The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Caribbean

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

Hello from Caribbean

Hello wonderful fresh-loafers!
I have been lurking here for over 2 years, time enough to take the plunge and say hi at last. We live on a sailing catamaran currently cruising the Caribbean. Thanks to a breadmaker machine being aboard the boat, I started baking bread again. But looking for some new recipe ideas, I found you - so goodbye machine (it had started to rust thanks to sea air, anyway), and hello hand baking. Your knowledge and passion is seriously contagious stuff. Thanks to you guys, I'm having a blast trying to perfect breadmaking skills and learning the science of the fabulous yeasties, batard by boule by bun! Thank you so much. You're an inspiration.

All at Sea

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Well, that's got to be a challenge - baking in a small galley.  But given the environment, got to be a fun one.

Looking forward to some pictures of your scenery and, of course, your bread.

Fair winds and following seas - and long may your big jib draw!

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

What a lovely warm welcome - and one from a gal who clearly knows her binnacle from her bitter end! Yes, breadmaking is something of a challenge on a boat - small galley, inefficient oven and now the hurricane season approaches, humungous humidity. Challenging, occasionally frustrating, but still fun.

All at Sea

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Don't know if you bumpped into these salty threads while lurking:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/3308/seawater-sourdough-wheat-bread

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15876/baking-bread-sea

Make it to the windward islands yet?  

:)  

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... So sorry for the lateness of response - internet connectivity is a now-you-have-it-now-you-don't resource on a cruising boat. Well, now I've got it again, just wanted to say I've read so many of your lovely, wise and helpful posts, I feel I've known you for years.

Thanks for the links - just had a jolly read through. Seawater bread is something I'd never even considered! Mind you, Simpson Bay Lagoon, where we are anchored right now, is not where culinary seawater is at. Too many boats, too little tidal wash; too much DNA! But alas, too much information, perhaps. Sorry.

Yes, we've been up and down the Windwards several times, and make our base in Grenada come the hurricane season. A lot of cruisers gather there to sit out the summer months with relative safety.

aytab's picture
aytab

Welcome, I envy you I'd love to live on a boat but, alas I have a form of sun allergy that would prevent me from being able to. It is great to have you on board (pun intended). The other thing that crystal clear carribean sea water is good for is boiling peanuts!!!!! Welcome.

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... boiling peanuts? Ooooh, more information, please - sounds intriguing!

Sorry to hear about your sun allergy. Avoiding the sun is really not easy out here.

All at Sea

hanseata's picture
hanseata

That's interesting.

Welcome, All at Sea,

Karin (on the sea side, but not at sea)

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

Many thanks for the welcome Karin. Well, we have something in common, other than proximity to the sea - as in: Karin with an 'i' greets Karen with an 'e'.

Howdy, nearly-namesake!

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

We regular readers often post tips for getting the most out of your experience at TFL.  Mine are these:

1.)  Practice, practice, and practice some more.  And then post your results, successes and failures.  Teach us and we teach you.

2.)  Read TFL often.  Watch all the videos as soon as you can get around to it.  You'll get an idea of what we're talking about.  When problems arise you'll have a tickle in your head that you saw a video.  Go back to it.

3.)  When you have a question, use the search function to look up the answer BEFORE you post it.  Lots of questions have been asked and answered countless times.  Especially if you need your answer right away, you can often get your answer using the search function.  Here are some things to learn as soon as possible:  what is a baker's formula?  what is gluten?  what is the difference between high and low hydration doughs?  what is a gluten window and why can it help you to learn when you've kneaded your dough enough?  how do you know when to stop your bread from rising?  

4.)  Learn the difference between a cook book and a text book.  Texts are obliged to teach you from the ground up; cook books aren't.  I have lots of both.  But even years into bread baking, I found that reading a text book quite helpful because of it's organized exposition of the knowledge.  I recommend a specific text book for beginners.  It's DiMuzio's Bread Baking.  It's cheap, short, and complete.  There are lots of other texts, but DiMuzio's is the one I think beginners can do best with.  

5.)  Oh, yes, and practice, practice, and practice some more.  Or did I already say that?

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

Many thanks for the kindly meant instructions and exhortations. All jolly sound stuff. I hope I won't ask any questions already dealt with here - shall scour the site diligently before I squeak, promise.

But my two years of lurking here has not been in vain. I have some way to travel still, but thanks to you and your fellow bread-enthusiasts around here, my schooling in breadmaking has come on a pace. You've already taught me Baker's Percentage, the properties of gluten, how to shoot for the much-prized holy grail - a flavour-rich, translucent, open crumb - that can be yours with high-hydration doughs and long, slow ferments; the knack of testing gluten development by windowpaning, how to make a sourdough starter etc, etc.

All the above I practise twice a week, sometimes more - because we keep eating the lovely stuff and give it away to fellow cruisers, - and because it's such a jolly lark, and because, too, there is just something so darn - well, addictive - about making bread, I think the practising is virtually unavoidable!

All at Sea

aytab's picture
aytab

Put 5 pounds or so of RAW peanuts in the shell into a large stock pot, cover with some beautiful crystal clear salty carribean seawater. Bring to a boil. Let boil for three hours or so adding water as needed to kkep the peanuts covered. Scoop Peanuts out and enjoy while still warm, they are great cold too so don't ffel like you have to eat all 5 pounds. They are frequently served in the Southern United States.

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

Sounds wonderful. Thanks for replying and so fast. Shall go search for raw peanuts and get boiling. Will be cruising up the eastern seaboard next year so hope to spend time exploring the delights of the southern states ... well some,at least.  

Just a thought - I wonder if you could use a pressure cooker to save on gas? Gas bottle refilling is sometimes somethimg of a hassle so try to be economical with the stuff.

Many thanks aytab.

aytab's picture
aytab

I have never done them in a pressure cooker but it would be worth a try. It might be easier to do them on the beach over an open fire.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

boil in something else.  All that salt will dull, etch & pit the aluminum pan.   If pressure is applied too long, the nuts may come out mashed inside the shells.

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... hadn't thought about the salt/aluminium issue.

 

aytab's picture
aytab

They also boil peanuts in the Phillipines but they typically either have no salt or very little compared to the Southern US variety.