Thursday, November 24, 2011

Motivation and Rationalizations

Two books that I've borrowed from the library, started me thinking about making a small, Italian style loaf of bread to go with some pasta for supper. The formulas in Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" looked particularly good with their simple ingredients but somewhat daunting with their higher hydration rates in the mid 70 percent range. I also wanted to use up some of my seed starter since I got involved with my sponge bread foray last week.

This time around I used just 250g of flour, 50g of which was some Wheat Montana Prairie Gold that I found at the local WalMart. I didn't need the flour, I just bought it because I thought it was reasonably priced at $3.76/5#. No telling when I'll finish off the bag but I've got it whenever the whim to use it strikes me. Some folks spend their money on lottery tickets.

I used an over sized amount of starter for this loaf at 100g. Then I also added about a Tbs or 15g of olive oil. The proofing was cut short at about 90 minutes in order to make sure the loaf was done in time for supper. The loaf only got an hour of cooling before I sliced. The crumb was still warm and very moist, the reasons all the books tell us to cool our bread for three hours.

Despite the shortcuts, it didn't turn out bad. I got some real life education in what not to do this time.

I hobbled out to my garden this afternoon, wearing my postoperative boot, in order to take advantage of the good weather and finally plant my garlic. Fortunately, I managed to keep my balance despite the obvious loss of dignity as I clumsily meandered to get the job done. A grand total of 66 cloves were planted this afternoon; 18 soft neck- probably California White or Gilroy, and the rest were hard neck, probably from Georgia, Uzbekistan, or Kazakhistan. The hard neck varieties were chosen for their strong flavors and so far, those characteristics have been retained. The coloring has changed on the cloves which can be attributed to different climate and soil conditions. That's not a big deal since this stuff is for my use and to give away to family and friends. The soil was prepared well, I planted at the correct depth, added some appropriate fertilizer, and rain is forecast for tomorrow night. All I have to do now is to buy some wheat straw to mulch the bed for the winter weather.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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