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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Still Alive

I am back in the land of the living. I went back to Nashville for a weekend to celebrate my Dad's 90th birthday. I flew out Friday and flew back Sunday. In the middle I loaded what little was left at the house that I wanted to keep, and in the process put my back out, and then locked up behind me and left. It's in the hands of the Realtor now. The Realtor I can't seem to get hold of since I left.

I nursed my back for a few days. I had just gotten to where my ankle wasn't bothering me, then the back went out. I was fussing that I was so tired of my body hurting. Thursday night while laying in the hammock I realized that for a few minutes nothing hurt! I'm on the mend now. I need to get back to being active so that I don't injure myself again. The week before I left I had started back on my walking routine. Next week I start again. Maybe even today if I get over to Mt. Rainier and do a short hike like I want.

The Artisan bread was a flop. I hadn't baked any more since it had been really hot here the week before I left. Yesterday I tried again from the same batch of dough I made up a couple of weeks ago. Major fail. I had hoped that the time would have muted the salt flavor. It didn't, in fact it was worse. That's all I taste. And, it still didn't rise, just kinda oozed accross the bottom of the casserole. I did use a lot of oil on the bottom of the pan before I put the dough in, but it still stuck. I think I'll go back to my bread machine. In the winter I may try this again, and I'll follow the directions next time.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Fail... Almost

I am working on making the 5 min Artisan Bread. Last night I made up the main dough. 3 cups (more or less) King Arthur bread flour, 3 cups (more or less) King Arthur whole wheat flour. A package of quick yeast and a tbs. (yes, tablespoon) of salt (more or less), dissolve these two ingredients into 3 cups of tepid water. That means I put a cup of water into a Pyrex measuring cup into the microwave for a minute twice, then added a cup of water from the tap. Then I put the bread flour in, and then the whole wheat flour in. Added more warm water since it's supposed to be a soggy dough (I've seen the video - Google it as if I look all the links up I'll never get this posted). I put it in my largest Pyrex mixing bowl, and it was too much dough to transfer into anything else I had once it was mixed up. I put a towel over it, let it sit on a counter for 2 hours, then put the entire thing towel and all into the fridge.

I came from work today. Discovered that the towel was a Bad Idea. The dough was stuck to the towel. Got it unstuck, and it turned out not to be quite as much a mess as it originally looked. I cut the towel off by using a serated knife to cut the dough. Took a section of dough 'the size of a grapefruit' and formed a sort of ball with it. Oops, was supposed to flour hands. Well, my dough is still a bit on the dry side, so a little flour and all was unsticky again. Since I had the flour out again, I just sprinkled some on the correlle covered casserole that I planned to bake the bread in. On the SimpleLiving.net site some had said that was a good substitute for the pan of water in the bottom of the oven while it bakes to make it 'crusty', just cover it in something. I cut 3 slits in the top of the bread and left it to rise about an hour. Oops, guess it was supposed to be let it rise and then cut the slits as when it rose (what little it did) it kinda oozed into the slits. Oh, well.

Cooked it for 40 minutes. Actually logged back in to verify the temp. Hmmm, guess that was supposed to be 450 for 10 minutes, then 400 for 30, not 370 for whatever and then 400. Oh, well.

40 minutes later I had a flatish looking brown glob of bread in the casserole. Discovered that some flour on the bottom of the casserole didn't substitute well for the oil I was supposed to use. Being an anarchist doesn't always work well with bread recipes. Chipped enough up from the bottom to cut a small piece of bread. Wow, what is there is actually good.

The rest of the dough is supposed to get better the longer (up to 2 weeks) it's left in the fridge before forming into the ball and baking. Cutting the slits AFTER letting it rise. And putting in an OILED pan of some sort. Baked at 400 for 40 minutes. Tomorrow I'll get it.

I put some butter on the still warm bread that I finished chipping up from the casserole. I'll most likely eat the rest of it for dinner. Oh, and the salt can be cut back some, too. And, I think I'll work on a half batch of the main dough, using 3 cups of flour instead of 6.5.

Yeah, that's right. I don't cook. I'm too much of an anarchist sometimes.