Friday, May 21, 2010

Kaiser Rolls

Kaiser.  Makes me think of this because I show Iron Jawed Angels to my class every quarter.  Lame?  Yes.  Lamer than having a Selena Gomez song stuck in your head?  No.  And unfortunately I qualify for both categories.  Dude, this song is by "Selena Gomez & the Scene."  Who is the Scene?  And what scene is attaching itself to Selena Gomez?  Maybe this one:

aka skinny girls with braces and long hair.  Maybe it's the random band that appears behind her at times in the most boring music vid ever.

Anyway, back to Kaisers.  And rolls.  Not kids and "rock and rolls."  Ha.  I'm on a roll with being horrifically dorky today.  Blame it on the i-i-i-i-i-insomnia.

So, yesterday, I made a quarter of a batch of pate fermente.  [See my entry on french bread if you're interested in the particulars of pate fermente.  I figured I didn't need to take pictures.  Also, it's just more pictures.  Really, there's nothing special about it.]  Today, I woke up way too early, went to a meeting way too early, and came home and took the pate out of the fridge.  Ta-da!

It's so little!  I was kneading this yesterday and was like, it's nothing.  So, I hope this doesn't end up a semi-wasted attempt like the english muffins -- you know, a lot of work for a little result.  Kind of like grad school.  Except bread.  And materiality.

Pate all cut up.

And so these sit for an hour.  I go to the library and failingly attempt to get an oil change [the wait was an hour people -- on a Friday at 3pm when it's raining -- why is beyond me] only to come back and start typing this entry.  And that's where we are now.  It feels so late.  That's what happens when you get up at 8:30, I guess.  People who work work, don't make fun of me.

Oh, I didn't take a picture after an hour.  Sorries, my babies.  To console you, here is flour + salt + yeast =

I sit transfixed by a hole in your t-shirt.

And you sit transfixed by the addition of the pate + egg + oil + water + molasses =

That is you transfixed.  I doubt on the blog formatted they will appear next to each other.  So you'll just have to imagine.  Or you can sit transfixed by the picture [either one -- the boys both look creepy].

Vaguely conglomerated:

This is kneaded for ten minutes.  I have a possibly grotesque picture of the kneaded stuff.  Flash in the kitchen is horrible, but no flash is also horrible.  These are the quandaries I face as I bake bread.  Alas!  Alas!

Sorry about that.  I'm like super tired right now.  Earlier, I couldn't spell grotesque, people.  It's gotten that bad.  I think it's nap time.  But yesterday nap time was horrible.  I mean, like the kind where you just want to keep sleeping.  But look at me now, blabbing on and it's a blog.  Well, my CD just ended -- that's a sign.

Nap!  Wake up!  Coffee!  Bread!  SOML!

I can't believe I haven't made more rap jokes about dough.  I thought of one the other day, but now I can't think of what song it is.  The only song that comes to mind is the "I got money, and you know it, take it out your pocket and show it" song.  Which doesn't talk about dough.

It looks like a gathering of Mystics.  Get it, Jen!

But, it's not.  It's just blobs of dough waiting to be turned into rolls.  Which was weird.  The rolls are like knots.  I tried to take pictures of me making them, but it didn't really work.  Oily, floury hands + camera = no goods.

So here's the completed picture!  The little knots.  PS.  OMG.  So, I used the knot method, but Peter also suggested using a KAISER ROLL CUTTER.  WHAT.  YOU CAN BUY A TOOL JUST TO MAKE KAISER ROLLS.  Wow.  This one is ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS.  People.  Why.  You can use knots.  If any home baker has this, why.  Unless you run a kaiser roll baking service under the table.  In which case, clue me in.  I would totally deliver kaiser rolls in duffel bags.  Be a kaiser roll runner.  Smuggle them across various borders.

So, these sit for forty-five minutes and then get turned over.  So, I will attempt to get some work done like the good person I know I can be <3!

After forty-five:

And then they get turned over.  It's like tanning.  Except not.

Covered in plastic wrap.  Sit for half an hour like this.  And THEN.

Sorry, no oven shots.  I'm a FAILURE at picture-taking today.  I'm undergoing a lot of trouble with switching my phone to another phone because my texting is screwing up.  Sigh.  Knock on wood I just fixed it though.  While the rolls are cookin', the stew is brewin', the lights are shinin', the hearts are DYING.

Everybody let go, we can make a dance floor, just like a circus.  Also, my new ringtone is called "circus."  It's not the Britney version, though.  Problematically, my alarm ringtone is "island."

Love is just a secondhand emotion.  So, kaiser rolls aren't brown, but they're okay.  Idk -- maybe I should leave them in longer, but I get anxious about them burning.

Check out that crumb.  Hot.

Speaking of hot, I'm going to watch a movie feat. Cillian Murphy.

See you cats on the flip side.  <3

Saturday, May 15, 2010

italian bread ooh la la

I am typing this from the insomniac posting time: three am, [technically] saturday morning.  i started baking this on thursday.  the starter is in the fridge.  the brain is on fire.  the toast is in the toaster.  the cookies are burning.

so for now i have no pictures, but there are pictures, which i will place in their rightful positions come [real and legit] morning.

it's thursday.  i'm wearing shoes that fasten with velcro.  and an apron.  i'm putting together a starter before an unplanned class.  it's flour + yeast + salt =

italian bread is basically softer french bread, according to peter.  also there are a lot of italian breads.  so peter's like, wtf, america?  why so culturally homogenizing?  and i'm like, peter, other people have bigger problems in cultural homogenization than freakin' bread.  get over yourself and your craft.  like for serious. have a freakin' sitting position -- the label for which is ubiquitous -- named after you, then we'll talk.

That was when I stopped at three last night.  It is now Saturday morning.  I am delirious with [shouldn't actually be] lack of sleep.  I have a lot of work to do.  This is that.

The mix with water added to the party.  H2OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Since I took these pictures a billion days ago, I don't really remember.  I am assuming this is the previous mix kneaded, b/c it's all in a ball and everything.  So, this sat for four hours.  I sat miserable and sick in class, drinking tea and pretending to pay attention.  Thank you Dayquil.

After four hours.  It is like nine o'clock by this point.  I am watching The Office and eating dinner.  [insert a funny joke about The Office here] PS: I was so glad they referenced Obsessed.  This episode was funny, as I recall in my distorted sleepy-vision.

I stayed up really late on Thursday and watched re-runs of oh no i accidentally pressed underline and i can't find the underline buttton oh it's u The Cosby Show and painted my nails.  It was like a one-person sleepover.  I was also slightly delirious at this point from having a cold and not being able to sleep [the nyquil included in my dayquil/nyquil package did not work as well].

But while I stayed up, the bread went to sleep early!

Look it's my I'm-sick-Gatorade!  Good night baby!

The baby slept forever, because I was too busy to make bread on Friday.  So it's Saturday.  I didn't take pictures of taking the dough out of the fridge, but pretend I did.  You can just look at last time's pictures. I took the biga out of the fridge and cut it up, like I did with the pate fermente for french bread.  It also sits for an hour to "take the chill off."  JUST DRINK SOME HOT CHOCOLATE, BITCH.

So after an hour, the pieces are big like last time.

Whuddup whuddup.

More flour + salt + sugar + yeast =

+ biga + olive oil + water =

I don't mind telling you lies.

I stir for a few minutes.  I knead for ten minutes.

And these are our results.  Bread is science.  I am doing science right now.  How disappointing.  Dietetic dialectic.  My new band and blog name.  When I type this into google images, this is the first thing that comes up:

Derridian Dietetic Dialectic?

Anyway, that hunk of dough above sits for two hours while I attempt to work.  I NEED TO WORK.  I KNEAD TO WORK.  I need to make that my slogan on bread days -- kneading to work.  Like making bread to work.  I hope that makes sense to you like it does to me.

Two hours later: book review = almost done [fingers crossed]; bread = monster:

Enter galactic you and me:

So that's a batard, which means bastard!  Ha.  Wikipedia doesn't have a separate entry for batard v. baguette.  LAME.  Get ready, pop it, let's go.  And sit.  For another hour.  So I can finish my book review and laundry and then make something else to eat tonight and get ready to dance.  I live a busy lifestyle.  Whataya want from me?

Voila!  [Is "voila" French or Italian?  It's French.  Sorry, then.  Brava?  That's Italian, na?  I'm all strung out, my heart is fried.


Again, we have "hearth-style baking" and again, I attempted an action shot for my voracious readers.  Want to have a slumber party in my basement?  I live in a basement, basically.

It kind of worked!  I think my finger was moving toward the lens or something, though.  Or my kitchen is a psychedelic heaven.  Jealous?

This baked way quicker than it said.  I checked on it ten minutes in and it already looked like this.  I checked out it's bottom and it was done!  So, I took it out.  Hey-yo.  Sits for an hour until I DEVOUR IT [rhymes!].  Wait for pics, ladies and gents.

Ch-ch-check it.  This is GOOD.  It's soft and tasty.  I'd have to say 4.5/5.  I don't know why the extra .5 isn't there.  Probs cause it's not as fatty as my 5 breads.  You know.  All up on it, know you wanna clone it <3

Friday, May 7, 2010

French Bread

Okay, here we go.  Delving into bread territory we all know and love.  So, hopefully this will be adequate.

I actually started this bread yesterday, but I didn't make two posts (I know, you probs hate me -- blog! blog! blog! blog!).  I also neglected to take the requisite pictures yesterday.  I mean, I did take some, but not many.  The story is incomplete.  Our hearts are yearning.

So, french bread starts with pate fermente as a starter.  Which = flours (bread + all purpose) + salt + yeast =

And then I added water, but the picture kind of sucked, so here it is all stirred up and kneaded (the story is incomplete.  Insert your own discourse where you see fit.  Disidentify.)

This rises for an hour (which I also don't have pictures of!) and then is degased.  And then sits in the fridge over night.  Oh!  I am telling and not showing!  Going against all my years of poetry training -- *sigh*.  (PS: Is an asterisk's grammar rules like a quotation mark?  sigh*. or sigh.*?  I guess there probably aren't grammar rules.)

So, it's the next day!  Hello morning!  Hello laundry day!  Hello neglect of school work!  Hello I think I lost a student's paper!  And hello pate fermente!

So, this gets cut up so the little pates can warm up so they can be made into a corporate conglomerate!

After an hour, our pates are a little bigger, a little showier.

So now comes the actual bread stylings.

Flours (bread + all purpose again) + salt + yeast + pate fermente + water =

Look!  It's a close up aka I am getting artsy.  It also looks like an amoeba.  Or like what the world looked like when there was just bacteria living on it.  I forgot what that planetary stage is called.  Anyone?

So, this is stirred up:

And kneaded for ten minutes.  This dough needed a lot of extra flour.  Which meant I felt super cool figuring out when it had enough flour.  But look!

PS: primordial -- is that the stage?  So, this dough sits for two hours, which means I can actually do other things!  We'll see how that goes . . .

I did do some things!  Look at me being productive on a bread baking day.  Bet you never thought that would happen.

The dough was also productive:

So big!  I think it actually may have doubled.  Yay!  Maybe this means if I'm productive, the dough will cooperate with me.  Or, you know, that it's hot outside now.

So, the original recipe makes three baguettes, so I think I'm going to make two baby ones.  And I think, therefore I am!

You know when you're watching shows about bakeries and they cut this like huge slab of dough?  That's what this looks like, na?

Baguettes (sort of)!

I get to use my couche again! La la la.  Couche amuse bouche.  Amuse bouche always makes me think of Marcel from Top Chef.  Whoa -- he was once beat up in a bar.  Loser.  Dude, also, who does that?  I mean, really, Top Chef viewer, really?!

Sits for forty-five to seventy-five.

After some time -- I kind of lost count and just figured it's done:

And, with scoring!  Like ceramics!  Except with a big-girl knife.  See how huge that knife is?  It's for legit bread cutting.

Okay, here's when the dramz begins.  So, I preheated the oven like twenty minutes before planning to bake.  Twenty minutes later, nothing.  The oven is cold.  Like a rock.  Or a sociopath's heart.  Or a cheating bride's feet.  I am pissed.  I text my landlord.  I sulk.  I look up troubleshooting techniques online.  I think about perhaps English muffin-ing this shit.  My landlord calls me.  He talks me through lighting the pilot light.  It works.

For some reason fixing things feels so cool.  A couple weeks ago, I fixed the garbage disposal.  I'm like a regular handywoman (which, by the way, when typed into Google Chrome, is spelled wrong.  First suggestion for a correction = handyman.  WTF, Google/dictionary that Google uses.  WTF.).  A fucking Jack of all trades or something.

Despite this unexpected disappointment followed by happiness, Jean Valjean, who stars in today's bread baking, is still unhappy.  Story of his life.

Well, boo hoo, Jean.  Boo hoo.

Since pretend-hearth-baking is so stressful, I didn't get a shot of the bread in the oven.  Instead, here's my attempt an an action shot: Taneem + sidekick Jean Valjean!

So, yeah, action shot fail.  You can see the steam pan, though.

Donez!  I thought they'd be browner than this, so I think the bottoms got a tad bit burnt, but nothing too bad.

Up close!

Can't wait!  With butter!

This felt like the longest bread-baking process ever between the "broken" oven and in-between-grocery-store-going-to (it was nothing about the bread, so I didn't tell you about it).  But, it's good!  4/5.  Would be really good as garlic bread . . . yum.

Additionally, this song is stuck in my head, which makes me feel like a horrible feminist/person (esp when you see the vid):

Oh well <3