Friday, March 19, 2010

Aunt Sophie's Spanish Outdoor Oven Bread

Every couple of years I end up pulling out the old family recipe cookbook. It was put together for a family reunion in 1984. I learned how to drive a stick shift there, that summer, I was 12 - the good ole days right? It was a small town after all.

Every time I pull out the book I usually have a purpose, on a mission looking for an old familiar. Until today. It has turned into quite the snowstorm outside so I decided I want to bake today, fill the house with the smell of bread. I initially went to, then the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, but then I came across the cookbook. Simply titled The Benavidez Family Cookbook. I flipped to the bread section, past the tortillas, the sopapillas and bunuelos that are so familiar to me to a recipe with a curious title.

I read through the recipe titled Spanish Outdoor Oven Bread... hmmm. I decided to read through, I saw that I had all the ingredients I would need, still not completely convinced though. I skimmed down the page to see that my Grandma's Aunt Josie submitted it, I made her sisters tortillas recently. So what got me? The last line of her recipe read "You have never eaten a better bread in your life". OK - Fully convinced, I went to work.

Ok, so I put the bread in the oven and left for the store. I told my husband to watch them and to pull them out when the oven beeped. Let me just tell you that when I came back all 3 boys and Daddy has mouths and fistfuls of bread... they were eating it plain, no butter even. I was like "it's that good"? I seriously love bread but it always needs butter. However I tore of a chunk and WOW - it really didn't need butter or anything, it was delicious! Nice hard crust too, not to crumbly. It really was the best bread I have eaten, and yes I did end up putting butter - almost heaven! So good, HIGHLY RECOMMEND - Go make it right now - go!

The Recipe - notes on bottom indicate amounts halfed
(Click to Enlarge)

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