The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

dabrownman's blog

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Oppssss.  Mabel is very shy and doesn't want her pictures posted.  She is a cutie for sure though!

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After David Snyder’s experiments with 40 hour retarded sourdough pan bread, Lucy thought she would try that out on the wife’s sandwich pan bread.  We didn’t know if the 11% sprouted flour used in the dough would somehow cause the dough to over ferment or over proof and not act like David’s with this one being 3% wetter as well.  But no worries, it turned out fine.


Lucy always gets a little antsy each year when it comes to the that we decide to do taxes, especially when it is later knowing we are going to pay a bunch.  Well, it is always better to have to pay a bunch rather than not having to pay at all – way better for sure …..and when the bread turns out nice then the world is on an even keel.

After the 40 hour retard

This one had another weird twist of process.  We wants to develop the gluten over the first hour using 3 sets of slap and folds and then extend the bulk on the counter for another 3 hours using 3 sets of stretch and folds.  But ,after mixing with the levain in the mix from the beginning and the salt sprinkled on top with 3% the water sprinkled on top of the salt, Lucy fall asleep for 3 hours which is a pretty short nap for her now a days.

Ready for the oven

So the plan had to change to 3 hours of sitting after mixing with the salt and a bit of water on top and then doing 2 sets of slap of folds of 50 and 25 slaps and 1 set of starch of folds from the compass points all on 20 minute intervals. So, then I was worries that Lucy’s nap would mess things up – but not…all ws well.  We shaped it and plopped into the bottom of Yippee’s tall Oriental Pullman pan.

We them put it onto a plastic grocery bag and into the fridge it went for exactly 4 hours and 5 minutes so Lucy could say she retarded her loaf 5 minutes longer than David did?  She is like that sometimes making it a dog eat dog world from her point of view!  At least the bran levain was pretty standard.  12 g of NMNF whole rye stiff starter Pre-fermented flour was 13% using all the bran from the whole grains at 100% hydration.  It wasn’t retarded this time

He whole grains were equal amounts of wheat, rye and oats that totaled 24%.  The sprouted grains for the dough flour were spelt and Kamut in equal amounts at 12% total.  The rest of the dough flour was equal parts of LaFama AP and Safeway store brand Signature bread flour at 32% each - overall hydration was 78%.

When it came out of the fridge after the retard, it had risen right to the top of the rim on the middle so it needed another hour on the counter before firing up the oven for another hour at 500 F.  When it went into the oven it was 1 inch over the rim in the middle.  Then we realized we did’t have any steaming method ready.  So, we spritzed the top and threw a cup of water in the bottom of the oven as we closed the door. And turned the oven down to 450 F

10 minutes later we threw another cup of water in the bottom of the oven.  At the 20 minute mark, we  opened the oven to release the steam and turned the oven down to 425 F convection and continued baking for another 16 minutes until the middle was 205 F.  It rose enough to crease the top of the loaf on the rack above the level we baked it at.

It browned up well too.  We didn’t take it out of the pan for the last 8 minutes as usual so the sides and bottom weren’t as brown as usual but the wife likes the crust soft and this is the way to get it.  We also brushed the top with water twice after it came out to soften it too!  The taste of this bread is amazing even if the crumb is tighter than we thought it would be.

Mango salsa and Chicken tacos 


And Chicken tacos

It was still nicely open for a sandwich bread.  we didn’t taste it till 18 hours after it was baked so it had some time to redistribute the moisture and get sour.  The sour was very good and the tang was nice as well.  This is a fine tasting sprouted white SD bread – even the wife said she though ti was great and that is all that counts.  It slices as thin as you want it to too.

Bake day breakfast

Salmon Dinner with salad

dabrownman's picture

It is a bit less than a month till May the 5th but we will celebrate on May the 4th a Saturday instead.  That way folks that come into from out of town  can fly in in Friday after work and fly home on Sunday 

I live in a lake community called the Islands in Gilbert and there is a community park right next to the lake with Pavilions where we can stretch out,  I'm checking to see if we can have wine and beer outdoors or we will have to have it at my house next to the pool.  

A guy across the street has an Air B&B right on the the lake that is 2,800 SF that will sleep 8 if you want go in on a place close by for a couple of nights on the cheep.  We are 20 minutes from the airport and Scottsdale and 10 minutes to the fun in downtown Gilbert which is hopping on Friday and Saturday nights.

Lucy is serving her best Mexican food so Saturday is covered for food.  She will have beer and wine too and might make her famous Prickly Pear Margaritas for the faithful.  If you walk across the street to sleep it off then no worries about driving!

If you want to bring your favorite bread then suit yourself.  will will have the cheese and wine to go with it.

Send me a RSVP by PM on this site so Lucy can start to get ready.  The mire the merrier.  Cinco de Mayo is all about celebration and I'm ready for one!  How about you?

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After last weeks bake my wife said she wanted a bread like that one but in the shape of a loaf, but not in a Pullman pan, so the crumb would be a bit more open.  Well. Lucy said we would bale it in the Pullman pan without the lid.


Them my daughter said she wanted two loaves to take to people at work.  Originally when needed 3 half loaves and we would keep one half of one at home but as soon as the word got out at work that Lucy’s sprouted SD bread was coming to work she needed pieces for 8 people so each would get a quarter of a loaf instead.

The wife’s bread was coming along nicely and we were waiting for it to sit for 20 minutes before shaping and then a 10 hour retard after 3 sets of slap and folds and 3 sets of stretch and folds all on 30 minute intervals.  But Lucy being as old as she is, fell asleep leaving the dough on the counter under the stainless-steel mixing bowl all night.

My wife likes it thin and this bread slices thin.

When I wok up at 5 AM she was looking at me sheepishly so out to the kitchen I went and the dough had expanded so much it filled the entire bowl and lifted it off the counter by and inch with dough oozing out all around like it was planned.   

The part sticking out was very hard, so I cut it off with a knife and quickly shaped the rest of the dough and plopped it into the bottom of the Pullman pan and put it into a plastic grocery bag for another proof.  It sad there for 3 hours and only rose 25% - Oh my – so much for a more open crumb.  It was still 2 inches from the rim of the tall Pullman pan.

I slid the lid on thinking it was too pooped to pop but when the lid came off, 18 minutes later at 450 F, the top of the bread had stuck to the lid!  I finally got the lid to slid off and the top of the bread came with it.  So, I peeled the stuck part off and stuck it back on the bred and let it continue baking at 425 F convection until it read 207 F.

What is not to like about home made chicken noodle veggie soup with Chinese noodles?

Yeah, the top of the bread looked a but wonky but the crumb was open and the flavor of this bread was terrific.   It is the best tasting SFSD style recipe when it comes for sour for sure.  This one was 15 whole rye, red and white wheat and 10% sprouted spelt and sprouted Khorasan pretty much like the last loaf that tasted great but this one tasted superb.  Something abut a really long way over fermented dough that turned out not to be over fermented all that much.

Bake day breakfast sausage, bacon egg, butter, jam and cheese sandwiches on Yippee's Latvian Black bread

The boule and squat oval for my daughter was the same recipe, 10% pre-fermented whole grain , 100@ levain and 78% hydration total but it was not not over fermented on the counter and it was only 2 hours total for proof but it was under proofed.  I should have let it go longer but it had proofed 85%.  The crumb was not as open but it sure smelled good even though I didn’t get a taste.

One thong is for sure, I am going to let it bulk ferment longer on the counter from now on, ala Forkish, until it really doubles in volume or even more and hope it isn't too pooped to pop in the heat of the oven,

Yippee’s Latvian Black bread is really killer too!  Two great tasting breads this week,  one white and one black,  makes it a special break week for sure.

An Lucy says never forget the salad!


10% pre-fermented whole grain flour – Rye, red and white wheat

15% water

2% NMNF Whole Rye starter

Dough  Flour rest 30 minutes with levain added and 2% salt sprinkled on top

5% each - Whole grain flour mix, sprouted Spet, sprouted Khorasan

20% LaFama AP

45% Safeway Stare Brand (Signature) Bread flour

63% water.

dabrownman's picture

Yesterday was one of our favorite days of the year- St Paddy’s Day.  Even though part of my family came from Cork - the home of Beamish Beer and where Jameson’s rule, everyone can be Irish for a day.  They say that God created Guinness so that the Irish wouldn’t take over the world but for one day they do!  I hope all of you enjoyed the day as an Irishman won the Player’s Golf Championship – Rory MclIroy.  If an Irish American couldn’t win it, at least an Irishman did …… he is only 29 years old and going into the golf hall of fame for sure!


It hits the basket before the retard

Lucy and I love the SD brown SD bread from Ballymaloe’s famous cooking school, made with Beamish Stout, but the girls prefer their SD to be on the white side and they always win out when it comes to bread for smoked corned beef and bacon infused cabbage sandwiches – the must have St Patrick’s Day fare along with Colcannon and carrots – and Fairy Cakes.

90% proof

This bread was just perfect for the SCB sandwiches especially when slathered with homemade Dijon mustard that has been mellowing in the fridge for months just for this long-awaited day.  It was an easy enough recipe, at least for Lucy, because the girls don’t like stuff added into their bread ether.  The 12% fresh milled, whole grain flour, made up of red and white wheat, oat and rye in equal amounts with all of it in the 100% hydration levain, was made with 2.4% NMNF rye starter.  The whole grain levain was then retarded for 24 hours after it doubled.

The dough flour was made up of 4% each sprouted white durum and sprouted white spelt from Bob‘s Red Mill, 8% LaFama AP and 72% Artisan Bread Flour from Bob’s Red Mill.  The dough flour was autolyzed for 30 minutes with enough water to get the hydration up to 75% with the pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Then another 5% water was sprinkled over the salt getting the hydration up to 80% overall.

Lid comes off

The salt was mixed in with a spoon before the levain was added and mixed in roughly.  Then the first of 3 slap and folds commenced with 125 slaps followed by 2o and 10.  Even though this was 80% hydration and only 12% whole grains this one really came together nicely and it wasn’t slack enough to do any Sleeping Ferret folds after the slapping around it took.  So, we did 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points.


Then we shaped it into a squat oval and plopped it into a rice floured short oval basket and then bagged it into a plastic grocery bag and into the fridge it went for 8 hours of cold 38 F retard.  We went for a shaped retard because we knew St Paddy’s day would be hectic and we wanted to do as little as possible the next morning – plus we figured that the dough would not over proof in the fridge as we were sleeping in 8 short hours instead of our usual 12 hours.

Sure enough the dough was only 80% proofed in the morning, so we let it sit on the counter for an hour before starting up the oven with the combo cooker inside to it’s 500 F preheat.   It was 80 F yesterday but much cooler in the morning, so it sat on the counter for 2 hours to get to 90% proof - perfect for a white bread like this one.

We unmolded it onto parchment on a peel and slashed it twice long ways and into the combo cooker it went without being spritzed because Lucy forgot to do it even with the bottle right there in front of her big nose!  After 20 minutes of steaming with the lid on at 450 F, the lid came off for 6 minutes of convection beat at 425 F when we took it off the bottom of the CC to finish baking on the stone so it wouldn’t burn the bottom of the bread.

You want to wrap your brisket right as it is coming put of the stall ,around 170 F, and then continue cooking to 200 -205 F. Then put it in a cooler covered in towels for 2 hours and let it rest and get to 140 F before slicing and serving.

After another 10 minutes of dry, swirling heat the bread was nicely browned and read 210 F on the instant read thermometer and thumped like a drum too.  It had some small blisters and it sprang and bloomed well enough.  My daughter was finishing up the bacon and butter infused cabbage when I sliced the bread and she tore off a piece claiming it will be really good with some mustard on it.  It was nicely open too, but not monstrously so as some high hydration white breads can be.

She was wrong - It was really good with nothing on it!  The flavor was fantastic, a good base sour and the tang that all fine SFSD breads should have along with the wonderful flavor of a 6 grain bread too!  Lucy said she would put this bread up against any SFSD style bread any time any day.  The smoked corned beef was also really nice making for one fine meal for sure.

Trees from the 1999 Millennium Series

And you know that Lucy says never forget the salad

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This I the latest iteration of a fine bread that Lucy puts together for her other master that treats her even worse than I do…if that were possible.  When ever my wife gets low on bread for her daily lunch smoked turkey sandwich that she carts off to work every day, Lucy gets right to work crafting a new version that my wife says she might like.


Hitting the pan size

I think she will like this one because it isn’t far off from the normal or as dark on the outside as usual since it was only baked to 207 F on the inside.  She said she wanted to be less dark so we left it in the pan for 2 minutes longer than normal and took it out of the pan for only 6 minutes of finish baking on the stone.  Total time was down 3 minutes overall.

Coming out of the fridge after 12 hour retard

The other thing that was new was putting a layer of sunflower seeds on top when it got to 95.125% proof.  It looks nice and smelled even better than normal as it baked.    My wife said she doesn’t like stuff in her bread but she never said anything about stuff on it so Lucy took full advantage knowing that she can just cut it off if the beatings continue until the moral improves.

Seeds on at 98% proof, lid going on and into the oven it goes

Speaking of taking advantage.  Lucy went to the salon to get beautified and the lady said she had sticks in her coat that she had to cut out so she just shaved her like it was her summer cut to get them all out.  It was really cold here last week with new low high record for the day of 47 F breaking the old record by of 54 F by 7 degrees and it has been around freezing at night. Now global warming is killing critters with coats!

It also rained well over and inch too but before that, thankfully, poor Lucy was cold and she took it out on us by going out to the back yard and rolling around getting sticks stuck all over her again.  My daughter had to pick them out – a lot easier chore when the hair is short though.  Thankfully it rained that night and then all day too so she wasn’t muddy with sticks.

Personally, I don’t care what Lucy does, as long as she isn’t biting and barking at the neighbors that we like and I am certainly not picking sticks out of her coat any time soon.  She did get a nice Valentine’s Day red heart bow on her collar that the groomer put on.  Lucy hates it of course and wanted taken off desperately but, I won’t do that either.  When it falls off ….it falls off. 


Grilled Baja chicken taco with all the fixings - Pico, Guacamole, cilantro, Mexican key lime,  scallion and hot sauce, cheddar and queso fresco.

Lucy could be trained, she would put it in the trash bin herself and I don’t pick stuff up off the floor anymore so it might be where ever it falls for a while.  Being retired means you have unique privileges.  That means you don’t have to do anything other people seem to think they have to do and I’m sticking to that creed on most everything not worth doing.  My wife seems to think differently about this and most things in fact, don’t they all? 

We have grilled garam masala salmon once a week with a salad and steamed mixed veggies and in this case Alton Brown's rice pilaf that Lucy gussies up to make it really special.

She has a list of things she wants me to do claiming I don’t really do anything and have lots and lots of time on my hands.  But that’s not it at all.  I have another retirement rule about not doing stuff that magically appears on someone else’s list ……and I never, ever make a list of stuff for me to do either.  What a total waste of time.  Why make a list of stuff you know you are never going to do?  This makes making a list of stuff for someone else to do, a really huge waste of time in my book, if I had a book.

Got to love a good salad at least once a day!  This one has yellow peppers and avocado with trumpet and crimini mushrooms, carrot, cucumber, Roma and cherry tomatoes, chunks of Parmesan, red and green onion, thinly sliced Brussels sprouts with green salad bowl and red Romaine from the garden.

But, as some might know, I’m big believer in going to the library and not wasting money buying books when you already bought them and pay the maximum amount possible more to take care of them too.  They get treated better than humans do and way more than they are worth.   Still, It is just one of things that lets you not spend money on buying more books you already own and take of so well.   By not buying books, you can retire early and not have to do stuff on someone else’s list ever again.

You have to have a good breakfast on bake day with sourdough blue berry pancakes, bacon sausage and strawberries

Seems like kids today have all retired early come to think of it.   They don’t do much of anything we tell them to do.   So, making a list for them is totally worthless too.  It sort’a makes me proud that they at least learned something from me, quite the legacy, even though it is all totally wrong for them because they are nowhere near retirement age.


One of Lucy's best recipe, voted by her in house girls, is her Gumbo that is half Cajun and half Creole with 2 kinds of smoked sausages; Louisiana hot links and Andouille with shrimp, scallops and smoked chicken thighs secret gumbo spices with gumbo file.  Do not listen to people who say not tp put gumbo file in gumbo - that is what makes it gumbo!

Retirement age is where they should expect to get free stuff all the time like I do.  Just saying, they need to pay their dues and do stuff on lists for someone else for at least 4 or 5 decades before they can expect to get free stuff.  It’s only fair and quite r=traditional ….till now.

Don't forget grilled salmon steaks.  Yea there are bones ....with a salad

What youngsters need to learn is that you don’t get rich by spending your money, like at Starbucks for one example, when you should be investing it.  Warren Buffet bought his first stock for $115 when he was 11 years old which is now worth $606,000 today – 77 years later.  It isn’t all peaches and cream for Warren even though he is in fine health and able to do just about anything worth doing with an extra $606,000 and 60 odd billion lying about on top of that.  

He is really ancient at a ripe 88, and still working for living too.  Why is that?  He can’t possibly be happy if he is still doing stuff on lists that his wife gives him ….no matter how rich he is ….and he is really, really rich.  I suppose, as a libertarian at heart I do not care what he does though.  The important part is that he does whatever he wants because he didn’t spend money on worthless stuff - he invested it instead.

My daughter and I made her mom a fancy do triple chocolate, pudding birthday cake made with non fat yogurt that had chocolate chinks and raspberry puree hidden in the center of the bunt cake with a raspberry 72% dark chocolate ganache made with water instead of  cream and butter - it is better without the fat.  We wanted to put some corn syrup in to make it shiny but my wife said not to.  It was her cake but she was wrong - put it in there to shine it up!

This chicken noodle veggie soup is made from scratch with the exception of the noodles

 Still, I can think of a whole list of things I would be doing instead of working.  It’s OK to make lists of stuff you would do when you retire but working or working to do anything on someone else’s list should never be on it.  In fact I recommend not even buying paper or pen, and saving that scratch,  so you can never write out a list once you are retired.  Old habits are hard to break and the temptation may be too much for some. Back to bread.

Grilled Chicken Tacos start with the marinade of tequila, lime, fresh cilantro, mixed dried red peppers, Mexican oregano, garlic and green onion and black pepper, a bit of EVOO and balsamic vinegar with  splash of thick mushroom flavored soy sauce to make it Baja Style and don't over do it with the fixings so you can still taste the meat you worked so hard to make just right.  Melt a little cheese on the shells and top it gingerly.  Or really spruce it up like another version above:-)

A recipe is just a list of stuff to do so I never write them down either.  I don’t even make them up in my head either.  I have an apprentice who does that for me.  Lucy is not retired and needs a job if she ever hopes to be retired as a First Class Baking Apprentice….. with the extra notch higher retirement pension that comes with it.

Different day different chicken noodle soup with more broth in a prettier bowl

This one is 16% whole grain with all of the sifted bran and part of the high extraction flour making up the 100% hydration, 10% pre-fermented flour bran levain.  We broke our usual and did not retard the levain this time and went straight into autolysing the dough flour which consisted of the remaining 6% HE whole grains, 8% Bob Red meal sprouted spelt and 8% BRM sprouted durum with 34% each LaFama AP and BRM artisan Bread Flour.

Love blueberries in salad to make it different

The autolyse was 40 minutes holding back 3.33% of the water for a double hydration with the Pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Once the held back water went in with the bran levain, the total hydration was 78% overall.  After mixing with a spoon, Lucy’ fur started flying with 150 slap and folds followed by 2 more sets of 50 and 25, followed by 3 sets of Sleeping Ferret Folds from the top top bottom and the left and right – perfect for slack dough.

Still, nothing beats a simply dressed tingua taco!  Back to sliced cube bread

All of these exotic dough manipulations were done on 30 minute intervals with a 30 minute rest at the end.  Since it is cold, between manipulations we rested the dough on a heating pad covered with an oiled plastic sheet covered by a SS bowl and a kitchen towel – our normal winter technique that Lucy hasn’t come up with a catchy name for yet – probably because I don’t make a list of things for her to do either.  I find yelling and screaming at here good for the lungs at my age instead.  It’s all part of a well-constructed retirement plan that was never written down.

The wife likes them thin and these are a bit over a quarter inch each.

We shaped this dough with 4 slap and folds to get the large bubbles out and rolling it tightly into a loaf shape and then plopping it into the oil sprayed Yippee Pullman Pan for proofing with the lid slid on.  We let it sit 40 minutes on the counter and them put it into the fridge for a 12 hour retard where it didn’t much maybe rising 30%. 

 Not every great bread has to be 'Grand Canyon' open

The next morning, we put it on the heating pad to finish proofing.  When it got to 95.125% proof we sprinkled on a layer of sunflower seeds that Lucy found in her pantry and waited for it to get 98% proof before slipping it into the 500 F oven for 20 minutes of baking with the lid on.


The seeds don't fall off after baking when mooshed into the bread by the Pullman top as the bread proofs to make the cube.

So, there you go, another cubed sprouted sourdough that tastes fantastic and looks pretty square.  Soft moist and easy to slice with a bit of sunflower seed - just perfect for sandwiches.  600 g of flour at 78% hydration is perfect for this pan with 12 g of salt and this mix of whole, sprouted and white flour.

dabrownman's picture

Their first egg was eaten by ravens and their 2nd one was eaten by a ring tail but hopefully they will pay more attention to their eggs from now on!  They are beautiful Bbids to watch.

dabrownman's picture

The first step I don't have a picture of and if I did I wouldn't put it here because I know you have all chopped up a large onion.  Red onion goes in guacamole and pico and some salsas but it is always white onion for everything else Mexican - no yellow onions allowed:-)  Put some bacon fat in the bottom of the IP and turn it on saute for 20 minutes at 390 F

Then get your Mis en Place arranged in the order that it goes in the pot.  Next in  is the left side of green stuff, a chopped up large tonatillo, half of large jalapeno with seeds and half of a Poblano pepper without the seeds.  These go in after 5 minute of onion sweating but hold back the frozen 4 roasted skinned and seeded Hatch green chilis, and the 3 dried chilis: Guahillo, Ancho,and chipotle for the 3rd addition.

Next goes in the chopped frozen Hatch green chilies  and one whole head of chopped fresh garlic some whole cumin and coriander at the 10 minute mark

At the 5 minute mark, next goes in the 3 dried chilies, bay leaves, some ground coriander and cumin, peppercorns and dried Mexican oregano along with 1 cup each of beef broth and chicken stock and 2 cups of water.  I used Better the Bullion Low Sodium so no salt is needed.  Here is what the pot looked like with the tongue in there and the beautiful portrait of the tongue itself.

Slap the lid on when the 20 minute mark runs out on the saute and set the pressure cooking for 45 minute of high and then let then let it sit for 15 minutes before letting out the steam.  Take the tongue out with the 3 whole cried chilies so that they can cool for 5 minutes before de-seeding the chilies and putting them back in the sauce in the pot and turning it back onto saute  for 20 minutes at 250 F.  See how much the tongue has shrunk in length and how much fatter its.  If yours isn't done, then it back into the pot for another 15 minutes of pressure.

Chop up 2 corn tortillas and put them in the pot to thicken the sauce.

Now the really fun part - skin the tongue getting off that hard outer part.  Do this when it is still warm or it won't come of very easy and you will kick yourself for not listening to Lucy!

Now you have a choice if you want t kinds of Tengua tacos - nplain and Carnitas.  I usually make both.  Slice the tongue into 1/2" thick pieces across the length.  Take half the slices to use later Carnitas and set them aside and then chop the rest into 1/2" cubes and the cubes back in the sauce til it is done thickening up when the 20 minutes is up.  It will look like this before the cubes go back in the port.

And look like this when it comes put to go on a flour taco shell that has Muenster cheese melted on it.  This is the 2nd best taco in the world.

The best taco requires a bit more work and love.  First you want to caramelize some white onion in a saute pan with some bacon fat in the bottom and half way through you want to brown the slices of reserves tongue to get some crispy edges

When it is browned it will look like this

Now you chop the slices into 1.2" cubes and put i back in the pan with the caramelized onions

No you are not done quite yet.  Now you get out some of the reserved sauce and add it to the pan and get everything lovey dovey warm and cozy.

Then you melt some Muenster on some flour taco shells in the Microwave for 30 seconds on high and then pile on the Tengue Carnitas .  Put some cilanto on top with a squeeze of lime if you must and open up a good Mexican Lager which were all brewed by German immigrants to Mexico just like the German Immigrants who made most all the lager beers in the USA.  Now you know why Muenster cheese is preferred by purists on Tengue Carmitas Tacos!  Enjoy!



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