Thursday, November 08, 2012

Election Day Selections

Everybody that planned to attend the Election Day watch party was asked to bring some comfort food for a pot luck supper as we commented and speculated about the returns as they came in. I made a batch of Kansas chili and a couple loaves of bread. My goal was to bake two pan loaves with simple ingredients that could either stand up to use for chili dogs or on their own. I think I did alright.

The first thing I did was to build preferments and use as little yeast as practical. After mixing, I added a stretch and fold during the bulk ferment. Once shaping was complete, I used a retarded fermentation  for both loaves. The loaves have a great flavor with a moist, tender crumb. I'd have no problem serving either loaf to my Mother or MIL.

The loaves were products of my own based on what I've learned over the past few years from books and experience. Some would term that free styling and others would call it luck. It worked so there's no need to fret over it.

The first loaf was in the vein of a French Country loaf. The second loaf started out like a loaf of white bread but I added just a touch of rye flour to give the flavor a little twist.

60g white whole wheat flour
40g bread flour
70g water at 90F
1/8 tsp Active Dry Yeast

Main Dough
15g rye flour
60g white whole wheat
200g bread flour
183g water at 90F
1/2 tsp Active dry yeast
9g kosher salt
20g unsalted butter
15g honey
All of preferment
   Preferment,  No. 2
100g bread flour
70g water at 90F
1/8 tsp Active dry yeast

Main Dough
15g rye flour
260g bread flour
183g water at 90F
1/2 tsp Active dry yeast
20g non-fat dry milk powder
8g kosher salt
All of preferment

The loaves were baked in an oven preheated to 425F on a rack in the lower third of the oven. After 15 minutes, I turned the pans around and lowered the temperature to 400F for 22 minutes when the internal temperature read 205F. The kitchen smelled great as I left them to cool on a wire rack for 4 hours before I sliced them

Next year's crop of garlic is in the ground. I planted 18 cloves of soft neck garlic, obtained around Gilroy, CA and 42 cloves of hard neck garlic, mostly varieties from around the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains. The hard neck varieties seem to do very well here and the bulbs I harvested this past summer were of good size despite the drought conditions. There's still more work to be done in cleaning up the garden but its not time critical. The flower beds need my attention first.

Page views from out of the ordinary came from Israel, Serbia, and Singapore in the past week or so.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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