Dec 12, 2010
Dec 5, 2010
Nov 25, 2010
Nov 5, 2010
Oct 30, 2010
Oct 23, 2010
Oct 9, 2010
Oct 8, 2010
Oct 5, 2010
Oct 4, 2010
I think it came out pretty good! I put it on a bed of brown rice and call it a meal!
For snacking, I've got mixed nuts, raisins, coffee, and water. I think it is a bit healthier than white bread, deli meat, cheese, and yogurt.
Oct 3, 2010
Tonight it was cider brined porkchops with apple onion cider glaze and cranberry sauce. For sides we had homemade italian bread (from a biga starter) and rosemary oven roasted seasonal vegetables.
All on all, a delicious supper!
Pictures were an afterthought. I will remember next time!
Sep 29, 2010
Sep 28, 2010
Sep 25, 2010
Sep 24, 2010
Sep 11, 2010
Sep 5, 2010
Aug 30, 2010
Aug 28, 2010
Aug 22, 2010
I have broken up with my Storm 9530, and have picked up a Droid X!
I ordered it on Launch day, and got it a few days later. So far...I love it.
While I got used to the quirkiness of the Storm, I was noticing the annoyances that finally got me to pull the trigger on a new phone:
- Not being able to load up more than 5 apps in the shared RAM/app storage memory.
- Not having Wi-Fi for those times when I'm not in a good data range, like half the areas in URMC.
- Not having good Exchange support OUTSIDE of using BES.
I'll write more later, but now I'm getting tired from driving back from Albany in the crazy rain!
Jul 26, 2010
Jul 25, 2010
Here's a look at my latest loaf. It is a celebration challah loaf that I put together last night. I am calling it leaning manny loaf.
I am really thinking about starting the challenge back up, but right now I don't have the time to be baking all weekend. Maybe I'll modify it so i am only making corn and dairy free instead of that plus the exact recipe. We'll see.
Jun 26, 2010
- Sunday dinner bread (Biga prepped)
- Biga for Daily bread (Biga prepped)
- Pizza dough for calzones
- Cranberry scones
It seems like a lot, but I should be able to knock the four loaves of bread (Sunday/Daily) at once, and the pizza dough will take about 15 minutes, and then into the fridge it goes! The scones will be interesting, as it will be my first attempt at them...I think they'll be tasty!
I still need to figure out what to do with the giant bag of frozen cherries in my fridge...suggestions?
Jun 23, 2010
I ended up making some Italian bread (using a Biga) and some Cherry turnovers on Father's Day. (Hey, some dads want to relax and have a cold one, while I prefer making it nice and hot in the kitchen first).
I think both came out fairly tasty.
I think I'm going to tackle scones and sandwich bread this weekend...as I am craving one and needing the other.
Jun 14, 2010
The stress of the new job and getting used to the new place has me a bit on edge. I'm hopping that in time, it will get better. I baked a few loaves of weekly bread on sunday and that was good. I plan on researching a new brew that I hope to start next week.
Here's to making a new brew and continuing the BBA challenge!
May 12, 2010
I got a new job! This new job is in my old stomping grounds, which means I need to move! We've been furiously packing and getting ready for move day (friday/saturday). Next week, in the chaos of unpacking, I'll try to get some updates in.
See you on the other side!
Apr 17, 2010
I will also comment on the htc incredible....dreamy!
Apr 9, 2010
I had a really great time at my Mom's for Easter. I actually ended up baking a challenge bread without really meaning to, so I'll get that written up tomorrow (I hope).
The plan for this weekend: Get a new Bed!
Apr 2, 2010
There won't be a challenge this week, as I will be out of town for Easter Fun! I will still be making bread, but not in a challenge-y way.
I will be making Lambropsomo, Lefse, and hopefully dinner rolls. I will get some pictures and post them..as long as the loaves turn out ok :)
I made the list up BEFORE I checked the weather forecast. Thankfully, most of the breads take a few hours to proof, which means I'll be able to spend some time with family outside, and make delicious foods for our easter dinner.
See you next week!
Mar 29, 2010
The Challenge Bread
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Mmm...Delicious bread of nutty raisin-y goodness"][/caption]
This week, we're making Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread!
I think I might slow it down a bit, as baking a challenge loaf every weeks means I don't get a chance to make "normal" bread. I'll still try to post once a week, but I'll probably start talking about the challenges I'm facing (bread not rising as well as it used to) and how I plan to attack them (check yeast, ensure good kneading).
Hopefully, this blog will not only talk about what I'm doing with bread baking, but about baking in general and how to fit it in to a busy lifestyle.
Mar 21, 2010
Mar 16, 2010
The Challenge Bread
This week, we're making Ciabatta.
A Little History
I first remember having Ciabatta about eight years ago, when I ordered a sandwich and they asked me if I wanted it on Ciabatta...not knowing what it was I just agreed that is sounded good. It is now one of my favorite breads to eat (and now make!)
I went with the Poolish version of this recipe, as I haven't really made anything with a poolish yet:
- Bread Flous
- Bread Flour
Corn/Dairy Free changes
Since this a Primary loaf, there isn't much to it, hence no corn or dairy. The taste and character comes from the baking.
The night before the baking, I made up the poolish and let it ferment in the fridge overnight. This allows the yeast more time to break down the flour into delicious gluten. The next day, I combined the ingredients with the poolish. The dough is very wet and can be hard to work with. The wetter, the harder, but the bigger the air pocket are.
Once I was done kneading the dough, I transferred it to the Generously floured counter. I shaped the dough into a rough rectangle. I then sprinkled another generous portion of flour on top of the loaf. Then, grabbing opposite ends of the dough, I picked it up, and let it stretch to about twice the original size. I placed it back down on the counter, and folded it up like a letter. I lightly misted it with oil, covered it in plastic, and let it rest for 30 minutes. I then did another stretching session.
After the stretching, I took a heavy Towel and setup a couche: a floured towel used to create crusty breads. I let the loaves proof until they had "noticeably swelled."
I preheated the oven to 500 degrees. I put a cookie sheet on the topmost oven rack, while moving the other rack to the lowest setting. Once the oven was up to temp, I put a cup of hot water into the steam pan, and put the loaves on the lowest rack. After 30 seconds, I opened the oven, and sprayed the sides with water to generate more steam. I did this twice more at 30 second intervals, and then turned the oven down to 450 degrees. I baked the loaves for 10 minutes, and then rotated them 180 degrees and continued to bake them until they reached an internal temperature of 205. I then placed them on a cooling rack for about an hour.
Results and My Final Thoughts/Notes
The end result was good. The crust was fairly crusty, but not too hard. I didn't get as big of air pockets as I wanted, but they were pretty good.
Again, I think one of the main things I learned this week would be timing. I think I let the dough sit more than 30 minutes, as it kind of swelled out and almost off the pan! Then, I think I over compensated and didn't let the loaves proof long enough on the couche.
As the saying goes, there's no bad homemade bread....unless it burnt.
Next week, we're making Cinnamon Rolls!
So what do you think? Sound good? Anything I should change/do better?
Mar 15, 2010
So here's my tip of the week: check the date on your yeast BEFORE you start baking.
I'll be making a second attempt this weekend to NOT h e a fail.
Mar 13, 2010
The Challenge Bread
This week, we're making Challah.
A Little History
Challah is a Jewish celebration bread. It is braided and sometimes a braid will be placed on top of a larger braid for a big celebration loaf.
This one is pretty straight forward:
- Bread Flour
- Vegetable oil
- whole eggs
- egg yolks
Make sure to save the egg whites to use as an egg wash later on. I just put them in a bowl and covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator while I prepped the loaves.
Corn/Dairy Free changes
There are no diary or corn ingredients in this bread. No changes!
This is the first loaf that has required "real" shaping. On the first non Giant celebration loaf, I took the dough and split it into three equal pieces. This is where the scale was handy: Just because two pieces looked about the same, they often weren't. I took the pieces, and shaped them into Boules, and let them rest for ten minutes under a towel.
After the mandatory rest period, I began shaping them into nice, long ropes of dough. I started by rolling them on the table, slowly pushing them out from the center of the dough mass. I that mostly worked, but I experimented with other methods as well. I tried holding the dough "upright" and rubbing my hands like I was trying to warm them up, letting gravity pull the dough down. That didn't work as well as the horizontal roll, but it wasn't bad. The last method I tried was holding the dough with my hands at nine and three o'clock and slowly shaking the dough like you to a vending machine trying to get your stuck Doritos to fall. While shaking, I slowly pulled the dough out, eventually ending up with my hands about three to four feet apart. That seemed to be the best method on that day.
After I had three equal length ropes, I began my braiding from the center of soon-to-be loaf. I braided down until I couldn't effectively make more cross over manuvers. I then rotated the loaf and did it to the other side. When I flipped the loaf, I needed to invert my braiding method: instead of taking the rope on the left and brining it over the top of the middle rope on its way to the right side, I needed to put it under the middle rope to keep the braid looking neat and not end up with a funky bump in the middle. It took my brain a couple of attempts before I finally got it right. I think it ended up looking pretty good for my first attempt.
The Celebration was very similar, but instead of one braid there were two: one on top that was half the size of the bottom loaf. I did this by taking the dough and cutting it into three equal pieces and then combining two of those pieces. I then took both lumps and cut them into three dough balls to make a total of six dough ropes. I formed the bottom braid and put the smaller one on top and gave it just a little pinch to keep it from falling off.
I then gave the loaf a quick egg white wash, and let them proof under plastic wrap for about 2 hours, or until the loaf just about doubled in size. I then gave the loaf another quick wash and let it rise until it was double the original size.
I preheated the oven to 325 degrees. I baked the loaves for about 45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the loaves reached 190 degrees. The crust also turned a nice golden brown. The curst wa
Results and My Final Thoughts/Notes
I really liked making the Challah. Even though my shaping skills are not up to the level I would like them to be, I think I will be adding this into the normal rotation of breads. It serves as a nice break from my "basic" loaves, and gives me a chance to try making "arts-y" bread.
Next week, we'll be tackling Ciabatta on the road!
So what do you think? Sound good? Do you have any butter/milk replacements that I should try?
I admit I've fallen behind on my BBA Challenge post. I have started the Challah entry, but this week got away from me. I've been working on Anya's Site, which is still not quite ready, but I promise: Today you will have your Challah post!
Ciabatta is coming along alright...I think ;)
Mar 7, 2010
Mar 2, 2010
Feb 26, 2010
Feb 21, 2010
I'll also get this written up this week, so look out for more posts!
- It's a little darker than I would like, but not burnt.
- The smell is amazing. This is my first time baking that I really had a hard time not "sampling" as soon as it came out.
- Always check your Parchment paper supply BEFORE shaping your loaves.
That's it for now! I'll get the post and hopefully some pictures up shortly!
Feb 17, 2010
It all started when my screen started acting up. My screen would occasionally not recognize a tap or a press. At first, I thought it was a mistake I made: my hand was too cold, I pushed too quickly, or some other crazy sounding thing. I would attempt to click on the PodTrapper Icon and get nothing…It didn’t happen frequently enough to warrant sending the unit in for repair, just enough to keep the embers of irritation glowing. I do seem to have a slight calibration issue. It is definitely an issue that has cropped up overtime. While that is an annoyance, the bigger problem is stability.
The App Problem
The one thing I love about the BlackBerry platform over other platforms is the openness. I am not reliant on one company to bless, anoint, or whatever religious analogy you care to use an application. Granted, there are pros and cons to both styles of thinking.
On the Open-Plus side, I can run whatever I want. IF want to search for an app that will replace the included apps, such as a replacement web browser, or email application, I can. As of right now, the only web browser that is available for the iPhone OS is Mobile Safari. Yes, Opera is working on the Opera Mini browser, but it hasn’t been submitted for approval yet. On the Non-Open-Plus side, I know the apps that have been approved work. I haven’t really seen an iPhone/iPod Touch app crash that wasn’t related to the app requiring a data connection, and said connection leaving without leaving a note. I’ve had a couple of bomb outs on my iPod Touch, but it always brings me right back to the home screen. I’m getting on an apple rant, so let’s look a the downside of Open-Apps.
On the Open-Minus side, I can run whatever I want. Since the code isn’t tested by RIM for Operability, You can get some pretty bad apps that crash. on my BlackBerry, I currently have about 14 apps. I don’t keep them all running all the time…mostly because the Storm 9530 has a small application memory size. I am getting a message about once every two days on my storm saying it is out of application memory, and that to remedy this, I should delete some apps. Seriously? why is my application memory so small? I have an 8 gig SD card in there that is 75% free? Can’t I dedicate some of that to applications? Granted, I am frustrated by this, but I think this gives way to the penultimate reason…
I am a Cheap Geek
I really am. I agonized for over a year about getting a smartphone. I was practically drooling when they announced the Moto Q back in May of 2006. I eyed that baby for a long time. It wasn’t until the close of 2007 that I finally took the plunge and picked it up. It took me another 6 months before I finally got a data plan to really use the thing for more than a glorified calculator. I held onto that thing until February 2009 when I got the Storm. I really loved it! At the time, I could justify the $29.99 a month, as money was a bit more freely flowing with both my wife and I working. With the birth of my Daughter Anya in December, it really made me rethink my Mobile Priorities.
Don’t get me wrong, I still really like the storm! SmartPhones in general are still my go-to Gadget dream scenarios. I can just think of a better thing to spend the money on. I’m sure I will venture into the SmartPhone arena again, but for now, I’m experimenting to see how I do without 24/7 Internets.
Does that mean I’m completely happy NOT connected 24/7? No, but I still get all the stuff I want out of my iPod Touch that is on loan. The question is, when I have to give up the touch…will I get my own?
Feb 16, 2010
I don't know how else to say it blackbery 9530...it's over. We had a good run, but I can't live this lie anyore. You just aren't Meeting my expectations.
Feb 15, 2010
Feb 9, 2010
The bagels will be fun, as I haven't ever made them before.
Look for more posts this week about ingredients, techniques, and my game plan.
Feb 7, 2010
Feb 6, 2010
- Coarse Ground Cornmeal (Polenta)
- Bread flour
- Instant Yeast
I couldn't find the Brer Rabbit Golden Molasses that Peter Reinhart suggests, so I went with Plantation Blackstrap. Yes, it is going to give off a more potent Molasses flavor, but I enjoy it.
I started to prepare for tomorrow's baking by creating the "soaker" of cornmeal. I just need to let it sit overnight, so the cornmeal will soften a bit, and release of the sugars trapped in it.
Mark's Corn/Milk-Free Alternative
As part of the BBA Challenge, I want to attempt to make all the recipes so my Wife can enjoy them as well. She is allergic to Milk, and sensitive to corn, so I will be replacing these when They appear in the recipe. This will help me discover my abilities as a baker, and find alternatives that will not affect the characteristics of the loaves too much.
The only ingredient we need to repleace i the cornmeal. I did some searching, and decided to try Millet. IT seems to be the "go to" replacement. I found a couple of Tasty sounding Millet-instead-of-Corn-bread recipes that will have to try at some point.
The only trick I've found so far, is Millet can be hard to find in some supermarkets. I found Millet next to bird-type seeds in the bulk department, so I suggest starting there. The Millet was whole, so I decided to try soaking it untouched, and soaking it after I ran it through a food processor to open the seed husk, while preserving the coarse texture.
You can see the pictures I've taken on my Flickr BBA challenge page located here.
Tomorrow is baking day. I plan to take more pictures and write up as I go. Maybe I'll even ustream it!
Feb 1, 2010
The gist is this: To bake every recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice book by Peter Reinhart. This will push your bread baking knowledge to the limit and more. It appears the challenge has been going on for a few months, but no time like the present to start!
I decided that just baking the breads wouldn't be enough. I plan on taking each recipe, and where applicable, making them corn and diary free! I want to compare the two loaves to see how closely I can mimic the flavor/appearance.
We'll see how this goes, as I bake my first loaves this weekend!
Jan 31, 2010
Jan 28, 2010
- The Biga preferment is identical to the pate fermentee, save for salt.
- Attempting to make a quality loaf of bread when you get home from work is possible...as long as you don't mind going to bed at 11:05.
- The iPad is still a "less than optimal" product name.
- I would love a chance to play with an iPad for a week or two to see if it does or does not do enough for me.
- I need a baking stone.
- The Dell Streak is shiny
- I think I've given up on attempting to watch TV.
- I like to end lists on an even number.
Jan 27, 2010
Jan 25, 2010
Jan 24, 2010
Jan 22, 2010
Jan 20, 2010
Jan 18, 2010
Who knows? Maybe it'll be a busy blogging week! This is my second post tonight!
Jan 15, 2010
So going forward, I am challenging myself to blog at least once a week.
I'm not putting any kind of length/topic requirement, but I would expect a blog at least about baby Anya, beer making, bread making, and/or Gadgets.
You've been warned!
Pre-ferment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Just got an email saying that people were waiting for me to come back...and "had been saving things for me to fix."
Really? But...that's why we have a team!
well...at least I won't be bored when I get back :)