Well, it's been quite a rainy week here in Arizona. Their predicting up to 4 inches of rain here in the desert, even more in the higher country with up to 4 feet of snow up in the higher mountains! Winds up to 60mph this evening! It's been a wild couple of days with a big storm the night before last, rain all day today and so much more yet to come. We just pulled up the awning on the camper to keep it from blowing away!
The house is still a long way from being done. Today we had to call the contractors as they had done some work on the roof and taken up the plastic that my husband had put down. You guessed it, flooded the house. I swear, they are doing more damage than the fire did, trying to fix the fire damage! Last week, they were tearing up the floor and left the refrigerator unplugged with medical supplies. Would you believe in excess of $10,000 in medical supplies were destroyed by that little mistake?
I've been doing a lot of baking, needless to say, although I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures for you. Tuesday, I baked a wonderful Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin bread from Hamelman's "Bread", using my new excel spreadsheet (if you'd like the copy of the spreadsheet email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). Yesterday, I made Eric's Fav Rye. This is the second time I've baked this and it's one of my favorite formulas. This time I added the onions, made it freestanding instead in loaf pans and used 2/3 AP to 1/3 WW. (I can't find 1st clear in Phoenix and seems to be working well without it so haven't ordered it online yet). This is just the best deli rye bread. We had pastrami/swiss sandwiches today that were wonderful. The only problem that I had is with a new stone that I added to my little camper oven yesterday. It seems to have intensified my heat on the bottom of my loafs, causing them to burn long before they were baked in the middle (like at 8 minutes, charred!) so I nearly ruined the poor things! I think I have that solved by lifting the rack/stone up to a higher shelf (I have oh so much room to play around in this tiny oven, not) but it may take a few more trials to get the hang of it. I continue to use the stepping stone in the bottom of the oven to increase thermal mass, I am just hoping the pizza stone will help with crust.
Last night I also made some molten lava cake for a treat, which I've been promising my husband for some time. Wow, was that yummy! I used Paula Deen's recipe but substituted all bittersweet Ghiardelli's chocolate instead of part semi-sweet. I didn't have the orange liquor so I used brandy and vanilla instead. They were just like a very expensive restaurant's. (except for the one that fell apart on the cutting board before scraping into the serving plate, LOL! Thank goodness that was the extra, used the syrup from that one for the garnish. Maybe once a week, or less I have to make something decadent for a special treat.
Can't make those too often though, we'll both have to do extra time at the gym and I've been really lazy about that. My husband, he gets up at 4am and heads to the gym every morning but I've been a lazy bum lately.
Today, husband requested some "of those seedy crackers, like the expensive ones from the health food store". Ok, I think I can figure that request out! So, I put together some whole spelt flour, sesame seeds, cayenne, poppy seeds,black pepper,salt, garlic powder, a little olive oil and water. Would you believe they are really incredible? I rolled them out on my new silicone mat (I bought the cheap imitation and cut to fit my mini-oven). They turned to be just the ticket for him to take to his class tonight for a snack, along with a couple of carrots. I think he'll be wanting these for his lunch box twice a week when he has classes. Well, at least he's not eating junk food!
Now I'm trying to think of something to use my neglected white starter for. I'm thinking either Vermont Sourdough or San Joaquin sourdough will be just the ticket. I have neglected the poor starter for at least a couple of weeks now, it's probably time to feed. I've also been looking at an apricot sourdough loaf. Than again, something with spelt or semolina would be nice. Oh, so many breads, so few mouths to feed!
Let me know how the spreadsheet is working. My husband said if he'd known I was going to hand it out to the public he would have made it look a little prettier, with a border, title, that sort of thing. He even suggested that maybe I should get in touch with JH himself and see if he'd like to publish it as a helper to his book.