When I was little, I loved the Frances books by Russell and Lillian Hoban. My middle name is Frances, which of course made me think that the entire series of books about the funny little badger was written specifically for me. Lately I've found myself thinking about one installment from the series, Bread and Jam for Frances, every time I bake a bread recipe I've been making from Sophie Dahl's first cookbook.
The recipe in question yields an odd little loaf of bread that Dahl classifies as being part of a "musician's breakfast". Almost like a cross between a traditional bread and a quick bread, it includes yeast and goes through a period of sitting and rising before it's baked, yet it never really develops into a firm dough that you can knead or hold in your hands. With other ingredients like spelt flour, oats, and honey, it has a hearty, health food kind of taste with just the slightest hint of sweetness. In other words, it's exactly the kind of bread that I imagine Frances eating topped with jam. I've been trying it that way myself with some jam of the raspberry variety.
It's also pretty good topped with a thick layer of peanut butter. Or dipped into some leftover marinara sauce. But Bread and Marinara Sauce for Frances just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?