I never thought this day would come. The manuscript for my cookbook has been turned in, and it will be published by Simon & Schuster sometime next year. It has been a mentally grueling 13 months, which is why this blog turned into a dead zone. And it’s not like I was so busy… I just couldn’t handle the pressure. All of us are unique, and we have different ways of working, processing, scheduling, planning, etc. What I learned over the past year is that I do NOT do well with one long deadline. I need structure. Otherwise I fall victim to procrastination and panic.
There were so many times when I just completely fell apart. When the process began, I had all of these grand ideas about what the book would be, how I would get everything done, when things would happen… All of that went to hell. I’m a perfectionist, and I had to let go of a lot of expectations I had set for myself. I struggled with a lot of anxiety. I found myself feeling incredibly grateful to have a supportive network of friends and family. There are a few friends in particular who I would have been lost without. They kept me sane during an insane year.
And now here we are. 130+ recipes and 190+ color photos, a 318 page manuscript, 63389 word count. I’m keeping the title to myself just a little bit longer. It’s NOT The Savory Simple Cookbook. I felt that would be confusing since there are many recipes included that are neither sweet nor savory. The second I turned in the manuscript, I felt like this huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I exhaled. I was able to start doing other things again. Thinking about other things. Feeling excited about other things. I’m ready to get back to life.
This spiced pumpkin beer bread is easy to prepare. There’s no yeast, no kneading, and no stand mixers. It’s ready in under an hour. Serve it at Thanksgiving, or as a side dish with any of your favorite fall recipes (think soups, chilis, stews…)
It’s good to be back.
- 16 ounces (approximately 3¼ cups) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 4½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle pumpkin ale beer (I used Sam Adams)
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place a rack on the center shelf. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and place on a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Slowly pour the beer into the dry ingredients, allowing it to settle for a moment. Gently stir the ingredients with a spatula until a dough forms and the flour has incorporated. The dough will be thick and sticky.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan, lightly pressing it down. Pour the butter evenly over the top and then bake until golden on top, approximately 50 minutes.
- Cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.