large, beautiful hardback. The recipes are concise and easy to follow. Nick gives some hints and extra tips for each recipe. I can read a cookbook like a novel. I sat down one night, thumbed through the first section and used those great little post it note tabs to mark the recipes I wanted to try. Being the total chocolate lover, the first recipe had to be the Chocolate Spice Bread.
I am not sure why but I don’t own any metal bread pans. I think they were old and didn’t make the move from KC to Omaha. I used a glass baking pan of approximately the same size. Because I was baking in glass, I set the oven at 325. Nick cautions in this recipe not to bake it too long or it will be dry. I checked the bread at 25 minutes and it was still very wet. I checked it every five minutes and at 45 minutes it was done. Unfortunately, I think it was overdone. Maybe I need to start pulling my breads out when they’re ALMOST done? The flavor of this bread is delicious. My concern was the spice flavor would be too heavy but it’s not. The chocolate blends nicely with the spices. This bread, like a lot of quick breads, is best eaten on the day it is made. It dries out quickly. Since mine was a little too dry to begin with, it was really dry on day three. I froze the leftovers, thinking maybe I will add it to the next batch of cake pops? I hate to throw things away!!! This bread has lots of possibilities. You could add nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, sunflower seeds. I will be making this one again!
Stop by The Modern Baker Challenge to see the other bakers thoughts on this bread.