Sunday, November 8, 2009

Two weeks

I am sorry I didn't post last week. I was away and had the most amazing Sunday. More on that later. I am going to try and give you two weeks worth of reading though!

I felt confident enough to truly experiment on a bread recipe the week before last. Until now, I have been experimenting with adding different flours or ingredients but not really trying to make up my own recipe. But I was desperate. I had sourdough starter to feed and that means that I had to find something to do with the excess starter. I decided to combine it with the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes recipe to see if I could come up with a sourdough version of the wet-dough method. They have one on their blog so I used that as a base but didn't add any commercial yeast because I had a lot of starter. The recipe in the book doesn't have any weights, just volume measures and the recipe on the blog starts with some old dough based on their recipe, not real sourdough starter. So I improvised.

The dough was very wet when I took it out in 24 hours to bake. So wet that I couldn't do anything with it. I should have used Jim Lahey's 'bake in a pot' method. But I baked it on a stone free form like a ciabatta and that is exactly how it turned out. The only problem is that there isn't enough salt so the bread tastes flat. It is also a little wet on the inside because the crust turned almost black before the inside cooked fully. I think I should have used a lower oven temperature. Next time...
I love the large irregular holes. I am going to toast it today and put a garlic parmesan spread on it to eat with ravioli for dinner.

While I was away, my pre-ordered bread books arrived. I had also bought one a few weeks ago so I have lots to play with. Clockwise from the top: Peter Reinhart's new Artisan Breads Every Day, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François's new Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and Jim Lahey's new My Bread. I tested recipes for Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day so I can recommend the book without looking at it. My name is listed in the long list of testers in the back. The others need some reading and baking before I can review them.
Now, on to my Sunday last week. I went to Berkeley to visit friends, taking a day off from a long and tiring business trip. I was in downtown San Francisco without a car, so I took the BART for the first time. We spent the day knitting and spinning and eating with a short trip to the Edible Schoolyard. The garden made me nostalgic for next year's CSA season. Food included a lovely crustless quiche, a fruit compote with home-grown fruit, home-made scones with home-made fig jam and a lovely buckle from Sweet Adeline's. Unfortunately, the day ended all too soon.

My friend Therese gave me this gorgeous green roving to play with on my wheel.
During the rest of the week, I walked a lot on the Embarcadero and ate at Greens restaurant, visited the Ferry Building and made a quick dinner trip to Chinatown's R&G Lounge. Other that that, it was all work, work, work.

I got back last night. As always, I overestimated how much knitting I could get done on a trip and took along a new project when I didn't even get to finish the Stor Rund Dug shawl. However, my friends helped me pick out a different edging that I'm more comfortable with. More on that later.

Today, I took a tip from Janine, and made a ditty bag for my spinning oil. I took the foot of a sock where the heel had worn out. I had already used the leg for another project. I finished off the cut edge with a rolled stockinette edging and added a cord and a cord stop. Voila! a spinning oil bag to hang on my wheel.
So that is a a non-knitting report on 2 weeks. I have made some progress on the shawl and I hope to be done with the body soon. It is fun knitting but when each round has 48 repeats, it takes a while to get through each one. Another 10 or 15 rounds are left.

1 comment:

Preeti said...

That sounds like an action-packed although very fun trip! What a nifty tip and the bread looks delish!