New cookbook, inspiration, bread, and an offer for my readers

Stack of cookbooksI get kitchen inspiration from many sources – doesn’t everybody? Among them are various cookbooks that I treasure: far, far more than are shown here; I’ve been collecting them for years. Soon there will be a new addition to my hoard, and it’s written by somebody I actually know!

Donna Currie at is an inspiration for many, many people. In her blog, she writes of bread, baking, cocktails, interesting kitchen gadgets, experimentation, and outright plays with her food. I’d like to live in Donna’s kitchen, and I’ve been honored to write a guest post or two for her. She has written a cookbook on bake-it-when-you-want-it bread. I’ve pre-ordered my copy, because this, I know, is going to be one of the good ones. I suggest that if you make bread at all, or want to make bread, you ought to reserve your copy right now so you get it right on the publication date in November 2014.

An offer from Good Cook

When you pre-order your copy of Donna’s new book “Make Ahead Bread” on Amazon by February 28, 2014, you can receive a free Good Cook 9×5 loaf pan. Write down your Amazon order number and fill out this form – Good Cook will send your pan in 8 to 10 weeks, so your baking will be even better.


Just this past week, Donna inspired me to make a loaf of bread without any recipe at all. I began with a cup of water and a scant tablespoon of yeast, and added various things that seemed like they’d be good in bread: leftover oatmeal, some wheat germ, milk, butter, a bit of sweetener, and flour until it felt right. Look what came out!

Free form bread loaf

Impromptu No-recipe Bread 

  • 1 cup lukewarm water (or milk)
  • 1 Tbsp sweetener (I used honey)
  • 1 scant Tbsp yeast (or if you use packages, one package)

I used my big KitchenAid mixer, so I just tossed all this stuff in the big bowl until it was bubbly, showing that the yeast was active. Besides, I was hunting around for other stuff to just throw in there. Then I added:

  • some leftover oatmeal porridge
  • the end of a jar of wheat germ (I guess it was about a cup?)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

I mixed this with the dough hook, and while the dough was still sticky, added flour, a bit at a time, until the dough came together and settled down to be glossy and less sticky. At that point, I set it aside to rise.

When the dough had doubled, I came back to it, took it out of the bowl, knocked most of the air out, kneaded it well, and formed it into an oblong. I tossed some cornmeal on a baking sheet, and set the dough right on the cornmeal, covered it with a tea towel, and left it alone to rise again.

In about 30 minutes, the dough was clearly happy and rising still. I slashed it, put it in a cold oven, and set the oven to 375˚ to finish rising and cook. And – ta da! 30-35 minutes later, it was cooked and ready to cool.

About Good Cook and a 25% discount

Like Donna Currie, I am one of the Good Cook Kitchen Experts, which means that from time to time they send me products to use. I will always reveal when I use such a product, and will be quite honest about the results. So far, I’ve used one of their sheet pans, and totally loved it (you can see the shiny part in my bread photo). If you wish to purchase from Good Cook directly, you can receive a 25% discount. Use the promo code BakeBread.



1 Response

  1. I love that I inspired you! And I think you need just a few more cookbooks 😉 Thanks for helping to promote this!

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