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A Year in Bread in midsummer

berries like grapes

It's too hot to bake!

Well, almost too hot to bake. This month at A Year in Bread we are focusing on quick breads, with Kevin's scrumptious Cheese Bread starting us out. My post is going up tomorrow, but there is a subtle hint here somewhere about the recipe. If I could just remember where I put it.

We also have our hot little hands on two signed copies of Daniel Leader's latest book Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers and are offering them up to our readers over there in a pair of contests. Okay, we actually have our hands on FIVE signed copies of Local Breads, but you will have to pry three of them out of our flour-covered hands.

First is the random drawing, which was much easier before the Internet. Susan wanted to know if we were going to print off all the entries and draw one from a bread basket. Seemed like a reasonable idea until the entries started rolling in!

I was sort of in favor of printing the entries, spreading them on Susan's sheep pasture and seeing which one the sheep, uh, plopped on first. Apparently if we wanted to have such a contest in WA state, we'd have to incorporate as a not-for-profit. Imagine being arrested for "illegal cow plopping" - talk about something that would get you shamed off the Group W bench!

Kevin, who surely has pointy hair tucked under his toque, noted the lack of a Hogwartian sorting hat, went to his keyboard and created an automated method of picking a winner. He is so logical at times.

Having successfully handed off management of the random drawing to the geek with a spreadsheet, Susan and I have been enjoying the other contest a lot. We put out a call for favorite homemade bread stories and our readers have, as usual, come through marvelously. There have been stories of successes and failures, reminiscences of childhood and even a rap song. The first roundups are posted here and here.

If you are a baker in search of your next favorite bread book, there is still time to enter both contests. For details, check out this post: Prizes! Awards! Gimmicks!

For the moment, though, I am headed to the herb garden and berry patch. See you all tomorrow at A Year in Bread!

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