The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Life is ....

  • Pin It
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Life is ....


A bowl of cherries


Hi, loafers!


I just returned from a week on the Oregon coast vacationing with our sons and their families. <sigh> It always seems too short.


I took along some previously baked breads - a Miche, Pointe-à-Callière, a Susan from San Diego's Ultimate Sourdough and Salome's Sourdough Potato-Walnut Bread. I also baked a couple loaves of San Joaquin Sourdough while there, again hazarding an unfamiliar oven and no baking stone. The breads I baked there suffered most from the scoring not opening up well. One I baked under a stainless steel bowl to steam. The other loaf was steamed by pouring boiling water into a heated skillet. The magic bowl technique worked better, I think.




I believe my older (3 years old) granddaughter ate the lioness' share of this loaf as PB&J sandwiches!


I also made AnnieT's Sourdough Pancakes with local blueberries twice. One time, I made some with roasted pecans. Yum! Highly recommended.


I took along starter in two forms: I dried some starter, and I made a very firm ball of starter about the size of a golf ball. I only ended up using the latter. It traveled for two days at room temperature without appreciable expansion. (No problems with Homeland Security.) I cut it up into very small pieces and soaked them in water for a while, then mixed the slurry well and added enough water to make an intermediate starter of about the consistency of my usual 1:3:4 (S:W:F) starter. This fermented overnight and was reasonably happy the next morning.


The other essential equipment I took along included a large Silpat mat for stretching and folding and forming loaves, an instant read thermometer, a plastic scraper and some instant yeast. I purchased a couple of large stainless steel bowls and a large cookie sheet in Oregon before heading to the beach. 


There was nothing I didn't take along that I wished I had. I think this is a good, minimal equipment list for bread baking on vacation.


My only regret is that my vacation coincided with Shiao-Ping's SFBI adventure. It would have been so neat to have met her face-to-face while she was in California! And tomorrow, I start Jury Duty. Not my choice for how to ease back into the real world after a wonderful vacation.


David

Comments

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

Doesn't sound like much of a vacation to me, but I do have a question:


Does your Silpat mat just stick to the counter of its own accord, or do you hold it down somehow? Mine lifts at the edges when I pul the dough back towards me.


Thanks


Jeremy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jeremy.


I didn't knead on the mat, just stretched and folded and shaped. Putting a towel under the mat helps, I've heard.


David

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

Thanks David. I misunderstood. And I'll try the towel.


Jeremy

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Glad to hear you enjoyed your vacation, David!


While I've been at work... Life is a pigsty.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks, Hansjoakim.


David

apprentice's picture
apprentice

David, I laughed out loud -- truly -- when I read "life is..." and then scrolled into the photo of the cherries. Perfect! The smiles'n chuckles bubble up every time I look at it. Don't know why. Thanks! You made my day. Nice too, to hear about your basic list of things to take. Will remember that for the future, when I go to see the grandkids again. Yep, those trips are always too short!


Hope all goes well with your jury duty and all else, easing back into the real world after your vacation.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

The Oregon coast!  What a lovely spot to vacation with family and a cool place to bake!  It's always nice to see the grandkids and feed them memories!


 Do you think a foil pan would travel lighter and easier or do you just like the ss bowl better for steaming? 


Sylvia 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If I'd readily found a foil pan deep enough, I'd have bought it. Since I expect to be back baking in the area again, the bowl investment seemed reasonable.

One of my sons lives in Portland, and his wife keeps talking about starting to bake bread. I hope she puts the bowls to good use between my visits.

David

chouette22's picture
chouette22

I LOVE that photo of the cherries! Just gorgeous!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

YUP, I agree with apprentice, the pic made me smile! So which part of our lovely coast did you spend your vacation? Hope you enjoyed lovely weather


 You make me laugh, packing 4 types of bread and starter, silpat, thermometer, scraper and yeast! My husband and 18 yo son are leaving tomorrow night to spend 3 days, "roughing" it, camping/fishing. My husband and I have long talked about doing all we can with our son because before long, he'll be off to college and our vacations together will be a thing of the past. Well, the time has come and we are both teary and proud.  So the guys leave tomorrow night with home made muffulatta bread, SF sourdough, zucchini spice bread, corn salad that I made today. Can't have my boys going without good homemade food. They'll come back on Saturday and the Ry leaves Monday for school in Santa Clara.


I'm going to miss him terribly, and I'm just his step mom.


Betty

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Betty.


The cherries were very good, and I had the best hazelnuts I've ever had.


I feel like I ought to keep our vacation venue a secret - it's so quiet and uncrowded now, but .... well .... it's Neskowin. Never heard of it? Good!


You may or may not know that, before it was "Silicon Valley," Santa Clara County was known for its cherries. Apricots also. The real estate is way too expensive for farming these days.


I was told much later that my mother was very sad when I went off to college. When my kids left, I was excited for them. They both thrived in more intense intellectual environments, and that was gratifying to watch happen.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

for him!! He is a most extraordinary young MAN. What bothers me is that he is attending an NON accredited college, as also was the last school he attended. They are both religiously based. SO...I keep my mouth shut.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Lucky you!


Betty

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I am taking notes from your post as to what to bring when my family and I go on our Christmas beach holiday next.


Thanks for your post.  The bread looks really flavorful. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This was the first year I gave any serious thought to making up a bread baking travel kit. I think the concept needs further development.


If you have any thoughts about this at the moment, I'd love to hear them.


The bread was so-so to my taste. The only rye flour I could find was white rye, whereas I usually use whole rye or medium rye in the SJ-SD. I've come to prefer more whole grain/mixed grain breads. However, it was the one my grandchildren preferred and, I think, my daughters-in-law preferred it also. It did make a very good peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


David