The Fresh Loaf

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Tartine Charity

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David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Tartine Charity

Every day, I pass a homeless lady who stands in the side-doorway of church that I pass by on the way to work.

I decided that I ought to give her one of my extra loaves of bread, and this morning I did so.  She was very appreciative and, dare I say, excited to be gifted the loaf.

I told her it took me three days to make it, and she said "Three days?!" so I explained it was a sourdough and she understood right away.

Here it was after proofing overnight in the fridge.

Here is my lame lame.

My scoring...

After 20 minutes in the covered combo cooker:

And, after it was taken out of the oven

Alas, no crumb shot for this loaf.  Tomorrow, when I pass her, I will ask if she had an opportunity to enjoy it, and see what she has to say.

In part, I did this because I had baked three loaves this weekend and had to freeze one but did not want to freeze two.  In part, I did this because I thought it would be nice to give something to someone who would otherwise never get something like this.

Obviously, she didn't have a bread knife with her. I hope that she enjoys it nonetheless.

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

loaf of bread to gift.  Well done

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

It is a lot of bread. I hope she either someone to break it with, or is able to eat it before it goes stale.

It's funny -- a co-worker had told me on Sunday that she wanted me to bring a loaf in for her to buy, and I said $1,200 a loaf. When she balked at that, I said that it took 3 days to plan and bake, weighed nearly two pounds and I'd have to walk a mile lugging it around, so it was not likely that I'd be bringing it to work for the price of a standard loaf of bread. However, I said, I was thinking of giving it to a homeless person I pass by every day on the way into the office.  That hardened my resolve. So it was written and so it was done. :)

And I have to say, helping someone in New York City is not easy. This morning someone tried to help a lady carry her bags down the stairs at Grand Central, and she was yelling at him that she did not need any help.  I have seen people yelled at when they offer someone food.  So I was nervous and made sure I did it right. :)

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

in baking some fairly inexpensive 20% whole grain SFSD breads for 99 cents a loaf including electricity.  Then I bought a grain mill and this week's loaf jumped to $159.99 - Shipping Included:-)

I'm guessing it would be easier to get hurt or arrested in NY City trying to hlep someone out ........than robbing a bank in Gilbert AZ :-)

I'm glad you decided to follow your heart and keep the written word true.  Generosity is required for success in all things.  It is also the greatest and most difficult of all the many good character attributes to have and hold dear.  Well done.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Never ever hit the save button after typing a comment on this site until you go up to edit, hit select all and then edit again and hit copy - or highlight your post and hit control C....  So, when TFL doesn't post anything but the subject line of your comment,  you don't lose anything and can just paste it back in like I did below.  You never know when the 'bread posting gremlin' it is going strike:-)

Happy TFL posting

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

in baking some fairly decent, yet inexpensive, 20% -30% whole grain, SFSD breads for 99 cents a loaf including electricity.  Then I bought a grain mill and this week's loaf jumped to $159.99 - Shipping Included:-)

I'm guessing it would be easier to get hurt or arrested in NY City trying to help someone out ........than robbing a bank in Gilbert AZ :-)

I'm glad you decided to follow your heart and keep the written word true.  Generosity is required for success in all things.  It is also the greatest and most difficult of all the many good character attributes to have and hold dear.  Well done and

Happy Baking David.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I am still very new to this bread baking thing, and baking a few loaves a week probably does not warrant grinding my own flour.  But, the idea of baking "even more" from scratch appeals to me.  I wonder if you wind up devoting a lot more space to grains than you did to flour once you start milling.

I am short on space and not thrilled to store food in my basement because of radon concerns. Probably not even an issue but I'd rather not take the chance.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

in a mini Krupp's coffee grinder. Got 2 of them 27 years ago as wedding presents. Actually burned one up about a year ago because i over heated it drastically for a 100% whole grain bread Lucy cooked up and got tired of letting it cool down between multiple grindings of the same berries. Took forever in relative terms....and :Lucy's relatives can be problematic Finally broke down, even though we only bake a loaf a week or so, and got the Nutrimill with the Mini Mill included for grinding oily seeds like flax - when the set was on sale as a bundle over the Holidays for $159 at Amazon.

Now I buy whole berries at Whole Foods and Winco on a more frequent basis and only buy LaFama AP for a bagged flour. If Lucy wants more than 12 - 13% protein like the Lafama has, we just add a bit of VWG to get it up to nosebleed range and we make that too. So, no buying of bread flour, WW, Rye and other expensive bagged flour anymore - which actually saves a ton of space if you don't count the grain mill that sits in the living room, on its own chair, since my wife won't let it sit on the kitchen counter - it doesn't seem to be stainless steel for some reason although Lucy has already said she would paint it and the cupboards are ..... really full. Hardly a day goes by when you open a door that something doesn't jump out if them and break on the floor . Was a lot worse with bags iof flour flying ablout instead of the seeds.

Lucy has (2) full plastic shopping bags in the freezer. 1 for various nuts we keep on hand and one for various non aromatic seeds - just in case we decide to make a bread with some in it . We also have 3 full shopping bags stored in Lucy's secret pantry. One for various dried fruits, one for other aromatic and non aromatic seeds that won't fit in the one in the freezer and 1 for granola, various kinds if oats, various corn meals and corn flour, semolina flour and other bread stuff that can't be put anywhere else.

We also have 10 #'s of corn masa on hand at all times to make tortillas and tamales. OK....it does seem like a lot of stuff for one loaf of bread a week, even if you discount the garbanzo flour, wheat germ and already ground seeds hanging about in the freezer or the specialty bag of what knots (that Lucy thinks I don't know about) that has basil and oregano seeds, some dough improver, more VWG, golden flax, black caraway, black sesame seeds. mixed 3 colored poppy seeds and other seeds I haven't ever heard of much less seen in any bread - at least not yet.. And, that bag h=she has hidden somewhere of a dozen, maybe more, of different peas, beans and other legumes she uses for her Ezekiel bread - I wonder what happened to that one.

I keep trying to deny it, or justify it but.....Lucy must be a hoarder and would probably need therapy if her brain was big enough and she wasn't bred to be stupid. On the positive side, she never has to run off to the store to buy something to put in that weekly loaf either :-) Maybe I should take her to the emergency room just in case ,,,and probably would too if she had signed up for Obamacare like she was supposed to by today.

You would think a procrastinator wouldn't be able to hoard anything but we would be wrong.

We also make white and red malts to add to the less than whole grains we mill if we decide to sift out the 15- 20% hard bits. Nothing like getting enough flour airborne at one time to kill a horse either.... and sifting will accomplish that no problem. Lucy says we are all going to die from inhaling airborne flour particles and there is some disease like Mesothelioma caused by it, but she spends way too much time on those evil bread conspiracy internet sites if you ask me.

The green 80 - 85% extraction is the best flour, of all kinds, on the planet as far as I am concerned if you want to make white bread and the whole grain freshly ground is way better than what you can buy,. Seems no bread made with other flour tastes as good as home milled. Still.... I'm very worried about Lucy.....

 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I just know getting the grinder is going to be a mistake... but maybe, just maybe, it'll work. I will start simple, keeping my berries in 1/2 gallon mason jars.  If I burn through that too quickly I will consider a pail... but really, I can just fill up more mason jars and keep them hidden outside of the kitchen.  It's crazy, but it just might work...

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

You can learn a lot from Lucy.  if you don't end up in the emergency room!  Better to not buy insurance and just pay the fine I say:-)  I do hope your wife doesn't play dominoes though:-)

Lucy says if your wife plays dominoes, at least in the beginning, you can always keep the grinder at a nearby friend's house that you visit often and go there to do your grinding.  Just take an empty bag of flour and use that to bring it home  - no worries - unless you get caught -  then it might be even words for you, relatively, than just buying one and surprising your wife with that awesomely fine gift you got for her.  Better yet,  pick an unmarried friend that your wife doesn't like who would never rat you out like some other guy's wife would.  It pays to have options when you live on the edge and dangerously.  You can always keep the grinder in the trunk of your car if your wife doesn't ever go there for any reason.

You can always use my favorite that ends up costing me a bunch of money in the long run.  i just bring it home and when the hammering starts just say "Since when can't I spend $189 on something that pleases me so much even if it takes up some precious kitchen space.  It would be like me not being able to spend $189 on...... you".

If she puts 2 and 2 together you are toast.  She could do one of several bad things.  She will think you are comparing her to a grinder on an equal basis - really not good if she plays dominoes.   Or, she will say, 'what is good for the goose is good for the gander' and buy say..... a lot of shoes that are under $189, even if the closet is full of her shoes already, throwing your cleverness back in your face if you mention it at all.   Worse, she could make your life a living hell, if she hasn't already.... and take up playing dominoes with too.

Personally,  I have always followed the perfect husband rule which is.... we discuss everything and always end up doing  it her way.- no worries.   Then, if have to cheat on her and buy that mill later, then you should just consider it a reward for being the perfect husband the rest of the time.

I also don't usually give much credence to unsolicited advice on April Fools Day either...but that is just me.

 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I am the perfect husband.  So far I had to empty a book shelf, move it into the barn, bring a table down stairs, throw out the broken space heater....   last on my list is to disassemble the crib and move it into another room to house our baby.  THEN I am allowed my grain mill after hanging a picture.

It is a LOT of work for a mill. But I am dedicated.  My concern lies in what I have to do to feed the mill.  Those fancy wall mounted grain silos sold by Komo look very interesting.... pretty sure I'd get the gallows though.  The trick is to bake a perfect loaf first time out so she warms up to the idea....

Wingnut's picture
Wingnut

Good on you for helping out when you can. High Marks!

Cheers,

Wingnut

PS Nice bake

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

My proofing baskets are coming in on Friday. My wife is going to kill me, but I am tired of using towels and bowls. I don't really have room for baskets but che sara sara.

dosco's picture
dosco

David:
Well done. My wife teaches at a Catholic High School in Annapolis and they have a program to help the hungry ... I often think about volunteering there to make bread. Perhaps one day.

You, on the other hand, have taken action. Cheers.

Did you ever ask her if she liked the finished product? It certainly looks delicious.

Regards-

Dave

PS: I like your lame ... mine uses a Personna HU blade, although I may have to switch to Feathers after seeing your pic. I presume you enjoy DE shaving?

 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

The bread was given this morning and I won't see her again until tomorrow at the earliest. I do plan on asking her if she enjoyed the bread, because I always want to know what people think of my bread!

I actually don't use a double edge razor for shaving. I purchased these feather blades solely for scoring, because I found using a 10" chef's knife to be too unwieldy and scissors to be too difficult to cut smoothly across the entire loaf.

Is it the picture of the bread that makes you want to get the blade, or the picture of the blade?

I ask because the blade looks like any other razor blade, at least to me.  It is very thin, but I expect that is the case with others as well.  I used a chop stick that I split with my 10" chef's knife as a handle.  The wound from that fiasco is almost entirely healed.

For others who are afraid of using a razor, I have to say that it was super easy to use. Just dipped the front corner of the blade into the dough and slid it across the top, and it opened up very nicely.

dosco's picture
dosco

Drr. I didn't pay attention to your positing date ... let's just say I'm interested to learn what happens next. Keep us posted, please! :)

 

The reference to your DE blade was mostly me having a laugh. In the DE community "Feather" branded blades are rather polarizing, because 'they're so sharp' (believe it or not). They are considered to be the "sharpest" DE blades available to the shaver. I have some and I can't really tell one way or the other, lol.

 

Regards-
Dave

 

emkay's picture
emkay

Good for you. Bread can feed both body and soul. 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

because I did a good thing, or because I shed nearly two pounds of bread. :)

This was not entirely selfless, of course.  I did want her to pose with my loaf because that would have been a more interesting bread blog entry. However, that would have made me a crazy tourist.

isand66's picture
isand66

Way to go!  I'm sure she will enjoy your gift...if nothing else it will make good food for the pigeons :)

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Boy, that would be hard to witness. But, a gift is a gift and frankly, if a stranger gave me a loaf of bread, I might also decide it would be better to feed it to the pigeons than to eat it myself.  

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I saw her this morning, and asked how it was. She said, with a big smile and a head nodding, 'Okay! Thank you."

While I would not publish that review as a ringing endorsement of my bread baking skills, it certainly beats having the bread thrown back at me. I cut the sister loaf this morning for my lunch and as usual, I expect to savor every chew.  Maybe it tastes better knowing I made it when I am the one eating it. ;)

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

David:  I am sure it was better than "OK."  So terrific that you helped someone out who needed it.  The bread looked great as well.  Best,  Phyllis

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Words don't always convey feeling. She was nodding vigorously And saying thank you. i am glad I did it and may do so again of the bread gods will it (I am able do discerns heir will based on the number of loaves on hand and the space in my freezer.)

dosco's picture
dosco

David:

Thought you might get a chuckle ... here's my lame made from a Starbucks stirrer stick and a used DE blade.

Cheers-
Dave

 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

You score with a blade you shaved with? That is just crazy talk. Though I use a knife that has cut my flesh more then once so I suppose it can't be any worse!

Robertson suggested making the lame from a coffee stirrer. Says to split it in half but that doesn't seem necessary from the photo!

dosco's picture
dosco

David:
Yes, I used the blade previously to shave. Of course I cleaned the blade before I used it to score bread (soap and water, alcohol, and bleach). Not much different than buying an antique razor from someone and then cleaning and using it ... not much different than going to the barbershop and having my face/neck shaved with a straight razor used to shave hundreds of folks (of course the straight sits in Barbasol much of the time).

Interestingly the used DE blades are *very sharp* ... just not sharp enough to shave my face. I've only been DE shaving for about 2 years now but I have *a lot* of used blades. Considering how sharp the used blades are, it seems a waste (and sort of dangerous) to simply pitch them in the recycling bin.

On the construction of the lame ... turns out a Starbucks stirrer stick is just the right width to fit into the DE slot. Amazing coincidence.

Cheers-
Dave

PS: If I had to ditch my kitchen knives every time I cut myself (or one of my family), I'd have gone through a lot of knives...haha. Also if you think about it, how often do you use your kitchen knives to cut raw meat...and then cooked/finished food?

 

PPS: New DE blades are usually coated in some sort of oil to preserve them in transit ... if you are using new blades for your lame I'd suggest you wash them with hot water and soap!

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I did not actually wash my blade before using it to score my loaves, but I definitely should have done so. They are just so hard to handle, but I guess i can put it in a jar of hot soapy water or alcohol.

As to the question of cutting raw meat, my response is not a fair indicator given that I don't eat meat, raw or cooked, and haven't done so for decades :)

I will drop by Starbucks one of these days. My splintered chopstick is a bit too rustic for me. 

Actually, I just dropped by my office pantry and picked up some stirrers. They certainly look to be the correct width.

 

 

dosco's picture
dosco

Well, you said you cut your hand ... that would count as "raw meat" ... right? Haha.

;)

Handling the blades can be a bit daunting, but if you remember not to move your flesh relative to the blade, the blade is unlikely to cut. Also, if you rub away from the edge (instead of into the edge) you're safe. Takes some getting used to but not too bad.

Cheers-
Dave