The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Back to basics...

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Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Back to basics...

Putting on my traveling shoes and tossing the gear, sourdough, scale, spoon scale, probe & oven thermometer into my suitcase.  Destination: Canada near the east Washington state boarder.   Life is fun!  - Mini

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PiPs's picture
PiPs

Have a great trip ...

... A holiday?

Do we get photos?

cheers, Phil

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

my T-bird away.a.a !    :)  No holiday, but very much like one!  Yes, you all get more photos!  I think I burnt my neck out in the garden today cutting and clearing. Can use some rain about now.  Thanks, eager to get back into bear country!  Bears means berries!  Love them berries!  Grrrrr.  Must be quite the scenic spot along the Columbian River.  Taking my dog along.  :)

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Enjoy bread, wherever you may be. 

Have a safe trip, Mini!

-Khalid

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I see the area has a few bakeries and lots of restaurants!  

isand66's picture
isand66

Have a great trip.  maybe you will run into Floyd while you are visiting. It should be beautiful there this time of year.

Ian

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and others!  Quite exciting actually!

 Oh, I hope it's beautiful, in fact, I'm counting on it!  :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Hope that you enjoyed Chili?

At least you are heading North for the Summer!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

getting all turned around and now to mess it up again.  Na ya.   But I love new locations, like getting new batteries,  Had enough of Chilean Winter (did enjoy the spring and summer) and the markets.  The locals burn wood for heat and what looks like fog is smoke, aged wood makes a big difference.  I'm clean air freak and going from winter to summer in a day is so wonderful!  I just cant tell you how happy I am to have clean air again!  The smell of green grass and rain and growing plants!  I'm picking strawberries and soon my red currant berries and gooseberries!  I think the seasonal change is harder than the jet lag.  Already have my tan back!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

You must have an impressive electrical converter collection! Have a great trip?Move? Gorgeous country in that area.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I have one drawer devoted to converters.  plugs for plugs and cars and adaptors.  We left most of the 3 prong (fork like) pronged Chile adapters in the apartment for the next folks.  No use for them here or elsewhere.  Canada is like the US and I have fist fulls of little plugs.  Not moving, just temporary, pretty much booked up for the next 6 years.  All over the place!  The world gets smaller.   I am valuing more and more, good food, good company in good locations.  There are so many beautiful places in the world.  

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Don't forget to pack enough gear to handle emergencies while you're in CA. The area around Calgary and Medicine Hat are being flooded at the present time with more townships downstream to be affected. Even if you're not going specifically to those flooded regions, your travel may be more difficult due to road closures or increased traffic. Pack an atlas, a GPS, and a smart phone with a weather app in your kit.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Will toss in the extras.  Plan to land in Trail.   My "wild goose" instinct is now back up and running in the northern hemisphere.  I got a Washington state map from when I was there in 1988?  Who needs GPS?  Those darn things freak out with mountains and tall building around.  I'm pretty good at not getting lost.  (won't guarantee it though but I will be happily lost, that you can count on.)  I finally get to experiment with snow!  Yes!  Snow bread!  Bring it on!  Oops, told you, still adapting to summer.   I take it they have lots of mosquitoes.  They are nasty.  Have my trusty net with me.

Mini O  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Or deliberately bake a few brick loaves. I hear there are lots of mosquitos in that part of the world. If they are anything like the giant mosquitos we have in Wisconsin this summer, you might need the weights in your pockets so they don't carry you off like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.

Stay safe.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

And enjoy your time in Canada. Maybe you even have a chance to come to Maine one day!

Karin

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for the future?  I tend to be where water flows.  Renewable energy.  Always a river or amazing tides nearby.  

evonlim's picture
evonlim

Have a great trip Mini!
Evon

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hey Mini, soon to be another fellow Canadian.  At least for a while.

Interesting choice of placement.  South east B.C.  I am sure you will find it a very beautiful place to live.  Good luck in the move, and welcome aboard!

John

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a furnished place, simple but with a kitchen.  Most hotels are just bedrooms designed for...   well,  sleeping.  That's fine for a few days but for a few months it becomes a cage.   Some of the best extended stay hotels charge by the week or month and have a small kitchen with a few dishes, pots and pans and a small efficient washing machine.  Usually two rooms + bath and little design touches.  We're home owners and tend to fix stuff leaving the place working better than when we came.  A house sitting situation is ideal but hard to find.  

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Oh I just read that you are going to Trail.  I have never been, but it is supposed to be beautiful.  It is part of the West Kootney region, but close to the Okanagan region, which is amazing (was my favorite place I have ever been, up until I recently visited Arizona).  Okanagan has Canada's only desert.  Hot in summer.  Very nice.  I believe Christina Lake is in Trail or near it.  I hear it is beautiful.

Happy travels!

John

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Booked for Sunday.  Landing in Vancouver in time for coffee and then catching the last airplane to Trail.  Wish I could stay longer but will be back often, popping in and out of town.  Now I'm soaking up all the chit chat about that lovely city.  Hope Trail has some good flours.  I'm only taking a few bags of rye and my starter with minimum equipment.  

I have tons of house projects left to do here.   Today I was out in the hot sun asphalt patching my drive from last winter's frost damage.  I got it all done.  With the evening shadows, I will toss some sand onto it.  I was actually thinking about nut rolls and laminated dough while I was patching   ...and rocks and pebbles and summer road construction.  Tar is not so appetizing but still lovable in a sticky sort of way.  Was a little lacking in the aroma department unless like me, you can never get out of hardware stores.  I fixed a few plant trolleys for the fall but still have a garden bench to paint.  I don't like that fangled outdoor furniture acrylic paint, peels off too quickly.  Give me some enamel with a splash of kerosene!  I sanded one flat bench and then oiled it.  No one can sit on it yet but it looks nice.  It's for plants anyway.  :)

I'm so excited!  I think I have what is known as travel fever.  Gotta lay off the coffee!

Putting a loaf into the oven, full of left over seeds and flours.  Mostly Einkorn, 1/3 rye, flax, hemp, dried red currents, sunflower seeds, toasted sesame seeds,  ought to be interesting...

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

At least I got my feet on the ground!   Bear country, hot, cool nights, rising moon over the mountains and just gorgeous!

Not settled in yet but seem to be over the jet lag.  Dolly is a great traveler and charms everyone we meet.  

Oh my... thinking of pets...  where did I put my starter?   (starter abuse beginning already?)  

Got to find some rye...   

The flight from Austria to Vancouver went without a hitch.   We waited in Frankfurt in the middle of a large group of Fountain View Academy (Orchestra & Singers)  students coming back from a music tour.  Great group of kids!  Dolly made a few friends and says hello.  Waiting always goes faster with plenty of friendly happy people.  

Picked up some good tips about traveling with in-cabin-pets. When I would ask for just one ice cube (for Dolly) I got interesting reactions.  Outside the two people next to me, no one in my section seemed to register I had a dog until the plane had stopped and everyone was getting up.  Then she didn't want to be left behind.  That's when the man who sat above her discovered her presence.  That's when she won her 5th gold star.  

With a slow start at immigration (7 large flights came in at the same time) hectic run thru Vancouver customs (the officers were so helpful and great! and very animal caring) an animal inspection/tax and a taxi ride to the Southern Airport, we just made our check-in, paid Dolly's travel fee (Thanks Helen!  and the friendly people at Coastal Pacific) with a little time to look for a grassy spot while printing out my boarding card.  

I took over the back 3 seats and caught my breath.  A brief alarm went off inside the plane when we started to taxi, Everyone seemed uneasy, I commented,  "ah!  The blond alarm!" ... "Too many blonds on board."   (The majority of passengers were blond including the pilots and myself!)  Dolly settled down after the chuckles and went to sleep.  It was a good flight and landing.   Welcome to Trail.

So here I am without a kitchen.  Got a fridge and a MW.  ...and a motel coffee pot.  Clear blue skies.  The Columbia river at my feet and a bus route nearby.  Life is good.

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Mini, welcome to Canada and especially to B.C.

I haven't passed through Trail in many years but I do remember it as being a very pretty spot. You've come at a great time with all the sunshine and warm temps we're having right now, and the forecast for Trail and the Kootenays is looking awesome. Hope you enjoy your visit and I'm sure you're going to have a lot of fun discovering what the area has to offer. If you're looking for good flours, the ones I recommend are Anita's Organics , Nunweiler's Flour, and One Degree Organics . All three you might find at some of the supermarkets in town, Safeway for instance, maybe even Walmart, but L,Bears Health Foods on Cedar Ave is sure to carry at least one of those brands. Keep us posted on your B.C. experience,  I'm looking forward to reading all about it.

All the best,

Franko

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

travel log.  Dolly must be in heaven in Trail instead of closer to it in a plane.  Sounds lovely,  Canada ha all kinds of great t flour but what you find in trail may require driving many miles away?  Hope you find your starter and that bread making resumes quickly.  I started making white bread yesterday for Fridays bake and my apprentice doesn't like it one bit

Happy baking and glad your trip went well - enjoy Trail. and flours of Canada.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Welcome to B.C. Mini.  Hope you get all settled in soon.  You came at a perfect time too, sun shining, hot Kootney region...have fun!

John

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

seems to be an old house...  

...and the oven leans to the left.  (so do my eggs in the fry pan)  After I take care of it (might have to tip the oven and adjust the feet (2 person job) or just shove a board under it  and switch the door of the fridge from left opening to right opening (it is too obvious this all should have been done before my arrival)  I'm in business!  

Picked up a 2.5kg bag (5.5lb)  (didn't come any smaller) of Rogers Rye, no additive dark rye flour.  The one with the "lemon juice secret" yellow star on the corner of the bag.  "Starter, open wide!"

Got a removable handle fry pan and foil.  Waiting for the temps to drop.  :)  

Franko's picture
Franko

The Rogers Rye, no additive dark rye flour is the stuff I use to feed my starter with as well. The price is right and the starter loves it. Good luck with temps dropping just yet, it may take till Friday before they get down to 24 C according to the forecast.

Franko

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Mini.

Please comment on quality of Rogers flour when you try it out.  I am curious what a rye expert thinks of it.  I have been avoiding it but it is the only dark rye I can find out there at this point.

John

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to form an opinion.  My first loaf did mold rather quickly but that could be my starter.  Waiting for cooler day temps before more baking.

I'm saving a reheat bag acquired with "take-out" food.  It has parchment on the inside and foil on the outside.  Curious what would happen if I placed shaped dough inside to rise and bake crimping the end shut.  I now have a bigger oven and hubby thinks I should work on baguettes this fall.    

I bought some baguettes the other day at the local supermarket (Ferraro's Foods) and have to say that no one posting here has to be shy showing their own baggies.  Ferraro should be embarrassed!  Just a slight change in scoring would make a big difference.  (They are sold sight unseen in paper tube bags.)  I wonder how many people hide them out of sight until they are cut into little pieces. 

Mini

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

out of the oven!  That was a long bake!  The oven preheats fast but is a cool oven.  Ended up adding 20 minutes and upping the temp to get it to 95°C inside temp.  Darker on the bottom of the loaf than the top.

Still haven't found a shape for the loaf that hubby likes.  I'm rather limited but have a large stainless mixing bowl, three stack-inside ceramic all-purpose mixer bowls (3 sizes) two cookie sheets with edges and an angel fool cake pan.  Need some kind of make-shift banneton if I make free form.  The colander provided needs more holes.  For this 2 kg bake I used the large ceramic bowl covered with foil, bottom rack, middle of the oven.  The oven is wide enough to get two cookie sheets in side-by-side but then the depth is too short.  Did get the oven leveled.  

The nights are dropping into the 50's (F°) (12°C) so it is lovely baking weather!  The days are warm, the natives still at Christina Lake west of here.  Starting to see more of them as fall approaches.  Those working in the mountains around trail say they can "feel" Autumn coming.  Trail is a valley spot on the Columbia River.  Only in the last few decades has Trail been green with trees and lately with lovely flowers.  The home town smelter did a lot of damage to the area leaving it barren for quite some time.  Old photos show no trees at all.  Now that the city is green and blooming they are very proud of their community.  Rightly so!  We do enjoy our walks around town, flowers and all the stairs!  Everything is in walking distance because the town is based on people walking to work.  For a small charge, local busses speed out to the outer edges of town and into neighboring ones.  Makes it easy and Dolly is a good rider.

With all the black locust trees about, I looked them up to see if they burn well in a BBQ.  Turns out they are one of N. America's hardest woods and even burn wet.  A tree fallen over in the woods may take 100 yrs to rot.  They do have thorns, but seem to be only on the green leafy parts.  I understand they make quite a site when the trees bloom.  The seeds are everywhere and since I started watering the garden, sprouting up everywhere.  I pulled them out and looked them up -- a legitimate edible legume.  Bean sprouts, my first home grown vegetable!  

Good Rye bread!  I have to say all ingredients (except the bread spice) bought right here in Trail.  The rye flour is fun to work with and tasty.  I give the sour a little extra time to ripen.  My Chia-Rye loaf gets 2 hrs bulk and 1.5 hrs rise before baking in a cold oven.

Mini

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

our garbage last night.  As most of it belonged to the vacating neighbors (I think they dumped too much food stuff Wed.) I'm left with the clean up before it gets picked up tomorrow.  I need a second cup of coffee and heavy duty rubber gloves before I brave the morning!  What a mess!  Nice and "ripe" too.

Have great baking weather now.  Time to experiment!   Should mix up dough before tackling the garbage...???

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a time to heal, heal from the holidays.  Had a bad fall on my trip south.  Didn't see a small step in a restaurant and flew flat smack forward into the floor.   Man did that hurt!  That was just after Christmas.  Nice folks in the restaurant brought me lots of ice for my ankle and face and the steak was excellent!  A short while later realised I broke my first rib and badly twisted an ankle not to mention my knobby knees getting knobbier and an obvious shiner from my new glasses.    

So be careful when you get new glasses!  (can't be repeated often enough!  watch your step!)

Guess I have a few months of fighting crankiness, not much I can do except take it easy.  Keep warm y'all and those of you that are healing, I'm with you!   

Buster1948's picture
Buster1948

Bad luck, but try to not let it rob you of all the pleasant memories you have made in Canada. Get well soon.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Canada is pretty laid back and we are enjoying our stay.  Lots of good memories!    

Now... what to do with ground elk?

Buster1948's picture
Buster1948

I've only seen one elk in my life, so don't really know what to do with its meat, but people in Alabama make a wonderful, basically cholesterol-free, sausage from white-tailed deer meat. Now that I think about it, my son, who lives in Yakima, WA, brought me some very good elk sausage a couple of years ago for Christmas. Of course, a baker like you might prefer to think along the lines of Elk Wellington. Good luck with it.

PS -- By the way, late last night, I baked my first loaf of bread (a simple rye round) since my August adventure with chicken fat. Feeling a little unsure of myself, I was looking for a test for doneness when I came across your post on the subject, but there aren't many places around here to run out and buy such a thermometer, even when it isn't midnight. There is actually a Williams Sonoma in Montgomery. Maybe I will try there tomorrow.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hollow knocking on the loaf, good crust color top and bottom, a distinctive sponginess when squeezed (should fight you a little and not feel like the sides will cave in)  and last but not least goosing it with a thermometer.   The loaf should no longer be rising in the oven and the aromas tend to change from great yeasty to great toasty or more like you would expect a slice of toast to smell like.  But not burnty. :)  Ryes can come close to burnty and not be burnt.  

I tend to goose my ryes with a thermometer but if you bake the same loaf size over and over again, give them a firm squeeze with your open hand wrapped over the loaf so your thumb and finger tips are opposite, then press them together.  Check your grip with the metal "meat or candy thermometer.  Shouldn't take you long to get the right feel of your done loaves.

The elk is pretty lean and smells like beef.   Thanks

Buster1948's picture
Buster1948

. . . on South Park, "That reminds me of a song, children." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGS2LsbyfSE 

What if, after all that squeezing you decide that it isn't done; i.e., that you've caught it young and treated it rough? Will it still cook properly if you put it back into the oven?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If the loaf has cooled and you discover it too wet and raw inside.  Then it's time to get more acquainted with your microwave oven!  The waves head straight for the raw parts.

Buster1948's picture
Buster1948

Hey. I would never have thunk it. Very interesting. Thanks.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I was thinking bears or racoons.  Seems the coons are out of their hibernation.  Found their little dancing footprints in the car port dirt, larger and longer than Dolly's dog prints. Sort of like paw-hands.  Tulips are just coming up around the house.  How exciting.  Can't wait for everything to bloom.  Gotta make a flour run.