A Loaf for the Dear One and One for an Electrician
It has been forever since Lucy made a bread of any kind or posted about it. I don’t eat bread anymore because my diabetes is harder to control and I would rather drink a glass of wine, beer and bourbon after thinking about it - when sober. Hard to get snockered on one glass though. It’s like being in a diet by limiting the plate size.
Lucy, off course, still has onset renal failure due to her ancient age but she is way, way better now a days. We figured out that we were killing her with the two dog foods. One dry and one wet mixed together, she loved to eat. Now she eats food for her condition that is 10 times more expensive but only has 4% protein instead of 30%. Who knew you could kill your dog feeding her good food and save her by feeding her crap food? Low percent protein is good sometimes…..
It’s summer but the monsoon has been sparse, only one day of rain so few great sunsets. Not nearly as hot as usual either. We’re becoming more of a desert with lower temperatures, only 106 - 110 F, and not much rain. Since we got rid of the grass in the front yard, our water usage is way down and it is nice to see the desert in bloom all summer.
Lucy still has her 8’x20’ patch of the grass in the back that required a new electric mower to mow. No more having the fuel go bad and clogging up the carb and fuel lines every year. It only takes 90 seconds to cut it every week and she loves sunning herself and rolling around in the grass. Lucy misses baking bread but she is too old to remember what it was like - just like me. Still, it is better to make and eat great bread than eat crap bread……. if you don’t have renal failure or diabetes.
We had a lot of electrical things going wrong in the house after 33 years of not fixing anything when it broke. The great thing was that we could get them all fixed in a day by a great electrician who happens to be from Gumbo Land – New Orleans. So, we made him a SD bread that could have come from there. Foodies love all kinds of good food.
He thought it was weird that I made bread though. I guess bread making doesn’t fit the normal lazy, retired, fat man profile…….. especially when almost no one makes bread now a days especially sourdough. When I told hm I would make him a loaf he said – really? I told him it wasn’t a big deal and it would only cost a buck to make. When he saw it he said …..Whoa – haven’t seen a bread like that before and I told him me neither since they all look a bit different.
I asked him what kind of bread he wanted - whole grain made from fresh ground flour, sprouted flour bread, fruit bread, nut bread, olive bread, cheese bread or whatever it didn’t make any difference. He said he would leave it up to me. I told him a New Orleans style SD with some whole grains, but still a white bread, would remind him of home and Gumbo. No time for sprouting grains and get the bread done in 48 hours.
A few days before, my wife finally needed another loaf of her sandwich bread with school starting up again. So, I baked 2 loaves in two weeks – a new recent record. When I started my wife’s loaf and got the flour out it had been infected by evil weevils so I had to toss it all out and get some new but some of the tossed flour was sprouted Khorasan and spelt so these breads lack those goodies.My wife’s bread is 30% whole grain; red and white wheat and rye in equal amounts, 20% pre-fermented flour bran levain at 75% hydration and made in a wide tin. The other one is 20% whole grain, 10% pre-fermented flour bran levain at 72% hydration.
Both levains took forever to double, over 24 hours each, since the NMNF rye starter was near the end of its usefulness and has been in the fridge for well over half a year with no maintenance. There is only 5 g left to refresh for another half a year – but I’m retired so I haven’t gotten around to it yet – maybe tomorrow or next week! It took me a week to get this written up as well. It seems to take at least a week to do anything now a days
We did the slap and folds and stretch and folds over 2 hours and then let it sit for an hour before a final shaping and panning or basketing for the final proof. The tin was retarded for 2 days and we just left the basketed boule out on the counter overnight in a plastic bag since time was short and Lucy gets me up a 5:15 every morning with the bad hunger pains that have no end.
The tin was baked in the aluminum Magnaware Turkey Roaster and the boule in the CI Lodge Combo Cooker. Both turned out very nice with the tinned bread nicely sour to go along with its more sandwich bread style crumb. The boule had the 3 B’s in spades bloom, bold and blistered even though I forgot to spritz it again. The boule I’m sure was more open and less sour but we didn’t get to see it or taste it.
Meat - Ribs and sausage, Country style ribs, chicken
Turkey Bolognese and Salmon
Bacon Cheese Burger, home made hot pickles and baked wedge fries
Tacos and Grilled Tortilla Pizza
Breakfast Turkey Bubbles and Squeak, Omelet and Pancake