Get new posts by email:

Archives

Currently Reading

Here are the tastingspoons players. I’m in the middle (Carolyn). Daughter Sara on the right, and daughter-in-law Karen on the left. I started the blog in 2007, as a way to share recipes with my family. Now in 2022, I’m still doing 99% of the blogging and holding out hope that these two lovely and excellent cooks will participate. They both lead very busy lives, so we’ll see.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

BOOK READING (from Carolyn):

One of the best things about book clubs is you are forced (so to speak) to read books you might not pick up or buy because they don’t sound like your favored reading genre. This was the case with Migrations, by Charlotte McConaghy. To say that this book stretched my comfort zone is the least of it . . .think about a time in the not very distant future, when global warming has done it’s worst and nearly all animals are extinct. Yes, extinct. No bird song in the air or fish in the sea. There’s this woman, Franny, who is on a quest to follow the very small, but last migration of arctic terns, who fly from pole to pole each year. She somehow sees this migration as a paean to her own life (of many travails). Is this book a foretelling of what our world will be like? I don’t know. Maybe, if we don’t change how we live and use our natural resources. I’m no expert . . . I wasn’t sure I believed in climate change or global warming ten years ago. But seeing the deforestation and the loss of fish in the sea gives one pause. There’s a lot of angst going on here in this book, with her marriage, with her career, with her perpetual need for travel . . . always needing to go somewhere else other than staying at home and finding peace and happiness there. Then this final, gritty, illegal at-sea voyage trying to find the terns. Very much worth reading if you can stomach the sadness in it. Soul-searching is a common denominator here, but then aren’t a lot of books?

Jo Jo Moyes has a bunch of books to her credit. And she writes well, with riveting stories. Everything I’ve read of hers has been good. This book, The Girl You Left Behind, is so different, so intriguing, so controversial and a fascinating historical story. There are two timelines here, one during WWI, in France, when a relatively unknown painter (in the style of Matisse) paints a picture of his wife. The war intervenes for both the husband and the wife. A German Kommandant enters the picture in this tiny berg in France. Knowing her husband is in a camp, most likely a death camp, she compromises her morals to save the picture and possibly save her husband’s life. Jump to somewhat current day and the painting, which has survived all these years, and is in the hands of a young widow who has an extraordinary connection with the painting. A lawsuit ensues having to do with art stolen by the Nazis and a convoluted trail of how the painting traveled in the intervening years. Even though this was WWI, not WWII, but the law encompasses the past. It’s a heart-wrenching story. There’s a love interest too. Well worth reading. Would make a good book club read.

Memoirs are such fun, especially if you really enjoy/love the author. This was the case as I read Rachael Ray 50, an ode to  her age. So I read online, Rachael discloses more about her personal life in this book than she has done in her many other cookbooks. I really enjoyed reading the book, as she told stories about her growing up, including some of her mother’s recipes and from other family members. I record her TV shows on my Tivo and watch when I have pockets of time. She’s such an approachable cook – she’s quick to admit she’s not a chef. But boy, does she ever know how to make a meal! She and her family eat tons of pasta, so lots of the recipes I probably won’t prepare, but okay, I still enjoyed reading all the stories.

Eli Shafak’s Island of Missing Trees. This book was just a page turner. If you’ve never read anything about the conflict in Cyprus (the island) between the Turks and the Greeks, you’re in for a big history lesson here. But, the entire story centers around a fig tree. You get into the head/brain/feelings of this big fig tree which plays a very central part of the story. You’ll learn a lot about animals, insects (ants, mosquitos, butterflies) and other flora and fauna of Cyprus. I’m not a gardener at all, but I found the story just fascinating. It chronicles the love story between a young couple, human ones, not trees, one a Greek, one a Turk and their relationship (verboten back in the 70s). It goes back and forth between the 70s (when the real conflict was going on) and current day (2010ish). Loved this book from page one to the last.

If you’re a fan of Kazuo Ishiguro, you’ll find his newest book a league apart. Klara and the Sun. It takes place in the near future when we humans can go to a store and buy an AF (artificial friend). These robotic humanoid “things” have knowledge and personalities. The book follows along as a family buys Klara, an AF with perhaps a better personality than some. She has feelings, but not very many needs. The reader never really “sees” Klara except for a few descriptions of her human-type shape. You get into Klara’s brain (her PC chip) and know how she feels about her family. Her main job is to be a friend to the daughter, Josie, who has some kind of unnamed illness. The AF must spend a part of every day in the sunshine (some kind of hidden solar unit must be within Klara). There are any number of other characters in the story (mostly human, not AFs) which add dimension. I was quite mesmerized by the story and am in awe at the creativity of this author. Loved the book. May not be for everyone. I’m not a science fiction fan at all, but this was believable. And you’ll fall in love with Klara who wants so much to be wanted and loved.

Also read Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty. Ohhh my, such a good book. I couldn’t put it down. Whatever you do, do not read the ending before you start the book. I’ve never understood people who do this. The book chronicles the day a mom just ups and disappears. The grown children come back home, in panic. The dad isn’t much help, and he becomes the prime suspect of foul play. There is no body, however. The husband and wife own a tennis school (this takes place in Australia) and the children grow up surrounded by tennis everything. The children don’t necessarily get along. The parents haven’t always gotten along, either, although through many years the parents were quite besotted with each other, to the detriment of the parenting. Much travail from all the family members. But oh what a story. It had me riveted and wondering, until the last 5 pages of so when the resolution occurs. Big surprise.

Amor Towles’ new book, The Lincoln Highway: A Novel. Literally it’s a page turner. I think it’s still on the best seller list. A young man, Emmett, is released from a youth work camp (back in the day) and is returned home (by the camp warden) following the death of his father, to find that the home they’d lived in was in foreclosure. His mother abandoned them years before. His intent is to pick up his 8-year old brother and they will head off for Texas, but then he discovers two of his work-camp-mates had hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Oh my goodness, such a tangled web. Fascinating, and Amor Towles has such a way with words. His sentences are like blooming flower vines, with metaphors in nearly every sentence. Such a gifted writer.

If you’d like a mystery read, try Dete Meserve’s The Space Between. It’s just the kind of page-turner I enjoy – a wife returns to her home after being away on business for a few days, to find her husband missing and what he’s left for her is an unexplained bank deposit of a million dollars, a loaded Glock in the nightstand, and a video security system that’s been wiped clean. Oh there are plenty of twists and turns. Couldn’t put it down.

Read Alyson Richman’s historical novel called The Velvet Hours. Most of the book takes place in Paris, with a young woman and her grandmother, a very wealthy (but aging) woman who led a life of a semi-courtesan. Or at least a kept woman. But this grandmother was very astute and found ways to invest her money, to grow her money, and to buy very expensive goods. Then WWII intervenes, and the granddaughter has to close up her grandmother’s apartment, leaving it much the way it had been throughout her grandmother’s life, to escape the Nazis. Years go by, and finally answers are sought and found. An intriguing book, based on the author’s experience with an apartment that had been locked up similarly for decades, also in Paris.

Susan Meissner is one of my favorite authors. This book, The Nature of Fragile Things tells a very unusual story. About a young Irish immigrant, desperate to find a way out of poverty, answers an ad for a mail order bride. She moves to San Francisco and becomes the bride, and mother to the man’s young child. But all is not right with the world. Sophie senses an undercurrent about her husband’s life. He’s elusive, leaves her alone for days on end, doesn’t share her bed, and she begins to feel the only reason he wanted a wife was to care for the child. Then the world turns upside down with the 1906 earthquake. And then there’s more. . . and more. . . very gripping read.

Also read Rachel Hauck’s The Writing Desk. You could call this a romance. A young professional, a writer of one successful book, has writer’s block. Then she’s asked to go to Florida to help her mother (from whom she’s mostly estranged) through chemo. She goes, hoping she can find new inspiration. Oh the various twists this book can give you. There’s a guy she meets, but she’s keeping her boyfriend at home on the string, sort of. Then there’s the desk itself, that has history. Oh my, does it have history. Really interesting story, light reading.

One of my book clubs has us reading Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library: A Novel. What a premise for a book. About a library you can whiz to in the middle of the night and discover other lives you could have lived. And experience them. To find out the answers to those questions we ask ourselves sometimes, “I wonder what would have happened if I’d . . . .” taken that other job, gone out with that guy, taken that trip. That kind of thing. You’ll find out what happened to one particular woman who thought she had nothing left to live for. Good read. Very different. A bit space-agey. Sort of time travel, but not really. But yes, maybe.

James Shipman has written an intriguing book, It Is Well: A Novel, about a man who has lost his wife. And about a woman who has lost her husband. But their relationship stalls, big time, because the guy made a promise to his wife, and he feels duty-bound to honor it. There is much angst about it all. Much wringing of hands, some tears on her part. Nice book; good read.

I wrote up a post about this book: Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World: The Twin Towers, Windows on the World, and the Rebirth of New York by Tom Roston. Go read the full write-up if you’re interested. The book is a complete history of the famous restaurant on the 107th floor of one of the Twin Towers.

Also recently finished The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. The book goes backwards and forwards in time, from the 1600s in London with the day-to-day lives of a group of Jews (who had to be very careful about how they worshiped) to current day as an old house is discovered to hold a treasure-trove of historical papers. The story is mostly about a young woman, educated, a Jew, who is the scribe (in secret) to an aging religious leader (in a time when women would have been verboten to hold such a position). And about her own curiosity about her religion and how she eventually begins writing letters (using a male pseudonym) to various Jewish leaders abroad, questioning their religious beliefs. The book is extraordinarily long – not that that kept me from turning a single page! – and complex with the cast of characters from the 1600s and the cast in today’s world of highly competitive experts analyzing the ancient papers. Altogether riveting book. Loved it from beginning to end.

I’m forever reading historical novels. The Lost Jewels: A Novel by Kirsty Manning is a mystery of sorts, going back in time in London in the time of aristocrats and their jewels (pearls, diamonds, gems of all kinds) sometimes made it into the hands of the digger or a maid. Then to current time as a young woman tries to ferret her family history and particularly about some old-old jewelry that they can’t quite figure out – how the grandmother came to have them. Fascinating tale.

Not for the faint of heart, Boat of Stone: A Novel by Maureen Earl tells the true tale of some misplaced Jews at the tale-end of WWII who ended up on Mauritius.

Colleen Hoover has written quite a book, It Ends with Us: A Novel, with a love story being the central theme, but again, this book is not for everyone – it can be an awakening for any reader not acquainted with domestic violence and how such injury can emerge as innocent (sort of) but then becomes something else. There is graphic detail here.

Erin Bartels wrote quite a complex story in The Words between Us: A Novel. We go alongside a young girl as she goes to high school, trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to be anonymous (because her mother and father are both in prison), taking on a fake name. She meets a guy and they share a bond of reading and some romance. Years go by and she’s now owner of a failing independent bookstore (and married, or separated) and suddenly begins receiving a used book (that she recognizes) every day from a different place in the country. A message for sure, but where will it lead? Yes, it’s a romance. Lots of introspection going on. Enjoyed it.

Nicolas Barreau’s novel Love Letters from Montmartre: A Novel  is very poignant, very sweet book. Seems like I’ve read several books lately about grieving; this one has a charming ending, but as anyone who has gone through a grave loss of someone dear knows, you can’t predict day to day, week to week. “Snap out of it,” people say, thinking they’re helping.

Another very quirky book, that happens to contain a lot of historical truth is The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World: A Novel by Harry N. Abrams. Set in Japan just after the tsunami 10 years ago when 18,000 people died. At a private park miles away, some very special people installed a phone booth, with a phone (that didn’t work) at the edge of the park, and the survivors of the tsunami began wending their way there to “talk” to their deceased loved ones. Very poignant story.

No question, the most quirky book I’ve read of late, a recommendation from my friend Karen, West with Giraffes: A Novel by Lynda Rutledge. Back in the 1930s a small group of giraffes were brought across the Atlantic from Africa to New York, destined for the then-growing San Diego Zoo. The story is of their journey across the United States in the care of two oh-so-different people, both with a mission.

Riveting story of post-WWII- Japan in Ana Johns novel, The Woman in the White Kimono: A Novel. About a young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American serviceman.

Also read Rishi Reddi’s novel, Passage West: A Novel with a very different take on the migration of Indians (East India) to the California agricultural lands east of San Diego during the 1920s and 30s.

Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but the Mary Morris book, A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime tells the true day to day life of a young Irish girl who becomes a nurse, in England, France and Belgium in the midst of WWII and immediately after the war.

Could hardly put down Krueger’s book, This Tender Land: A Novel. Tells the harrowing story of a young boy, Odie, (and his brother Albert) who became orphans back in the 30s. At first there is a boarding school, part of an Indian (Native American) agreement, though they are not Indian. They escape, and they are “on the run.”

Just finished Kristin Hannah’s latest book, The Four Winds: A Novel. What a story. One I’ve never read about, although I certainly have heard about the “dust bowl” years when there was a steady migration of down-and-out farmers from the Midwest, to California, for what they hoped to be the American Dream. It tells the story of one particular family, the Martinellis, the grandparents, their son, his wife, and their two children.

Brit Bennett has written quite a book, The Vanishing Half: A Novel. It’s a novel, yet I’m sure there are such real-life situations. Twin girls are born to a young black woman in the South. Into a town (that probably doesn’t exist) that prides itself on being light-skinned blacks.

What a book. The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel by Marie Benedict. A novelized biography of Hedy Lamarr, the famous actress.  Very much worth reading.

Also read The Secret of the Chateau: Gripping and heartbreaking historical fiction with a mystery at its heart by Kathleen McGurl. There are two stories here. The historical part is just prior to and up to the French Revolution, and the second in current day as a group of friends purchase a crumbling chateau. Very interesting. I love historical novels like this, and this one in particular does have quite a mystery involved, too.

Also finished reading Sue Monk Kidd’s recent book, The Book of Longings: A Novel. It is a book that might challenge some Christian readers, as it tells the tale of Jesus marrying a woman named Mary. I loved the book from the first word to the last one. The book is believable to me, even though the Bible never says one way or the other that Jesus ever married. It’s been presumed he never did. But maybe he did?

Jeanine Cummins has written an eye-opener, American Dirt. A must read. Oh my goodness. I will never, ever, ever look at Mexican (and further southern) migrants, particularly those who are victims of the vicious cartels, without sympathy. It tells the story of a woman and her young son, who were lucky enough to hide when the cartel murdered every member of her family – her husband, her mother, and many others. It’s about her journey and escape to America.

Also read JoJo Moyes’ book, The Giver of Stars. Oh gosh, what a GREAT book. Alice joins the Horseback Librarians in the rural south.

Frances Liardet has written a blockbuster tale, We Must Be Brave. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Although the scene is WWII England, this book is not really about the war. It’s about the people at home, waiting it out, struggling with enough food, clothing and enough heat.

William Kent Krueger wrote Ordinary Grace. From amazon: a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God. It’s a coming of age story.

Follow the River: A Novel by James Alexander Thom. This one is also based on the history of a woman (married, pregnant) who was captured by the Shawnee, during the early settlement days east of the Ohio River, about 1755. And her eventual escape.

A Column of Fire: A Novel by Ken Follett. It takes place in the 1500s, in England, and has everything to do with the war between the Catholics and the Protestants, that raged throughout Europe during that time, culminating in the Spanish Inquisition.

My Name Is Resolute by Nancy Turner. She’s the author of another book of some renown, These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.). Resolute is what I’m discussing here. It’s fiction, but based some on a true story. Resolute, as a young girl from a privileged life on a plantation in Jamaica, was taken captive by slavers, eventually ended up in Colonial America.

The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks. This is a memoir, so a true story, of a young man growing up in the Lake District of Northern England, who becomes a shepherd. Not just any-old shepherd – actually a well educated one. He knows how to weave a story.

 

Tasting Spoons

My blog's namesake - small, old and some very dented engraved silver plated tea spoons that belonged to my mother-in-law, and I use them to taste my food as I'm cooking.

Scroll down to the bottom to view my Blogroll

Posted in Breads, on December 3rd, 2007.

bishops bread slices

I’ve been waiting for months and months to give you this recipe. Since I only make this at Christmas-time, I didn’t think it appropriate to share it when the temps outside were in the 90’s. Although this is not my original recipe, I will tell you I’ve been making this for about 40 years, and this is one of those recipes – if you’re a regular reader of my blog – that I say – “now, listen up! I’m about to share something important.” Hence it is. Important. My mother’s friend Mary gave me this recipe, back in about 1969 or 1970. We had a group of us – 4 women: my mother, Fay, and two of her friends, Esther and Mary, both near her age. And me. We played the Japanese version of Mah Jong about every 2 weeks or so, and one of us provided lunch. It had to coincide with when my daughter, Dana, went down for her nap, so more often than not, it was at my house. After eating the repast we’d then play the game for a couple of hours.

So, Mary brought this, one Mah Jong day, when it was close to Christmas. My mother (and dad both) liked fruitcake. But I never did. Still don’t. I’ve been known to try a nibble, with somebody’s prized recipe, thinking that maybe my taste buds have changed, that I’ve matured somehow. Or that somebody has found some unique new way to make fruitcake palatable. Sorry. No. I still don’t like fruitcake. I detest citron, and anything close to it. So, when Mary brought this over, explaining that it was something like fruitcake, I was suspicious. However, she quickly said she didn’t like fruitcake, either. Oh good. I became a bishop’s bread convert from the first bite. SO:

• I do like maraschino cherries. Certainly I don’t eat them 11 months of the year. I mean, where do we ever even SEE maraschino cherries anymore except on some caterer’s platter or in a Shirley Temple. I went through a stage in the 1970’s when red dye was an anathema, but that didn’t keep me from making bishop’s bread, I’m sorry to say. So much for my dedication to the shrine of a healthy body! But now they don’t use the bad red dye (supposedly), so I hope that since this is only consumed by me for these few, short weeks, maybe I’ll live another day.

• And, I like chocolate too. You all already know that. You can use Nestle’s chips, or cut up your own, or use some other brand. The better the brand the better the bread. You could use milk chocolate too, I suppose.

• And, I like walnuts.

• But, I don’t like fruitcake.

• Enter, ta da: Bishop’s Bread!

So, on to this recipe. If you’re going to be a stickler for detail, I suppose this does bear some resemblance to fruitcake – it has a similar consistency – chunks of goodies glued together with a basic cake recipe. Kind of like pound cake. But, instead of citron and dried fruit (lemon, lime, orange, red candied cherries, dates, figs, etc) this has nothing but chocolate chips, walnuts and maraschino cherries. The cherries maintain their moistness, and you combine them with walnuts and chocolate, and it’s a marriage made in heaven, I say. Yes, it’s a bread-like shape, and you slice it like fruitcake, but it isn’t. I promise. On my honor.

Here’s how it’s made:
bishops bread mixThere’s the walnuts, chocolate chips and masarschino cherries all mixed with all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt). The sugar goes into the egg mixture, which is added next.

bishops bread eggsYou add in the eggs and sugar mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula until everything is well coated AND you can’t see any white flour bits anywhere.

bishops bread in pansThere’s the raw batter spooned into the pans – this time I used pretty paper pans, so I didn’t have to use the buttered waxed paper on the bottom because you tear off the “box.”

bishops bread baked 540There they are, just baked and cooled. They make lovely gifts for people at this time of year.

You can bake it in bread pans, so you’ll have just one loaf using the recipe below. Or, if you’re a Bishop’s Bread lover, then you bake in large quantity. Today I made a quadruple batch. It would make 4 bread pans full, but I had some smaller, cute little cardboard ones that are perfect for giving away (picture above). I made seven of them and one loaf pan. I’ll keep the loaf sized one and very judiciously give away the others. Only to very special friends. You can interchange nuts if you’d prefer something different. And if you don’t like maraschino, then substitute apricots, perhaps, or dried cranberries maybe. But it won’t be the same.

bishops bread fruitnuts closeup

Over the years I’ve tried to find out the history of this bread/cake. The internet hasn’t been of much help other than to give me several similar recipes (purportedly dating to the 1950’s) with candied cherries, sometimes almonds or pecans, chocolate, and dates. I did see a couple with maraschino cherries, so this must have been somebody’s interpretation. Obviously, the way-back origin must be religious in some way with the word “bishop” in the title. I did find this, though:

Any purchased or homemade cake decorated with the bishop’s name and a tiny mitre can be used on the feast of a bishop-saint, the traditional cake is Bischofsbrot or “Bishop’s Bread.” (this was from a Catholic Church website)

It probably did have candied cherries in it at one time. Whatever it is, I adore this bread. And if you’re a regular reader of my blog, and you like my recipes, then I sincerely request that you make this bread. Post Haste.
printer-friendly CutePDF
Files: MasterCook 5+ and MasterCook 14 (click link to open in MC)

Bishop’s Bread

Recipe: a dear friend from the 1970’s, Mary Wilfert
Servings: 20 (slices)

FLOUR MIXTURE:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
CHOCOLATE, NUT & FRUIT MIXTURE:
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups walnuts — chopped
1 cup maraschino cherries — drained, halved
1 cup sugar
3 whole eggs

NOTES:  You could also make these in smaller pans (and bake a shorter time) and give as gifts to friends and neighbors. The proportion of nuts, chips and cherries can vary to your taste. If you don’t like maraschino cherries, substitute dried cranberries, for instance. Prefer pecans? Or maybe macadamia nuts? The original recipe I was given also included dates.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a bread pan and line the bottom with waxed paper (yes, it’s important). Sift dry ingredients (this is to make certain the baking powder and salt are evenly distributed) into a large bowl. Add chocolate chips, walnuts and cherries and stir to coat the items, particularly the cherries.
2. With an electric mixer combine eggs and sugar and beat until thoroughly mixed, then add to fruit-flour mixture and stir gently, but well, until combined. You don’t want to see any pockets of flour. Pour into prepared pan(s) and place on middle rack in the oven. Reduce oven temp to 325°F. Bake for 60-75 minutes, testing in center with an instant read thermometer, until it reaches about 210°F. If you use a toothpick to test for done-ness, and the tester goes into a chocolate chip, it’s hard to tell it’s done. Continue baking as needed and test at 5-minute intervals. Remove pan(s) to a rack and allow to cool in the pan. When cool, remove from pan, remove waxed paper from the bottom, then wrap well in plastic wrap and foil, or preferably in plastic bags and refrigerate. Slice about 1/4 inch thick. Eat with gusto. [Makes 1 regular sized bread pan loaf; more if using miniature bread pans .]
Per Serving: 255 Calories; 13g Fat (42.8% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 32mg Cholesterol; 82mg Sodium.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Get Recipes by Email, Free!

  1. ThursdayNext

    said on December 4th, 2007:

    I cannot get over this recipe…it sounds like the perfect dessert for Christmas. It also seems versatile and I am seriously wondering how this would be in a simple trifle – layered with some vanilla pudding in a trifle bowl and then topped with chocolate shavings. Or would this pair better with ice cream? Thoughts? I am scheduled to make a trifle for Christmas day and want to break away from my usual…would this work?

  2. Carolyn T

    said on December 4th, 2007:

    Hmmm. I don’t know about the trifle idea. If you can picture using a dense kind of bread (well, like date nut bread, for instance), that kind of heaviness, then it might work. If you sliced the bishop’s bread quite thin it might work. And I wouldn’t make the vanilla pudding/sauce all that sweet – under sweeten it, I’d think. You could always add more sugar later if you took a taste of the bread with the pudding. And some whipped cream to cut the richness? Just a thought.

  3. Anonymous

    said on December 5th, 2007:

    This bread is the best!!! I am so lucky to be a recipient of the few loaves my mom makes, I wish I had taken two loaves. This is the best. I don’t like fruitcake either.

  4. Book Group Friend

    said on December 17th, 2007:

    This is a great recipe. I served it recently and got rave reviews. It looks so pretty thinly sliced on a Christmassy plate. If you have any left overs, it stays moist for quite awhile. So make sure to save some for yourself!!

  5. Carolyn T

    said on December 17th, 2007:

    I still have one loaf left. I think I’ll keep it hidden in the refrigerator until awhile after Christmas. I’m already on food overload with the parties, dinners, etc. we’ve been going to. But I agree, it’s good stuff!

  6. Anonymous

    said on December 26th, 2007:

    You don’t always have to make it as an actual bread loaf shape. My mother has been placing the batter in cupcake tins for years. It cooks faster and is perfectly portioned.

  7. Arlene

    said on February 13th, 2010:

    I’ve been looking for this recipe for YEARS !!! A friend used to make it and I loved it. Wondering if I should add dates ??? Have you ? I don’t want to ruin it. Thanks

    Yes, absolutely you can add dates. I’m not overly fond of them, but I believe they were in the original recipe given to me. . . hope you enjoy the bread! . . . carolyn t

  8. Rev Beth Casey

    said on December 5th, 2010:

    I want to just add a memory to this bishops bread. My mother made it when I was a kid.. however she did something I have done and works quite well. She would make hers in a 9×13 pan and sprinkle white sugar on the bottom of her pan after she greased it. she would rinse her cherries and place them accordingly. Then pour her batter which only carried flecks of the cherries and nuts in her batter. When she flipped the bread after it was cooled the sugar sparkled like glitter..very pretty and impressive.
    I now do this with my loaf pans.. I also chop my cherries and chocolate and nuts very fine and only put a small amount in the batter.. it looks so pretty when you cut it and still very good..the larger fruit and nuts are all at the bottom of the pan and its in the flipping that you get the right effect.. try it, you might like it too!

    What an interesting idea, Beth. Thanks for the suggestion. I may have to try it that way just because it’s different. . . carolyn t

  9. mary lynn reed

    said on December 14th, 2010:

    I have loved and made Bishop’s Bread for years, for my family and for presents. It’s a universal hit.

    For a fictionalized biography of Katherne Swynford, one of my all time favorite books is “Katherine” by Anya Seton. It’s very well researched and well crafted for historical fiction of the 1950s. It was reprinted in 2004. I highly recommend it.

    So happy to find a kindred spirit as far as BIshop’s Bread is concerned! And yes, I read Seton’s “Katherine” probably 30 years ago. Loved it! . . . carolyn t

  10. Anonymous

    said on December 30th, 2010:

    I have been making this bread for many, many years. I received the recipe from a neighbor (currently 96 years old). This recipe calls for dates, walnuts, brazil nuts. We also put in red and green maraschino cherries with the juice.
    This neighbor of mine told me that her ancestors told her that in the 1300’s this bread was made special for when the Bishop of the Catholic church would come for a visit. He was the only one who could eat of it. Eventually as time went on, other church officials were allowed to eat it. This day and age, everyone gets to eat it no matter what religion you are. It originated in Germany. I am sure there could be a lot of truth to this.

    I did do some internet research at one time about the history of the bread. I was never able to find any recipe that was quite like this one, but you’re right about the making of it for the Bishop; hence it’s name. In the time of the Middle Ages, nuts and dried fruits were precious, so to serve that to the Bishop certainly would have been a big “treasure.”

    I don’t use the juice from the cherries because it colors the batter. I prefer a regular creamy colored bread part. And this year I didn’t dry them off enough so some of the juice did leak out into the bread. But it tasted the same, and always good! I also don’t use dates, although they were in my original recipe. I’m just not all that crazy about dates. Out of hand, fine, but I don’t like them much in baked goods – taste too much like citron, I suppose. Thanks for stopping by my blog .. .. carolyn t

  11. Jaie

    said on November 13th, 2011:

    I was reading “Pat of Silverbush” written in the 30’s and your recipe came up in a search. I now must try it!

    Ah, is the bread mentioned in the book? I’ve never heard of the book – do let me know as I’ve always wanted to know more about it and there is just about nothing on the internet about it. Let me know what you think. I’ve just finished baking a new version of it (using a different batter, but the same hard stuff – chocolate chips, maraschino cherries and walnuts). It will be posted within a week or so. . . carolyn t

  12. Tee Vee

    said on December 7th, 2011:

    My grandmother and mother have been making Bishop’s Bread for YEARS!!! It is a great recipe and a huge surprise to anyone and every one who tries it. I use pecans rather than walnuts (more flavor!)and half the amount of cherries (other half dates); OTHERWISE, STICK TO THE RECIPE. Surprise your friends and family!!!

    The trick is getting non-fruitcake people to even TRY it. But, I agree, it’s delicious stuff. . . carolyn t

  13. Nancy B.

    said on December 9th, 2011:

    I got a similar recipe from a friend’s Mom over 25 years ago and I make it every Christmas. Everyone loves it. There a 2 differences. The first – use candied cherries instead of marashino. Also, when cooling the loaves, put the tines of a fork into the loaf in about 6 or 7 spots about a 1/2 inch down. Then spoon over the brandy over those spots.
    FABULOUS!
    Sounds wonderful, Nancy! I may have to try it! . . . carolyn t

  14. Ruth Youngstrum

    said on November 12th, 2012:

    Help -I made this but it was so thick and dense that it broke apart -do I need to add some more liquid due to our altitude?? I live at 5280 ft. Still tasted great. Thanks.

    I don’t THINK altitude would play much of a part in this because there is no leavening in it (baking powder). Is it possible the loaf got too hot (meaning the oven was too hot)? I never do add any liquid to it. I did, however, make a newer version of this bread – look on my blog for Golden Bishop’s Bread. I haven’t gone to look up the differences – a reader sent me this other version – and I liked it a lot. But I’m not sure it had any other liquid in it either. I’ll have to look further. I live at sea level, so don’t do much about high altitude cooking, obviously, and I don’t even remember what changes have to be made. I’ll go look at that too and I’ll email you. . . carolyn t

  15. Marcia

    said on December 4th, 2012:

    My mother made this Bishop’s Bread every Christmas and I helped from the time I was about 5 or 6. I am now 65 yrs ago. I am not motivated to make it but sure would love to taste it just once!! Does anyone volunteer to make one large loaf and send it to me? I have paypal and would pay for the labor and ingredients. Thank you.

    Marcia, it’s so EASY to make? You should try it. . . carolyn t

  16. Suzy

    said on December 7th, 2012:

    I got my Bishop’s Bread recipe from a co-worker who brought it to work every December. My recipe includes chopped dates. It is my husband’s favorite Christmas cookie.

    If you read my write-up about the recipe, mine (that came from a friend of my mother’s) also contained dates, but I don’t overly love dates, so I left them out of the recipe from the beginning. Do go read my Golden Bishop’s Bread recipe too, that I acquired last year
    https://tastingspoons.com/archives/7584. . . carolyn t

  17. Valarie

    said on May 3rd, 2013:

    They make this bread in the cutest ABC Family Christmas movie (12 Dates of Christmas) and call it cherry chip loaf. I looked all over the internet for a recipe for cherry chip loaf and this looks perfect. Besides the fact that I’m pretty sure I didn’t cook it quite long enough, it turned out great. It is so good! Thank you for sharing a bit of the history and the real name.

    I’ve not heard of the ABC Family Christmas movie or the 12 Dates of Christmas. Will have to ask my Tivo to record it later this year! Am glad you found the recipe. It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes and except for one year I think I’ve made it every December since about 1970! Long, loooooong time! . . . carolyn t

  18. Judi Uvick

    said on December 12th, 2013:

    Is there no shortening in this bread? With 3 eggs, it shouldn’t be dry, but you can never tell!

    No, there’s no added fat in the bread. As you can see from the photos, it’s mostly the “fruit,” – the chocolate chips, the maraschino cherries and the nuts – with the batter just kind of holding it together. The eggs add all the binder it needs to hold together. It doesn’t need anything else. You can take a look at my other Bishop’s Bread (the “original” one). It’s an even more basic batter: https://tastingspoons.com/archives/215/. I can just tell you from years and years of experience, it works just fine without any butter or shortening. . . carolyn t

  19. Glen

    said on December 12th, 2014:

    Hi Carolyn… looks yummy. Going to try it this weekend. Noticed the recipe does have baking powder. So, should I use plain flour or is it ok to use AP or whatever I have on hand? Always look forward to your post. Thanks.

    All-purpose flower doesn’t have any leavening, only self-rising flour does. So yes, just use ordinary flour. It plays a minor role in the bread anyway, just some kind of glue to hold together all the goodies. . . carolyn t

  20. Kate

    said on December 24th, 2014:

    Hi Carolyn, I came across your blog this past Thanksgiving because I misplaced my recipe card for bishop’s bread, and it was too late at night to call an aunt for it. Our family has made bishop’s bread for years, passed down by my Granny, Helen. She told us that she had come up with the recipe by accident, I’m not sure what year exactly but it would’ve been sometime in the 50’s- early 60’s, when she was living in the Chicago area. She was baking a batch of fruitcake, when she inadvertently switched to another recipe, which happened to be for a chocolate chip quickbread. It was a hit with the kids, so she documented the hybrid recipe and dubbed it Bishop’s Bread. Her version was made with fruitcake components, the recipe we pass along in the family has the same quantities you have here except that she used just says 5 cups of mixed fruit and nut- i esp. like to use (dried/plumped in brandy) apricot, cranberries etc with chopped walnuts and pecans. We all traditionally make it on Thanksgiving, and I like to make it for Christmas too. I plan to make your version of this recipe this Christmas season. My Granny was an amazing and beautiful lady and it’s so wonderful to see how far her legacy has reached. God Bless!

    That’s really interesting. My research about Bishop’s Bread goes back into ancient history in Europe, but the bread wasn’t made with chocolate chips, of course, but with nuts and fruits of the season, most likely. Thanks for commenting. . . carolyn t

  21. Ann

    said on December 12th, 2015:

    My grandmother got this recipe sometime around 1910 from one of her Swedish neighbors. She, and then my mother, made this every Christmas and it was always a hit. Her recipe uses red and green candied cherries and chopped dates. It was only made at Christmas time because the candied cherries were expensive and could only be found in stores around the holidays. You should warn your readers that this is a very stiff dough. It contains almost no liquid ingredients (no oil, butter, milk, water etc) except for the eggs. It’s not the kind of quick bread dough that can be poured into the loaf pans, it needs to be spooned.

    Yes, my original recipe called for dates (I’m not fond of dates in breads, so I eliminated them) and my friend who gave me the recipe didn’t like candied cherries (I don’t either) and she substituted maraschino cherries and I was in LOVE with the bread from the first bite. My batter may not be quite as stiff as yours, but I agree, it’s not a standard kind of pour-able batter! Thanks for stopping by . . . carolyn t

  22. Susie

    said on December 13th, 2015:

    Hi, I have loved this bread since 1971 and only make it at Christmas. Sadly no one but me likes it so I have to eat the whole thing by myself…sigh.
    I lost my recipe last year and I thought just maybe I could find it. Thanks!
    My recipe called it Chip and Cherry Cake and does have cut up dates in it…but don’t mind leaving it out 🙂
    Thanks! I am ready to make it.

    I haven’t yet made my bread this year. Maybe this week. You could add dates to it – your choice, for sure. I just don’t happen to like dates in bread, very much, so I left it out way back when, when I started baking this bread. I’m glad you found my recipe. It’s a good one! . . . carolyn t

  23. Sharon

    said on December 21st, 2015:

    our family has also made this for years, passed from my grandmothers family, Huston’s hailing from Allegheny. Like Ann said December 12th; we use green and red candied cherries and the dates and so only make it at Christmas time. When I make some for gift baskets I will double the batter, tastes as good and makes 3 little loaves. We called it ‘cherry chip bread’ but Bishop bread sounds best, everyone is gone now so no one to ask. Thanks all, enjoy.

    It’s amazing how different the bread can be. I wouldn’t eat it if it had candied fruit in it – just because I don’t like the stuff – but the maraschino cherries? Oh yes. In years past I’ve made big batches of it to give as gifts – not so much anymore since I’m a widow and none of my friends appreciate the bread as much as I do. My kids like it, though. Thanks for commenting . . . carolyn t

  24. Sarah

    said on January 6th, 2017:

    I made a loaf using my mother’s recipe today and was inspired to google a bit looking for the origin. This site is the first I stumbled on that uses the same basic recipe (I do walnuts, dates, candied cherries (though i’ve also done dried–delicious!). Now that I see all the comments above, I wonder if my family is alone in eating it with cream cheese on it? Just sliced with a layer of plain cream cheese. SO GOOD!

    Oh, that sounds wonderful, Sarah! In case you didn’t find it, I also have another recipe here on my blog for a Golden Bishop’s Bread – https://tastingspoons.com/archives/7584 if you’re interested in seeing a variation. It was good too, but I prefer my old tried and true one and go to that each and every year. I gave away one of the two loaves I made but I ate the entire 2nd loaf all by myself over the course of December. I love this stuff. Only one December in the last 45+ years have I not made this bread. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah. . . carolyn t

  25. Kris Allen

    said on February 10th, 2017:

    Thank you!!! My sister passed last year & I didn’t get her cookbook. Been looking for this recipe for ever. It seems to be the same as she made. Thank you do much for sharing.

    You’re so welcome. Happy memory-making. . . Carolyn t

  26. mush

    said on December 11th, 2017:

    Thank you for bring back the memory of my sister. She made bishops bread for years and of course I never got the recipe. She has passed away years ago and finding this recipe brings her back to me. I am looking forward to making my first batch today. Thank you again.

    You’re very welcome. Do note that my original recipe included dates, but I’m not much of a fan of dates, so have never used them. You can mix and match your favorite kind of fruit and nuts. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Let me know – I’ll be interested to hear if it’s like you remembered. I made a 2-loaf batch this year and am trying not to have a slice every day! I want it to last into January!. . . carolyn t

  27. Sarah Campo

    said on December 11th, 2017:

    How many loaves does this recipe make. Assuming one but wanna make sure.

    It makes 1 loaf of a regular bread pan size. You could use the smaller pans and it would make probably 3, maybe just 2. I always make it in the traditional bread pan, 8″ size. Sorry if that’s not clear in the recipe. . . carolyn t

  28. Margy Mc

    said on November 7th, 2018:

    I used to make this bread and send it to my husband in 1968 when he was serving with the Marines in Vietnam. What a wonderful find to see it again!

    It’s such a winner of a quickbread. It’s almost the season for it again. Yeah! . . . carolyn t

  29. michelle

    said on November 9th, 2019:

    We have made this bread for years. We use candied cherries (red and green), Dates, walnuts, pecans, and candied pineapple. The chocolate is the bonus the Bishop Bread.

    I’m just gearing up to be making a couple of loaves for the holidays. I simply can’t make it other times of the year or I’d be eating it too often! If you read my post, I don’t like candied fruit, hence this version is right down my alley . . . thanks for writing . . . carolyn t

  30. Mary

    said on October 11th, 2020:

    We were given this in the late 70s, from a dear friend just before we moved away. We have stopped using maraschino cherries or candied cherries and have started using dried cherries. I have been known to soak them in an alcoholic drink overnight. A small amount of Amaretto… Yes, we also use a cream cheese spread. Our next door neighbor dislikes sweets, but loves this! I usually quadruple the batch, it goes so quickly. I also cut the sugar by a third to half. The best chocolate makes better bread!

    We’re kindred spirits, then. Yes, you could certainly use dried cherries. I still prefer the Maraschino. Soaking them overnight in Amaretto is a splendid idea, though! . . . carolyn t

  31. Marla Hill

    said on December 6th, 2020:

    My mother’s name was also Faye, and she made this every Christmas. I was looking at recipes to see if there was a suggestion for a moister version, and I found this recipe, which is exactly the one Mom used. 🙂

    Hi Marla – isn’t that interesting! Especially since I changed the recipe (no dates). I just made a loaf two days ago, and have enjoyed two slices – I limit myself to one thin slice a day during December. Thanks for writing. . . carolyn t

  32. Andree

    said on December 13th, 2020:

    I am from Quebec, Canada. My grand-mother was Acadian, from New-Brunswick, and we have family in the USA’s. My grand-mother found this recipe in an American magazine in the 50-60-70’s? I don’t know when. She started to make this recipe at Christmas and later, my mom made it too, it’s our tradition. I’m 41 now, my mom and grand-mother are gone, but I make « Pain de l’évêque », as we call it in french, every year. It’s the best. ??

    I’m so glad to hear this story! So it may have become known and popular a decade or two before I had it in the early 70s. And yes, it’s been my tradition for all these decades since then. Thanks so much for writing, Andree. . . carolyn t

  33. Linda Czuba

    said on December 24th, 2020:

    This has been my favorite Christmas bread since the 70s! And I also don’t like fruitcake! My mother-in-Law’s best friend, Louise, made this every year and sent it along with other goodies at Christmas. I always looked forward to having it for Christmas breakfast and, such as “Pavlo’s Dogs,” I craved it each time I stepped into her home! Louise, eventually sent me the recipe and I have continued making it every year since. My recipe calls for the dates and candied cherrie, with walnuts and chocolate chips. I found Nestle’s Chocolate morsels gave a Dark Chocolate chips along with the Semi Sweet, so I used those this time. It is really good! I think I will try the Maraschino cherries next time…that sounds delicious! Thank you!

    My original recipe called for dates also, but the friend who gave me the recipe had substituted maraschino cherries for the candied cherries. Otherwise, this recipe is the same. Thanks for writing, Linda. . . Carolyn T

  34. Carol

    said on December 3rd, 2021:

    I am wondering if this Bishops bread can be frozen.

    Hi Carol – I don’t know why not. There isn’t anything in it that would preclude freezing. It lasts for weeks and weeks in the refrigerator so I never freeze it, but do try, and let me know! . . . carolyn t

Leave Your Comment