Yesterday I made a load of bread.
Until a week ago I hadn’t made bread in decades. I have a bread machine, but it does not make a very good loaf.
The store was out of yeast except for a couple of little packets that cost more than a loaf of bread. I got lucky and was able to order some yeast online. There were very few places that had any for sale.
So I gathered up all the ingredients and dumped everything in the 25 plus year old bread machine and pressed go.
The top blew off the loaf. I figure I should not have scraped up the yeast I spilled and dumped the extra into the machine.
Bread was stuck to the bottom of the lid and the insides of the machine. It took me 45 minutes to clean the crusted/baked-on bread out of the machine.
The bread tasted OK and some of it got used.
For the second loaf I used less yeast and I set the machine to dough. I took the dough out of the machine and put it into a loaf pan and let it raise. The loaf came out half as high as it should have been and it was dense. This loaf tasted better and I made a couple of sandwiches out of it before I dumped the loaf.
The third loaf I used a different recipe and I proofed the yeast. The yeast was active dry yeast not bread machine yeast. I also measured the ingredients carefully. The loaf was much better, but a little dry and crumbly. This loaf taste much better and will get eaten. I still have some experimenting to do.
What does this have to do with writing steampunk?
The first loaf is like the first draft. The volcano hole where the top of the loaf should be is like a big plot hole in the first draft. The cleaning of the bread machine is like rewriting the first draft. They both are problems that take work to fix.
The second loaf is like a major rewrite of a manuscript. Sometimes you over do it. Like that loaf your writing can be dense. Unlike that loaf your writing can be saved.
The third loaf is like your manuscript after heavy editing. It’s close, but still needs work. All the parts are there, but something is not working out. The manuscript is usable, but not sellable. It will be.
Recipe for out of bread machine bread
Bread Machine dough for a one and a half pound loaf
3/4 cup plus 2 tapblespoons warm water (80 degrees F, I have read that 110 degree water will cause the bread to raise too fast and make large holes in the baked loaf.) 4 teaspoons sugar 2 teaspoons yeast (dry active yeast is all I could get) 2 tablespoons butter (butter makes better bread than oil in my opion) 3 cups bread flour 1/4 cup of nonfat dry powder milk 1 teaspoon salt
Place the water in cup. Microwave water for 10 to 15 seconds till warm (approximately 80 degrees). Add sugar and yeast to cup and stir. Let stand for a couple of minutes or until starting to foam.
Make sure flapper is secured in bread machine bucket and bucket is well seated.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients; flour, milk, salt to bucket in bread machine.
Soften butter in cup or small bowl in microwave. Add to bucket.
Add yeast mixture to bucket. Close lid.
Set bread machine to dough. Press on.
After cycle is finished remove dough from bread machine.
Kneed dough for 7 minutes.
Grease inside of bread pan.
Place dough in pan.
Butter or oil top of loaf. Heat oven for two minutes then shut oven off.
Let dough raise in oven (oven is off and not hot but warm) for an hour or until dough it is over the top of pan.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake bread for 30 minutes.
Cool and enjoy.
Stay strong, write on and may your writing cook.
Professor Hyram Voltage