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

Monday, February 13, 2012

Swedish Rye (Limpa)

Sigh.  Same old shit just a different day -- Peter tricked me into thinking the rye/barm/sourdough ish was over with, but he snuck this one in after the fact.  It has a lot of random spices in it, though.  And is slightly weird b/c it requires boiling, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Soup you'd feed your redheaded stepchild OR the beginnings of swedish rye?!  Your guess!  This is water + molasses + dried orange peel + ground aniseeds + ground fennel seeds + ground cardamom.  Can I also say how much I love little markets that let you buy spices by the ounce or whatever so you don't have to spend six dollars on a bottle of spices you probably won't use again?  Yay little markets!  As an added bonus, too, "Nutritionists are now quantifying the therapeutic benefits of orange peel, licorice-flavored spices, and bitters as digestive aids that various traditional cultures have espoused for centuries"!  So, this bread will also aid in my quest of becoming traditional.  Or food-body-minded.  What are those people called?  The ones that eat like quinoa and greens for lunch.  PS: that is what I ate for lunch, so I'm not hating.

Haleem OR the beginnings of swedish rye?  Added to the redheaded stepchild soup is barm + rye flour.  This sits for four hours.  Hopefully it will be bubbly by then, but with barm, as we have seen, you never know.  HUSTLE HUSTLE HUSTLE HARD

So, it didn't bubble.  I was not surprised.  Hopefully the added yeast today will be enough to push it to the next level.  This is a sports show now, apparently.  GO BUMBLEBEES GO

But, I put it in the fridge overnight anyway.  The next day =

= bread flour + yeast + salt + brown sugar.

I was debating whether or not to actually show this picture, but I figured you all should understand that breadbaking is not a pretty process.  The kneading involved in this bread was gross.  No water was added -- I mean, supposed to be added.  I added it anyway.  Then it got all messy.  But, I don't have any pictures of that process, luckily.  What you see above however, is + the sponge + melted shortening.

Apparently I didn't take any pictures of this mixed.  But, I mixed it.  And that sits for two hours.  Deciding to bake bread today yesterday didn't account for the fact that I really need to leave the house to read.  I'm trying my best, people.  Good grad student, go!  HUSTLE HUSTLE HUSTLE HARD

After two hours:

I think this might be working, kids!  Yikes!

I am writing this a couple hours after I actually did all this stuff.  I have such a short attention span.  This feels like days ago now.  The Grammys happened, I went to a coffee shop, saw an apartment, I'm reading On the Postcolony, Whitney Houston's dead.  Days are like fucking YEARS, people.  Well, back to the bread, the real reason why you're all here.  Above it's scored and ready for it's second sauna vacay.

Post sauna vacay:

Monster baby!  If you watch The Office.

Post bake sesh.  Looks pretty good if I do say so myself.  Okay.  Per you-zh, you're supposed to wait an hour before cutting, but I wanted some bread.  I cheated.  Yikes!

AND, people.  This bread was actually delicious.  Like can we make a french toast brunch tomorrow?  Or, you know, this:

Peanut butter!  Honey!  This delicious spicy bread!  An article!  That I finished reading!

5/5, people.  Bitch, please.  <3

Monday, January 30, 2012


Fruit breads, always out to fuck you up, bitches.  However, unlike the EIGHTY MILLION other fruit breads in this book, this bread is "different."  Why?  B/c "Germans who grew up on stollen . . . were adamant that stollen is nothing like panettone."  Right, but pita bread is just like lavash, Peter.  GEEZ, the Orientalism of this book grates on my nerves.

I will say that fruit breads have cute stories, if you're into that kind of thing.  For example, the bread in this "bread symbolizes the baby Jesus, and the colored fruits represent the gifts of the Magi."  Cute!  Someone make a bread about my birthday!

Another cute thing about this bread?  You can make it in one day!  Gasp!  Okay, on to the pictures and whatnot.

This bread starts with a sponge:

which is whole milk + flour + yeast.  PS: So if I add water to whole milk, does that make skim milk?  Fuck, I should have just used evaporated milk like normal.  Now I have 1 3/4 c whole milk for which I have to find a use.

And fruit!

This is raisins (supposed to be golden raisins, but I already had regular ones.  I figured it wouldn't make a big difference, unless golden raisins signify a particular gift of the Magi.) + dried fruit mix (supposed to be candied fruit, but where do you find candied fruit and also Peter says dried's okay, he guesses.) + brandy (caucasian gentleman wasted) + orange extract.

Both of these sit for an hour.  I also napped for an hour.  Friends!  Until!

It's amazing what warm milk and a shit ton of yeast will do.  Barm, I do not miss your face.

So, this is flour + sugar + salt + orange zest (clementine, anyway.  Are they the same?) + cinnamon + egg + butter + water + sponge.

Bugs.  My camera is getting buzzed from the brandy, which smells horrible.  I then had to pour all of it out onto the counter to knead obvs, so my kitchen will forever smell like a frat house and/or cleaning facility.  I don't wear tight jeans like the white boys.

But it resulted in this!  Sits for forty-five minutes.  This is like bread via time travel, it's so fast!

After 45, this bread gets laid out.  Ha.

More fruit!  And nuts!  I'm giving this bread away, PS, in my dislike of fruit breads.  So, I'll be making the next bread soon.  Look out.  And, I don't have to eat french toast for the next eighty mornings.  Yay!

So, this gets rolled up.  Omg.  There are so many relationships between this bread and Gucci Mane's Wasted, which will now be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.  Remember when I didn't like this song?  I had such taste then.  You can have it stuck in your head now, too.  Twins!

Gucci Mane has to be the ugliest out.  Also has the dumbest name.  AND makes the dumbest music.  Poor Gucci.  Anyway, bread gets shaped:

Look!  Here's me!  A German bread!  And it's crescent-shaped now!  Such hybridity.  Bhabha would be proud.  Say that last part in an Indian accent.  This sits for an hour, kids.

Okay, so I thought this got huge, but the pictures don't lie.

Almost donez!

+ vegetable oil + powdered sugar =

A tea strainer is like the most useful, versatile tool in the kitchen.  For future reference, it also works as a mini sieve.  Powdered sugar makes everything look pretty!  Except this bread in this picture, which looks like a dead dog covered in snow.  Like seriously, am I the only one that sees a dog lying on its side?  It even has ears.


This was you know, bread with fruit and nuts in it, basically.  4/5.  The rest goes to Shaad and his gf gf Andrea, who should try it anyway.  <3

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sunflower Seed Rye

murder murder murder she wrote

This bread will be a lovecrime. It's my last sourdough bread!  Last barm bread except for the two at the end.  Yayz.  Peter promises that the bread "entails a commitment, but the results are so memorable that it is well worth the effort."  Peter <3 heteronormativity, apparently.

The bread begins with a soaker and starter:

The soaker is once again supposed to be coarse whole-rye (pumpernickel-grind) flour or rye meal + water, so I once again used dark rye flour.  This sits overnight.

And the starter is the same firm starter from our old friend sourdough (literally old friend, since I made this is 2010.  This project has been going on for way too long.  Yet, I still remember what a failure that bread was.  Like it was yesterday!  All these breads are like my children.) -- barm + bread flour + water.  This sits to double for four hours.

After four hours, I'm not sure it doubled, but I put it into the fridge anyway:

Bread baking is incredibly stressful.  Reflecting on this project, I'm not sure it was the best thing to undertake in grad school.  I will need a new project soon.  You should give me suggestions.  Or maybe I'll just buy a bike.  The next day!:

Rollin' around like I'm ready for a funeral


Along with flour + salt + yeast + the firm starter + the soaker and a spoon too

Sunflo(u/we)r.  This is the name of my band.  I'm going to start one with my upstairs neighbor.  And by that I mean I'm going to start playing an instrument when he plays his guitar.  That would be funny, right?  I wish I knew how to play an instrument.

All blurry b/c I decided I don't like the flash.  With my 16-year-old-girl-camera.  Looks like bugs.  This, stirred up, sits for ninety minutes.  Maybe when I come back my brain will come with me, although I hope not.  It should stay with all the reading on nationalism I have to do.  Postcolonial bread.

After ninety minutes -- pretty!:

That sat for sixty to ninety minutes to become 1.5 times its original size.  And now look!

It's a fat donut.  It looks gross compared to the original, no?  So, then I baked this.  My oven sux.  So it's been so long since I've baked at a billion degrees that I forgot that sometimes when I bake at 500 degrees, my oven is like well, if you want HOT, I'll be like HELL up in this bitch and then just gets as hot as ovenly possible.  So, my bread kind of cooked in ten minutes and by cooked, I mean burnt.  A little:

I comfort myself by telling myself that burntness just looks artisanal, which is also so fun to say!  This rests for an hour, during which time I will attempt to motivate myself to read more.  Help?

I cut it like a bundt cake!  Chrome says bundt isn't a word, ps.

Um, so despite the burntiness, this is good.  Yay!  The last sourdough bread did work out!  Dare I give this a 4.5/5?!  Yay!!  <3