Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rye & Harvest Grain Bread Machine Loaf

Snickers is good at keeping secrets. She can't talk.
I'm about to let you in on a big secret.

Shhhh ...

I just signed a contract to write a cookbook. Yep, me. Cookbook. Woah.

Or, really, it's mostly a bread baking book. Which means that I'm currently up to my ears in bread flour, bread dough, bread & buns, bread crusts, and bread crumbs.

That's the good news.

The (sort of bad) other news is I've realized that if I'm going to get the manuscript to the publisher on time, I'm probably not going to be able to get a blog post done every single day. I need sleep, people. And I don't want to start putting up posts that are just a photo and a caption. I want to keep posting quality stuff.

Just not every darned day. Maybe 3-4 times a week. Just until I get the bulk of the manuscript done and I can detach myself from the oven for a while.

So that's how it affects the me and this blog. But enough about me. Let's talk about my book.

Mmmmm. Buns. I love buns.
It will be mostly yeasted bread (and bread-related) recipes. There will also be some extra recipes, like things you can put on your bread (sauces, butters, jams) and then some things you can do with leftover bread. And then some tips, techniques, and other useful information.

The book is scheduled to published in November, 2014.

Woah. That's not so far away, really. Not when I think about everything that has to be done.

I don't want to bore you to death with the details right now, and I don't want to turn this into an about-my-book blog, so I'm creating a new blog where I'll be posting about the book, with updates, milestones, and chatter about what's going on.

I know it sounds a little crazy to start a new blog when I'm cutting back here, but this is my first book, and I want to remember the process, I've been jotting notes already, so it won't take much work to put that up on my blog. There's nothing there yet, but I'll put up a link when it's got something to read,

Maybe some of you will be amused about the process and the fun I'm having with the dough. So much dough...

Meanwhile, how about a recipe?

This is bread, but it's not one of the recipes that will appear in the book. You'll have to wait for those.

Both the Harvest Grains Blend and the rye chops came from King Arthur Flour. The Harvest Grains blend is a mix of seeds and stuff. When I first saw it, I thought it looked a little like birdseed, but it's got great flavor. And I kinda love sunflower seeds in bread.

This particular loaf is sort of, well, ugly. It rose nicely, it tasted great, but the top was lumpy and bumpy and cratered and weird. That's one of the things you can't control in a bread machine. Sometimes a loaf looks odd because of the way it settled in the pan when it finished kneading.

For a prettier loaf, you could take this out of the bread machine when it's done kneading and shape it and bake it in the oven. Or make the whole thing by hand or with a stand mixer. Or shrug your shoulders and say that's how it's supposed to look.

Me, I'm eating my ugly-but-tasty bread and baking like crazy so you can buy my book in 2014.

Rye & Harvest Grain Bread Machine Loaf

Not so pretty, but very tasty.
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup rye chops
1/2 cup Harvest Grains Blend
2 cups (9 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Combine all the ingredients in your bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. If you have different settings, go for a medium loaf and a light crust.

Beep-beep, boop-boop, bakety-bake-bake.

When the bread is done, remove it from the bread machine and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.