Lucy with bread doughWhat??

Let me ‘splain, Lucy.

First of all, I LOVE Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Period. Guy Fieri is a hoot, and the discoveries of the these little places that I *know* I’ll never get the privilege of visiting is worth the time to watch. I DVR everything, and save my favorite episodes. And, yes, I actually try the recipes.

So what does this have to do with I Love Lucy?

One of the episodes of DDD had a segment where the chef of a little place in Duluth, Minnesota, called (and this not a typo or made up) Taran’s MarketPlace At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe (the MarketPlace was historical and the new owners couldn’t agree on the name) made what looked like an absolutely killer bread, and I had to try the recipe.

She made the bread for the French Toast, which is a Cranberry Wild Rice bread. The first time I saw the recipe, I knew I had to try it. OF COURSE I couldn’t find it on Food Network, but that’s okay. I watched the episode several times, tried the recipe a couple of times, and discovered that an old I Love Lucy episode was completely feasible.

Chef Jillian started out with a “sponge” for the bread, which consisted of water, flour, yeast, and sugar. The difference between using a sponge and the “regular” bread making is that usually, the yeast is put into warm sugared water in order to bloom, and the flour added later during the dough-making process. Starting with a sponge sounded intriguing to me.

After the sponge has proofed (in her world, two hours), it’s then put in a mixer where salt, oil (I love grapeseed oil – surprise, huh?), cooked wild rice, cranberries, eggs, whole wheat flour, and all-purpose flour are added.. It’s allowed to proof, punched down, made into loaves, proofed again, and then baked. OMG on the taste! Who needs French Toast?!?

She then makes a beer syrup which looks fabulously delicious, but I haven’t tackled yet.

So what does this have to do with I Love Lucy? Remember what I said about the sponge? Well, when I tackled this recipe, I wanted to make it as close to her recipe as I could guess. Authenticity rules! So I made “sponge,” put it in the oven which had been slightly warmed (200 degrees then cooled down to about 100 – it’s still too cool in the house to allow dough to rise without help) and left it for two hours. Just like she said.

Well, when I went to get the “sponge” to start mixing the other ingredients, I was greeted by the dough equivalent of Godzilla. If you’ve ever seen the following episode of I Love Lucy, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what happened to me. Who knew that dough could grow like that!

Well, once I managed to scrape dough from inside the oven, from around the oven door, my arms, hands (it grew everywhere!), I was good to go. I threw the sponge into the Kitchen Aid and added the other ingredients, guessing as to what would work.


I made two loaves even though from the amount of sponge I generated, I could have probably made six. It was delicious! Great for breakfast, I found that it was very filling and kept me going till lunch. I have no idea of the calorie count, and, frankly, don’t care. The ingredients were organic and wholesome, the bread filling, and – at least for me – completely guilt free.

Oh! I almost forgot! The title of the DD&D episode is Sauced and Spiced. Look for it on Food Network. Try that bread or go to Duluth. Super yummy!

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