Gerald Winters, owner of the Gerald Winters & Son bookstore in downtown Bangor, often deals in the ultra-rare and the ultra-strange, as a purveyor of rare books, specializing in the works of Stephen King.
He can add collector of rare breads to his inventory this week, after acquiring on Wednesday a loaf of bread baked by Stephen King as part of a charity baked good auction held by the Bangor YMCA in 1985.
The bread, tightly wrapped in plastic and tied up with a green ribbon, comes with a typewritten card with the recipe on it. It’s a traditional, homestyle yeast bread, made with milk, sugar and shortening, probably not too different from what your grandma used to make.
“Yes, that’s my recipe and my bread,” King told the BDN. “Not sure I’d eat it now, though.”
Winters acquired the bread through a long-time client, a local woman who bought the bread at the auction 33 years ago. She came in on Wednesday to sell him a few books, and added in the frozen loaf as a bonus.
“She bought it at the auction, put it straight in the freezer, and kept it there for 33 years, until two days ago,” said Winters. “It’s really the oddest thing I’ve ever gotten in terms of King stuff. I don’t even know how I’d advertise it. I don’t even know if I’d put it on sale. How do you put a price on something like that?”
Winters said that the client also purchased at the auction a pan of maple almond brownies baked by Tabitha King. The brownies were immediately eaten back in 1985, though she kept the recipe card and brought that to Winters as well.
King said he wouldn’t eat the bread. Winters isn’t too sure, either.
“I mean, it was frozen fresh. But I don’t know. I don’t know any chefs who could tell me if something is still edible after 33 years,” said Winters.
The recipe cards do have value, however. Winters shared with us both Stephen King’s bread recipe and Tabitha King’s brownie recipe. Want to make them for yourselves? The instructions are below.
Stephen King’s White Bread
Makes two loaves
2 envelopes dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup warm (not hot!) water
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups lukewarm milk (scald and cool)
Approximately 8 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons shortening
Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in milk, sugar, shortening, salt and half the flour. Beat until mixed. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle (not sticky). Turn dough onto floured surface and knead about 10 minutes. Put in greased bowl, turning once so greased on top. Cover and let rise in warm place until dough is doubled. Punch down dough, divide into halves. Roll each half into rectangle and then roll up tightly, pinching edges to seal. Place each in greased loaf pan, brush with butter and let rise again for about an hour or until double. Heat oven to 425 and bake 25-30 minutes. When done, remove and cool on racks. Make 2 loaves.
Tabitha King’s Maple Almond Brownies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
Melt butter and chocolate together. Beat eggs, sugar, salt and extracts together. Stir in flour. Add chocolate mixture. Mix well. Pour into greased 9 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-35 minutes or until tests done. Cool and cut into squares.