The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm

While out running errands this morning I stopped at St. Honoré Boulangerie in NW Portland.  I took a bunch of photos but it was dark and crowded.  These are the only two shots that came out.


St Honore Breads


St Honore Sweets


The croissant, pain au chocolat, and pain au raisin we split were all good.  Nice treats on a rainy day.


In baking news, I just came *this* close to ruining a batch of Wild Rice Onion Bread I'm making. I'm using the formula from Peter Reinhart's new book but changing the rises to fit my schedule.  I did a preferment while we were out this morning and once we got back from errands I made the final dough.  It was running about half an hour or an hour behind dinner schedule -- I'd love to have the rolls with the pot of split pea soup I'm making, though I also got a ficelle at St. Honoré as backup -- so I put the bulk dough in the oven and turned the light on to try to speed things up a little bit.  I also turned the burner on for just 20 or 30 seconds to get some warmth in there, then got distracted and ran upstairs... Next thing I know my dough has been sitting in a 250 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.  Happily, aside from the very outer bits that stuck to the metal bowl, I think it is going to be fine.  I split the now quite warm dough into two loaves and they appear to be rising fine.  Fingers crossed.


 

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Floydm

By the way, a week or so ago I added a new email notification feature that I think is really handy.  If you go to:


My Account >> Edit >> Email Preferences


and check the box and save you can get a notification any time someone replies to a thread you've started.  I'm finding this a great way of keeping track of responses to blog entries I made weeks or months ago that otherwise I'd miss.


That bring up to 3 the types of email notifications you can have here.  The other two are "Notifications," which sends you a digest of all of the days activity by email, and "Subscriptions," which allow you to subscribe to all updates on a given thread or content type.  Having of these options is quite confusing, I recognize.  Every time I think about doing away with one type of notification or the other to make things simpler I talk to someone who says they really like getting that type.  So I'm not certain what to do, long-term, but it is worth experimenting with the different types of notifications to find the one that fits your reading habits best.

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Floydm

I wrote a blog entry on MercyCorps.org today about The Fresh Loaf Fall Fundraiser that some folks here might enjoy reading.  Fingers crossed, hopefully some other online communities and groups will use what we did as a model and hold similar drives from time-to-time.   


Again, thank you to everyone who participated and/or showed your support.

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Floydm

I baked two batches of bread today, the first being a batch of Whole Wheat Seeded Rolls.

wheat rolls

I used the master recipe from Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François's new book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day as the base for these.  Portlanders: Jeff and Zoë are going to be at Powell's Tuesday evening.

The rolls are disappearing quickly because I also made a batch of Apple Butter.  Delicious, as always.

I also made a second batch of Anis Bouabsa's Baguettes.

baguette

I'm resisting the temptation to crack these open before they cool this time, which is quite difficult.

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Floydm

I made Struan Rolls to go with a pot of soup Dorota made tonight.




Often my Struan comes out a bit heavy (like in the photo in the recipe I linked to), but tonight I nailed it.  They were light, fluffy, soft, and just the perfect sweetness.  When you get Struan right, it is hard to beat.


In nerd news: WhiteHouse.gov is now running on Drupal, which is the software that The Fresh Loaf runs on.  That is very exciting to geeks like me.

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Floydm

Last week I posted a message on TFL asking community members to test out the new fundraising software I'd developed for Mercy Corps, my employer, by making a few small donations. The response from the community was overwhelmingly positive. We hit our original goal of one thousand dollars, which I feared might be unreasonably high, in less than 72 hours, and several community members expressed a desire that we extend this longer. If you are game, I'm game. Let's see what we can do.

What is Mercy Corps?

Mercy Corps is an international aid agency based in Portland, Oregon. With over 3,500 employees working in more than 40 countries, we work to help people build secure, productive and just communities. We do that by expanding educational opportunities, helping build water and sanitation infrastructure, providing microfinancing to women starting small businesses and running food and nutrition programs to prevent malnutrition.

As I've mentioned, I work there, but I was a supporter and fan of the organization before I began working there. Mercy Corps works in some of the world's toughest places, including many that rarely make the headlines, and is committed to being efficient stewards of their donors' money.

If you are interested in supporting our fundraising effort, you can do so here. Your show of support would mean a great deal to me.

Update 10/25: I am moving the discussion of this from the forums to a blog thread so that folks interested in the fundraising project can still chat about it without interfering with the bread-centricity of the forums. I've also raised the goal to $2,500.

More to come...
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Floydm

We started the day with Sourdough English Muffins.



After lunch I made my first batch of Anis Bouabsa's baguettes.




I hurried things a bit, only giving them about 16 hours in the fridge, probably not letting them rise quite enough before putting them in the oven, and slicing them while still hot.  Nevertheless, they were quite good.  I definitely want to try this again. 



Finally I made a sourdough miche using the technique crumb bum introduced a couple of years ago.



I've not cracked this one open yet.  I'm looking forward to it.


Actually this wasn't the end of the baking, because I also made corn bread muffins to go with the pot of green tomato chili I made, which was awesome.  Followed up by some of the remaining birthday cake Dorota made.  It is a pity that baking season comes at a different time than prime bicycling season here, because after a day like today I could certainly use the exercise!

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Floydm

I looked into my pantry today and found rye flour, whole wheat flour, rice flour, barley flour, cake flour, pizza flour, and high gluten flour for making bagels but no bread flour.  So, like ApplePie, I decided to go flour shopping.


I didn't visit a mill, instead hitting the local Cash & Carry, which carries a number of different brands of flour, the most noteable of which is Pendleton Flour Mills.  I was pleased that this time they had 25 pound bags of flour for under 10 bucks, so I picked up one bag of their unbleached Morbread flour, which I've been quite satisfied with in the past.  They had their Power high gluten flour, their semolina flour, and their pizza flour blends too, which I'm quite tempted to try next time.


So now I've just mixed up my first batch of Anis Bouabsa's baguettes and will set up a sourdough to ferment overnight tonight as well.  It is nice to have the rainy weather back... perfect for hanging around the house, reading, and baking!

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Floydm

I made bagels this morning using some of the General Mills All Trumps High Gluten Flour I'd ordered from NYBakers.  They turned out well.





With cream cheese and a tomato picked fresh from the garden this morning they were delicious.

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Floydm

Beautiful spring weather in Oregon this year so I've been spending a lot of time outside and away from the oven. I did bake some delicious sourdough boules yesterday though.



In other news, the local berry stand down the block opened today. 



I'm looking forward to being able to pick up cheap flats of damaged jam berries soon and making Strawberry Freezer Jam, probably my favorite thing to put on fresh bread.

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