By John Hardaway
Paul Bunyan Bread
The format for this week’s blog will be a little different than in past weeks, as I will be telling you the story of Paul Bunyan Bread, why it was so great and how you can make it.
You may be asking yourself already: What is Paul Bunyan bread?
What it was to myself and Adam Diesselhorst was awesome deliciousness, a welcome break, the highlight while refereeing high school summer league basketball.
Twenty-plus years ago while we were all still in high school, Coach Glover would hire us to ref his summer league.
The gym was blistering hot with no AC, or even really any air circulation period.
The Fairview gym is a dome and is mainly underground with only a few doors so you can only imagine what that was like in June.
We were getting paid really well… $5 per game. If you weren’t reffing you kept clock, probably for free, but it really didn’t matter.
If I remember correctly, games started at 4 p.m. and ran until about 8 p.m.
Enough time to get there after having mowed all day long and always enough time afterwards to get some shots up and then go jump in the Diesselhorst pool to cool down.
The refereeing was undoubtedly exceptional and Coach would even jump in and ref some games as well. Like many summer leagues, most were pretty easy going, but some very intense, normally depending on the teams playing and who the coaches were.
It was a really fun time honestly for us and Coach, but the highlight of every one of these evenings for me and us, was the famous Paul Bunyan Bread.
Mrs. Cyndy Glover would bring us hard-working, maybe slightly underpaid, referees Paul Bunyan Bread every night there was summer league.
The Glovers - Cyndy and Coach (David)
It always came in a basket, tightly wrapped up in a towel to keep it warm and fresh and with some BBQ sauce, ketchup or mustard (but BBQ was always my #1…a shocker, I know).
Along with the Paul Bunyan Bread was a Route 44 Cherry Limeade to wash it all down! At the time, it pretty much didn’t get any better than that!
So what is Paul Bunyan Bread? It’s a pretty simple, tried and true concept that traditionally works well across many different food genres: Bread, meat, cheese.
Now, it can be as simple as those three things or it can be a whole bunch of other things depending on your preferred taste palate.
Paul Bunyan Bread is really not too far off from, say, a calzone or Bierocks.
Popular Paul Bunyan Bread combinations would be hamburger and cheese, ham and cheese, or even pizza style with pepperoni and mozzarella.
The next time I make one, I’m going to do a Philly Cheese Steak-style with steak, peppers, onions and mushrooms.
I really think you could do it a lot of different ways, but to me, the ones from 20 years ago will always be the best, whatever they were.
So for the purpose of this blog, I asked Mrs. Glover for the recipe and directions.
I was surprised at how simple it really was, especially for how great I remember them being. But, when you really think about it, most really tasty food experiences are simple.
I prepared my bread (Rhodes frozen loaf) overnight in a loaf pan.
I searched the fridge to see what items I had at my disposal for the filling and came up with breakfast sausage, onion, mushrooms, and pepper jack cheese.
I got all that cooked and ready, flattened out my bread, filled it up, pinched the ends, and put it back in the loaf pan and in the oven.
Twenty-five minutes later, I had a culinary masterpiece.