Being the Tuesday Deb, I always get the honor and privilege of posting on my fellow Debs’ launch days because, for some reason, books come out on Tuesdays. I have no idea when or why this convention began, but since it gives me a platform to laud my friends’ wonderful books, I’ll take it.
And on this Tuesday, I am thrilled — THRILLED!! — to broadcast far and wide the launch of Deb Kelly’s delicious, funny, and heartfelt debut, THE GOODLUCK GIRLS OF SHIPWRECK LANE.
Now, by this point in my reign as a Deb, you know I have a thing for food and cooking. I may have mentioned this a time or two, or possibly a thousand. In our early days of posting here at The Debutante Ball, Deb Kelly mentioned that, oh, you know, her book had a bit of food here and there. And so when I picked up her book, I figured I was in for the occasional food reference.
The occasional food reference? Sweet Odin’s raven! THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS is teeming with luscious food descriptions, to the point where I had to interrupt my reading to fix myself a snack (or twelve) while reading any given section. There is fresh pasta and stuffed pork chops and cherry clafoutis and maple and chipotle popcorn. MAPLE AND CHIPOTLE POPCORN, people. Deb Kelly doesn’t mess around.
See, one of the Janine Browns in Kelly’s story — there are two, and they both think they’ve won a gorgeous dream home from the Home Sweet Home Network — is something of a cooking superstar. Janey, as she is called, cooks as a form of therapy, a way to escape a tragedy in her past. She may break out into hives when interacting with a stranger, but in the kitchen she is an alpha female. As someone who loves to cook, I could completely relate to Janey’s enthusiasm in the kitchen — the excitement she feels over a delivery of fresh peas, for example — even though my loquaciousness makes me Janey’s polar opposite.
But wait! Janey isn’t the only Janine Brown with kitchen skills. Nean — the other Janine Brown — begins as a culinary neophyte, whose comfort zone lies more within the bounds of Kraft mac and cheese than lobster risotto. But as the story progresses, she develops a penchant for baking, and bread baking in particular. Asiago cheese bread, anyone? Yeah, I thought so. Me too.
I don’t want to say much more about the cooking and feasting and bread baking because food is such an integral part of this story that doing so will ruin the magic of this enchanting novel. But go buy a copy of this scrumptious read, and you will see what I’m talking about. And if after reading, you feel inspired to bake some bread, here is one of my favorite bread recipes. I think Janey and Nean would approve.
Oh, but before you bake that bread, enter yourself in our major GOOD LUCK GIRLS giveaway by commenting below! We are giving away one copy of THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS OF SHIPWRECK LANE to a lucky reader. If we reach 50 comments, Kelly will be giving away an artisan baker’s set, consisting of a high end 18 gauge half sheet pan, a chrome cooling grate, a silicone baking mat, and a cover. WHOA WHOA AND WHOA! Just tell us below: what do you prefer, baking or cooking?
And remember, if Kelly gets 500 Likes on herFacebook Author Page, she is giving away a lobster dinner for six, flown in fresh from Maine. Yeah. You read that right. Get your tushes over there.
Oat Sunflower Millet Bread (OSM Bread)
This bread is based on the OSM Bread from The Bunnery in Jackson Hole, WY. It’s great served warm for breakfast, slathered in butter or covered with some fresh apple butter. It is also perfect for making sandwiches, and it makes some stellar toast.
2 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) dry active yeast
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup canola or safflower oil
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup millet
2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
3-4 cups whole wheat flour
Mix together the lukewarm water and honey in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and stir until dissolved. Allow the yeast to proof for 5-10 minutes, until the yeast rises to the surface and starts to foam.
Stir the oil into the yeast mixture. Then add 1 cup of bread (or all-purpose) flour and 2 cups whole wheat flour and beat with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment until the batter is smooth and glossy. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
Add the salt, oatmeal, sunflower seeds and millet to the bowl; stir down the dough and blend in. Add the remaining cup of bread flour and stir well. Gradually add in the remainder of the whole wheat flour. When the dough becomes too stiff to stir, turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for about 10 minutes (or, switch to the dough hook on your mixer — this will take less time), until the dough is soft, but not sticky. Place the dough in a large bowl that has been oiled, cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Grease two 9″x5″ loaf pans and line with parchment paper, allowing the parchment to hang over the longer sides of the pan (this will make it easier for you to lift the loaves out of the pans). Punch down the dough and knead lightly and briefly to deflate. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a loaf, and place a loaf in each pan. Allow the loaves to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
About 20 minutes before you bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the loaves for about 40 minutes, until the loaves are nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped (the internal temperature should be around 200°F). Allow the loaves to cool in the pans for a few minutes, then lift out of the pans using the parchment paper and let them cool completely.
Yield: Two 9″x5″ loaves