Dan Lepard’s Flash Loaf

A friend took pity on my inability to cope with small annoyances, and she sent me the hardback version of Dan Lepard’s “Short and Sweet”. I’ve not been able to keep my hands off it. I love books. I love my iPad but without doubt I do love books more. So I undertook my own Twitter #shortandtweet challenge this weekend, and selected the 2nd recipe in the book. The first one is Dan’s Easy White Bread, which is a good loaf that I bake often. The 2nd recipe brought back memories of childhood.

When I was a kid, I walked a mile each way to and from school. It was no easy walk – I was raised where the weather inspired the location for the Twilight series. Our toes were webbed and our skin often wrinkled like raisins from the rain and fog. Walking to school the rain lashed your face, and walking home it trickled down your neck. But not everything was soggy and limp on my daily walk toward higher education. Leaning against the trunk of a Douglas fir tree just a few metres to the left of the sidewalk was a man who wore a long beige raincoat. As my school chums and I walked by, he’d spread open his coat and stand tall into the wind and horizontal-driving rain. It all reminded me of Superman, the way he’d peel away his clothing to reveal a surprising big letter S underneath. This guy under the Douglas fir tree didn’t wear a superman suit. He didn’t wear anything. I often thought that guy must have been impervious to the cold and wet. Heck, maybe he was superman. I told me parents about the Douglas fir tree man. My mother said don’t look at him, which of course meant that I just had to because that’s the way my brain works. My father said he was flasher. “Flashing what?” I asked. I remember that my dad just looked down his nose at me and very wisely said, “Nothing it seems.” I could only recall that the Douglas fir tree man was all beige colour, his coat and chest. You see, the moral here is you have to be choosy about your target audience. If they don’t know where to look, then it’s all a bit of a limp, damp squib. Or squid or something like that, and the iPad version of “Short and Sweet” left me looking high and low for what I needed to find.


But there’s nothing limp nor beige about Dan’s Flash Loaf, and he’s certainly targeted a large audience with this recipe. It rises to the occasion thanks to a lot of yeast, easy to slash, and the crust is hard and crumb is moist and open. This loaf turned out much better than the wholemeal loaf I baked last week. I did however chuck it back into the oven for another 10-minutes (for a total baking time of 55-minutes) because the crumb was tooooo moist. The addition of grated potato keeps it tender and moist. I also used a combination of strong white flour (as per the recipe) with an added combo of 75/25% wholemeal/rye flour rather than one or the other. My husband likes the strong flavour of that combination. It’s possible that its protein percentage meant less liquid was absorbed into the flour. Not a problem though, as I just baked it a bit longer.


The only change I might make in the future is to shape it as an oblong loaf rather than a boule. I’m thinking it will bake faster as an oblong. And here’s the crumb shot. Well, sort of. I couldn’t squat down very far because my knee still isn’t 100% but I’m sure that you’ll get the picture.



15 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m starving for breakfast and I see this… heaven!! I’ve heard about his book for a while here on wordpress and have put it on my Xmas list! Love your superman story!! Made me laugh and reminded me of my teen years when that happened to me!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      It’s brilliant, and I actually find myself reading it like a book. I can’t say that about a lot of cookery books. And the recipes are very easy to follow. Not all bread either – lots of cakes and biscuits/cookies and pastry. I hope that you receive it for Christmas, then you can follow along the Short and Sweet challenge at http://shortandtweet.tumblr.com/

  2. Joanna says:

    Your loaf looks beautiful ! I have a Flash Gordon of a loaf happening in the kitchen today, or maybe it’s an Easy White with Kamut, I can’t remember. Great tale – I can imagine being more preoccupied with how wet and cold I felt than a Douglas Fir Man and his damp squib too 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Flash-boy includes grated raw potato. Does your Flash Gordon have spuds in it?

      I think was about 11 or 12-years old. It was a different world for girls back then. We were still kids playing and behaving like kids. Boys? Eeeow. Not like a lot of boys and girls nowadays, who can’t wait to grow up and pretend to be an adult.

  3. Lou says:

    Great post. Poor mannie. You could at least have had the decency to scream and run away or give him some kind of reaction. Hee hee. 😀

  4. Misk Cooks says:

    Hi Lou. Thanks. 🙂 If he’d sat himself next to a smoky campfire, waving a damp blanket over it and sending smoke signals … well, he’d have caught my attention because I was a Girl Scout working on earning my Morse Code badge about that time. But a beige bloke blowing in wind? … well, there was no badge for that subject to earn. 🙂

  5. emilydev9 says:

    Misky, your bread is lovely and your post is hi-larious! 🙂 Thanks for making my day a bit more fun.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Thanks! (Flashing a big smile)

  6. ceciliag says:

    Oh honey, you had a flasher and you didn’t even know, we had one too .. he stood outside our local store and was taken away shortly after, he was always a mystery to us kids, we seems to have missed the actual flashing episode. You chose a very interesting metaphor I must say. I did not see that leading into rising bread.. ha ha ha , you are a classic, i laughed out loud! Lovely loaf by the way! Mine are getting better but still not there! c

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I’ve spent a good portion of my life looking back over my shoulder and thinking “Huh?!” It’s nice to know that my neck vertebrae are still flexible and nimble. 🙂

  7. I am not a baker by any means, but some cold butter to smear on this bread, and a strong cup of coffee, would be heaven on earth! The Douglas Fir tree man, that was so funny, I actually snorted some tea out my nose!! Thanks, Marilyn! Peace, Amy

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      This loaf actually improves in flavour on the 2nd day, and each day following that. This recipe is a ‘keeper’. 😀

  8. C says:

    It looks great, and I love your crumb shot – it’s always interesting to see the innards of the loaf! I haven’t made this one yet, but I’m easily persuaded when it comes to Dan Lepard recipes and your loaf is possibly the push I need. Just need to eat up some of the other shortandtweet bakes first!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I’ve been cutting some of the #shortandtweet recipes in half because they’re are just 2 of us here to eat it all up. 😀

    2. Hank says:

      Surpirisng to think of something like that

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