Recipes inspired by Musicals: Godspell

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The first live musical I ever saw was Godspell, which tells the story of Jesus’s ministry, focusing on the parables.  My mom and dad had season tickets to Theatre London (in London, Ontario) with my Uncle John and Aunt Judy.  One month my aunt and uncle couldn’t attend, and they graciously gave their tickets to my cousin Heather and me.  We would have been around twelve that year and were thrilled to be seeing a ‘real’ show. 

These days, almost every performance gets a standing ovation.  But back in the 70s, it was less common.  A show really had to earn an ovation for people to get on their feet.  

Maybe it was my tender age, maybe it was the moving musical numbers (such as “Prepare Ye The Way of The Lord” or “Day by Day”), maybe it was just an extraordinary production.  But everyone in the audience seemed to agree with my pre-teen opinion as we all leapt to our feet to salute this wonderful show.  It was the first standing ovation I ever participated in, and I’ll never forget how inspiring Godspell was.

The Bible is full of references to bread, from the sharing of the loaves and fishes to the Lord’s Prayer (“Give us this day our daily bread…”).  It has been a dietary staple of many ancient and modern societies.  These loaves were full of whole grain and seeds, and I absolutely loved them. 

Speaking of musicals based on the Bible, you may remember that last year my youngest daughter performed in a church musical that was also about the parables.  The choir is off to Nova Scotia for five days later this week to perform at churches in Truro and Halifax.  Having seen the show all the way through twice, I promise you it’s well worth a standing ovation!

Sonoma-Style Multigrain Crunch Bread
(adapted from Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett)


4 1/2 cups white bread flour, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal, polenta or corn grits
3 Tbsp bulgur wheat or cracked wheat
2 Tbsp wheat bran
Scant 1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp instant, fast-rising, or bread machine yeast
4 Tbsp flax seeds
4 Tbsp sesame seeds
4 Tbsp poppy seeds
2 2/3 cups ice water, plus more if needed
3 Tbsp mild honey
1 1/2 Tbsp corn oil or canola oil (plus extra for coating dough tops)
2 Tbsp Cornstarch glaze (recipe below)

First rise: In a very large bowl, thoroughly mix together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, oats, cornmeal, bulgur, wheat bran, salt and yeast until blended.  In a small bowl, combine the flax, sesame and poppy seeds.  Reserve 4 Tbsp of the seed mixture for garnish, then stir the remainder into the flour mixture.  In another bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the water, honey and oil until well-blended.  Vigorously stir the mixture into the bowl with the flour, scraping down the bowl and mixing until very well blended.  If the dough is dry and hard to blend, stir in enough more ice water to yield a moist, yet slightly stiff dough.  Cover the bowl tightly with foil or plastic wrap.  If desired, you can refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours.  Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours (preferably closer to 18 hours).

Second rise: Vigorously stir the dough for 1 minute; it should be very stiff.  (If not, thoroughly stir in enough more bread flour to make it hard to stir.)  Generously oil two 9-inch pie plates.  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of the remaining seeds in each plate.  Using an oiled serrated knife or kitchen shears, cut the dough in half, then put each half in a pie plate.  Evenly sprinkle each portion with 2 Tbsp of flour. Working in the plate, shape each portion into a ball and smooth the flour into the surface all over. Lightly dusting with flour as needed, shape each portion into a high-domed 6-inch round, smoothing and tucking the edges underneath all the way around.  Generously and evenly brush each loaf with cornstarch glaze.  Immediately sprinkle the remaining seeds over the loaves.  Tent them with foil or plastic wrap.

Let rise: For a regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.  For an extended rise, refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours then set out at room temperature.  Continue the rise until the dough doubles from its deflated size.

Baking: 15 minutes before baking time, place a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees.  Place a broiler pan on the oven floor.  To bake, place the loaves in the oven and reduce the temperature to 425 degrees.  Immediately add a cup of water to the broiler pan - be careful of splattering and steam.  Bake, uncovered, on the lower rack for 30 minutes, until the leaves are browned and firm.  Remove the loaves from pie plates and transfer to a baking sheet.  Cover the tops with foil and continue baking for 30 to 35 minutes.  Let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Cornstarch Glaze

2 tsp cornstarch
Scant 2/3 cup cold water, divided
1 pinch salt

In a small saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch and about half the water until the cornstarch is smooth.  Stir in the remaining water and the salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Reduce the heat until the mixture simmers gently and continue cooking, whisking occasionally, until it thickens slightly and becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature before using; the glaze will thicken as it stands.  Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week (let warm to room temperature before using).


GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

What a special bread and so full of good things! Looks wonderful :)

Vi said...

What a cool memory! This bread sounds like something I want to try.

Claudia said...

This bread - and I love the look of the crumb is the perfect inspiration for Godspell. Oh Beth - I still know all the harmonies...

Natalie Aguirre said...

This bread looks awesome. I'm not as industrious as you to try it.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I MUST make this bread!! Sounds delish! I don't think I've ever seen Godspell, but I know every song...we had the "record" back in the day :)

Gloria Baker said...

I love make.bread and this sounds amazing Beth; lovelu recipe:)

Angie's Recipes said...

Beth, the bread looks wonderful. Using cornstarch glaze to brush the bread top is new to me. The bread has a perfectly smooth and soft crumb.

Catherine said...

Dear Beth, I love reading your posts. They bring back good memories. Such good music in Godspell.
The bread is a delicious looking and healthy bread. Blessings, Catherine xo

Valerie Gamine said...

I have never seen Godspell, but I've yet to see a musical or play that I did not like. Given your rave review, I know I'd like this one too!

Congrats on your youngest's mini-musical tour! Nova Scotia? How fun - and beautiful, I imagine. :D

Amy said...

I love your hearty and healthy bread. :) I bake bread at home all the time. Love the smell of freshly baked bread in the house.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

What a pretty bread! You know I was just noticing the same thing about standing ovations, remembering the days when they only happened when you were so moved you had to rise to your feet...

Joanne said...

I've actually never seen godspell but I LOVE the music and really hope it's revived one of these days! Your bread looks so hearty and delicious!

Kitchen Riffs said...

I love any and all bread! This one looks extra special, and is a perfect recipe for the musical. Bread really was the foundation for most meals for many people for thousands of years, so it's totally appropriate to celebrate it with this great recipe. Good stuff - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Never seen that musical, but I do like the look of your bread!

Cathleen said...

Haha, it's true. I don't think I have ever been to musical that has not gotten a standing ovation.
But I think this bread deserves one, it looks delicious

Cooking Quidnunc said...

Awesome bread recipe, looks delicious and full of crunch!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Your bread looks amazing, Beth! I'm a huge carb addict and have loads of bread recipes that I adore. I love that you have a special 'food memory' tied to this recipe.

Paula Montenegro said...

It´s a fantastic bread Beth, full of all the ingredients I love! This post reminded me of the times my grandmother took me to see ballet, during my pre-teens.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, what a wonderful post and amazing recipe for this delicious sounding bread - bread baking is just wonderful. Oats, sesame, flax, poppy seeds and so much more, really sounds fabulous - all these ingredients are so tasty and healthy.
Have a lovely Wednesday!

Katerina said...

I don't know the musical Beth but you made one great loaf of bread here! I can picture it with a big piece of feta on top yum, yum!

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

This bread looks utterly gorgeous my friend :D

Choc Chip Uru

Barbara said...

A lovely bread, Beth. All those flours, grains and nuts must give it a wonderful depth of flavor. Nothing better toasted in the morning than a loaf like this!

Anonymous said...

Beth, I have missed coming here. What a nicely written post and such a beautiful and hearty bread.

Elaine said...

Another wonderful musical. It must have been so inspiring to be a part of that show and the ovation. Your bread looks fantastic and looks so good for you.

Cindy said...

Now this is what I call bread! Looks heavenly!
Oh musicals--magical for sure! We took our 6 year old granddaughter to see a performance of Lion King. It was more than amazing. When the show was over poor Eliza just cried. She had been clutching a playbill in her hand and thought we would see all the plays that night. It was difficult to make her understand that we had to come back next year to see Mary Poppins!

grace said...

i get goosebumps just thinking about a musical like that! very nice bread--a little crunch is a good thing. :)

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