Thursday, November 29, 2012

White Breads

White breads.  Just your everyday Wonder or whatever.  Peter gives us three different variations to work with.  I wonder what the difference is.  BUT, we won't be finding out, because really, I don't need to be baking three different versions of the same bread.  I settled on version two because I had the ingredients on hand.  No buying fucking powdered milk here, people.  White BREAD.

We start with flour + salt + sugar + yeast + egg + butter + milk =

I just realized my camera has a "crop for blog" setting.  In not the next picture, but the one after that, we will see what this means.  Anyway, this is kneaded and ready to sit for 1.5-2 hours:

This blog will probably be pretty boring.  Sometimes life exists.  This is one of those times.

I didn't even get to fiddle with the "crop for blog" setting!  Reading, why are you so enthralling?!

Okay, so after 1.5 hrs, we've got a glug glug:

Which becomes a pretty boule:

Which naps for twenty minutes.  Annnd, I read.  I know you are incredibly disappointed by the lack of racial jokes thus far.  I apologize.  I mean, it's white bread.  It's basically too easy.

The boule then gets shaped, pretty red pan, lalalala:

I neglected to take very many pictures during this process, but because I don't have much time (thyme?!  no, that's caraway seeds atop the loaf), here y'all are!

Wahhhhh!  This bread is/was so delicious!  Who knew!?  White bread, dude.  White bread!  Made grilled cheese with this and some homemade tomato soup all up this bitch, people!  PLEASE.  5/5 <3>

New Blogger won't let me type in an actual heart!  WTF. <3 p="p">

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vienna Bread

Waaaah.  People.  I need to finish this blog.  I literally have like TWO breads left in this years-long journey (okay, literally, I have FIVE left, including this one) and I want to complete something.  It will be like finishing my PhD, except...yeah.

So, you know, living my life, etc etc, and THEN, I get this wonderful Eid gift from Andrea and Shaad:

It's bread.  That you can make from a bottle.  More than that, people, it's sourdough bread that you can make from a bottle.  My long-time-listeners will know that it takes weeks to make sourdough without a bottle.  BUT, importantly, it reminded me that HEY, I like baking bread.  And, you know, I have this blog I need to finish, and HEY why not a distraction from completing the reading on my reading lists.  So, with no further ado:

You know what's funny, I moved (note the table above), but the countertops are the same as at my old place.  Must be the cheapest available in my city of residence.  Anyway, this is pate fermentee cut up and warming up on my cheap-ass countertop.

AND, I am so out of practice on blogging (does it require practice?  I say yes.) that I took like no pictures while preparing the actual dough.  Sorry, lovers and friends.  URSHER JON AND LUDA HAD TO DO IT AGAIN

Oh my god, people.  You know what I just realized.  I FORGOT TO ADD AN INGREDIENT.  FUCK.  Brb.

Okay, yeah, so there's that.  What's even more annoying is that ingredient (barley malt syrup) was (one of) the reason(s) that it took me so long to start this bread, b/c I had to look at specialty grocery stores for it.  Well, I stirred it in and hopefully everything will turn out alright.  This is also pate fermentee + bread flour + sugar + FUCKIN BARLEY AMLDFJSLDFJSDFLKJ + salt + yeast + egg + butter + water.  Sits for two hours.  See you cats then.

Woo.  See that barely stirred in barley shit?  Yup.  So this is after two hours.  Now, I shape it and it sits for whatever amount of time it takes me to do my laundry.

After laundry:

Blub blub.  This was like that thing that ate everything in that kids' book I all of a sudden remember which only Bat and Zain will maybe get the reference to?  Maybe??  It ate all the books and desks and stuff and was made of cafeteria lunch or something.

Cut.  Floured.  Ready to GET HOT.

So it was sort of flat and wide, basically like a sting ray bread.  It burnt a little on one end, but overall, it wasn't that bad.  I will probably make soup soon to go with this.  The bread itself tastes delicious and now I have a whole jar of barley malt syrup I don't know what to do with.  COOL.  4/5 <3>

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tuscan Bread

Well, hello there.  My name is . . . not important.  And I'm often asked what do I do for a living?  And I answer: apparently never update my blog.  NEVER BAKE.  I'm sorry devoted fans, fair-weather friends, first time listeners, long-time-listeners-first-time-callers, and bots from New Zealand.  Your loyal, yet fickle (yes, I can be an oxymoron) baby baker is back with a bunch of bizarre breads!  I tried to tongue-tie there.  Hope you appreciated it.  Today's deal is Tuscan bread.  PEOPLE.  Soon I will actually be in the homeland of some of these breads.  I promise to take pictures of my bread-related experiences so you can live vicariously through me.  There is no way I will be through with this blog by the time I leave.

ANYway.  Tuscan bread starts off with a paste of bread flour and boiling water.  Sounds like a party, right?  SEE!?

This sits overnight.  That was an easy start.  See you on the morrow, folks.

Today, we have flour + yeast + paste + olive oil + water =

And suddenly, here we are:

This bread will flourish like the romance between a dried-up middle-aged American and a fiery young Italian.  In theaters September 26.

Well, actually, here we are:

Kneaded and ready to sit for dos horas, while I drive around maniacally (those of you who have driven with me know this is not unusual) running errands.  No sleep 'til Athens.

When I got back, HOLY SHIT.  It was HUGE.  Like hitting the top of the eight cup bowl thing I have.  I was supposed to punch it down if it more than doubled, but Peter doesn't like people who have lives.  So, stupidly, I punched it down like twenty minutes before it was supposed to be done rising.  Look!  You can see my handprint!

Yes, my hand is shaped like a monster.  Speaking of shaping, next step = shaping the dough into a boule.  Trying to go through this quickly so I can clean my house.  Look at me, people.  Sometimes I'm a real person.

This sits for sixty to ninety minutes, or until it doubles.

Look at me now, look at me now, I'm gettin' pa-per:

Pretty with flour on top (again, my tea strainer-as-sieve works amazingly):

Nights I spend alone, I spend 'em runnin' round lookin' for you baby:

So, this looks pretty good, right?  I had to manage my oven like some sort of Beyonce diva, due to its inability to just be at 500 degrees.  I know you want to get hotter than that, but Mama doesn't need a broiler right now, bitch.  I think that was one of the only times in my life I referred to myself as "Mama."  Ew.  This cools for an hour.  And!

My camera is obviously not meant to take pictures in a dark as fuck kitchen.  It's meant to be used by 16-year-old girls taking myspace duck face pictures at the mall.  Oops.  So!  This ended up pretty good!  It's a bit dense, like it didn't rise enough -- maybe my fault with the punch down.  Dense = 4/5

I guess, however, this did flourish like a Tuscan romance.  Whatever that means.  <3