The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

marking time in times of recommended quarantine

alfanso's picture
alfanso

marking time in times of recommended quarantine

Being in the higher risk category, age-wise, I decided to put my generally lazy normal life on hold.  Instead I'll remain at home almost all the time, and become even a bit lazier.  Given that, I'll probably be more in the mood for the occasional sandwich.

This is a 1200g rye with caraway, which should make some great sandwich bread and some even finer toast.

25% rye, 73% hydration. 

Sitting atop is the remainder of the previous bake.  A relatively normal sized baguette.

Who needs some stoopid dopey baguettes anyway?

Comments

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Get that gorgeous colour on sandwich bread!

You aren’t the only one limiting outside time. My hubby is 10 years older, my daughter is immuno compromised (and she is a nurse 🙄), and I’m am looking after my parents who are in their late 70s and 80s. We all have to do our part to slow this thing down and give the medical community a fighting chance. 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I suppose you should be glad that you are above the international border.  Where I'll assume that your healthcare options pays dividends, especially or the under 65 (or whatever the magic age is there).

We've not seen a danger of this scope in or lifetimes.  I just watched a TED Talk with Bill Gates, recorded in 2015 where he was emphatic about the next great human disaster being from a coronavirus, and how the world was completely underprepared to deal with it.  And we here in the lower 48 are proving him right.

We're locking ourselves away here, and although we live in the "downtown" section of the city, the entire city is close to suburban.  A lot of empty streets to venture out on with rarely a soul, save for dog-walkers, so we'll take to occasional stroll or bike ride.  Other than that, I want to steer clear of other humans, primarily for my own health, and secondly to master the ways of the misanthropes, curmudgeons and troglodytes.

alan

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

What you mean by our health care options  pay dividends. If we get sick, we see a doctor or go to the hospital and there is no bill 99% of the time. Rare times when we need to pay something. Extra medical insurance to pay for things like meds, physio therapy, out of province insurance, glasses, hearing aids etc cost me about $220 CDN a month. And I can deduct that from my taxes. 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

The "dividends" are the coverages you receive, as outlined by you.  I didn't mean it as a literal, that there is a payment system and, and as with stocks, dividends are paid.

As Ronald Reagan said to me during our presidential debate "There you go again".

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Yes, we are fortunate to have this system. 

isand66's picture
isand66

and keep sharing those tasty eye popping bakes! It's pretty scary out there and sickening when you find out our inept government was not prepared as they should have been.  

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Here's the link to the Bill Gates TED Talk about being woefully underprepared, from 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Af6b_wyiwI

Completely ignoring the threat turned over from last Admin to current Admin https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/16/trump-inauguration-warning-scenario-pandemic-132797

Why we aren't taking it more seriously?  Idiots on Miami Beach this week https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkYRI48bXRw

Your work takes you to China and you likely understand the mindset more than most here, about the societal order and attitudes, juxtaposed with the US norms, and as demonstrated in the American Factory movie.

Being on the initial same first infectious day trajectory as S. Korea, they took immediate action and had test kits ready within a week.  Care to compare?  Willful gaslighting and inaction is not only putting us 2 months behind the curve, but guaranteed to raise the death tolls here by an innumerable amount.

P.S. Oh yeah, thanks for the comment.  I don't do much these days on TFL. My initial few years burst of activity has wilted somewhat, but it is still fun to post the occasional new or changed.  Not much point in posting just to rehash the repeat stuff.

alan

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The pic with the banquet gives me that modonna and child feeling, albeit reclining.  (One of the few pictures I'd suggest turning just for fun.)  Wow, crust!  

Corona. Maybe due to statistics from China (or just being young) some people think they can't catch it or have complications, many haven't been living long enough to recognize risk behavior or see what complications can do.  Demographics. One thing I noticed is that China has had a one child policy for a long time and the population is dominant middle and older aged.  There are less 1- 30 yr olds in China per 3 generation households than elsewhere so the age spread will be different.  

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Thanks Mini.

The first few times I made a Jewish style rye bread I followed David Snyder's details for building a rye sour, and then finished off the exercise by making a cornstarch glaze to be applied before and after the bake.   Somewhere along the line after one of a few bakes that way, I abandoned the rye sour and went with a standard liquid levain, either 100% rye or AP, depending on the mood of the moment.  And I also don't bother with the cornstarch glaze anymore.  Replaced here by a simple brushing of water and sprinkle of caraway just before scoring.  And as one can see, with a "proper" steaming phase, the glaze is not really necessary either anymore.  So this is a less-than-Jewish Jewish rye (rye lite?) than what I originally baked, with only a modest amount of rye vs. the Snyder/Greenstein method, but easy and satisfying enough for me.  

Of all the dire warnings that I've yet seen, by far the most disturbing was a data modeling forecast published in the New York Times a few days ago.  This is strictly USA demographics, but it could pertain to anywhere in the world.  

And starts off this way:

  • "The coronavirus has infected far more people in the United States than testing has shown so far, and stringent measures to limit social contact in parts of the country not yet seeing many cases are needed to significantly stem the tide of illness and death in the coming months.
  • Those are the conclusions of Columbia University researchers who used a New York Times database of known cases and Census Bureau transportation data to model how the outbreak could evolve based on what is known about the virus. The estimates are inherently uncertain, and they could change as America adopts unprecedented measures to control the outbreak."

According to Reuters, Italy suffered almost 800 coronavirus deaths in just one day a few days ago.  We’re on a similar or more advanced trajectory than them.  But Italians mostly seem to abide by a nationwide lockdown.  Here we value group hugs, filled to the brim bars serving filled to the brim cocktails and spring breaks filled to the brim with idiots, way too much into "I can do whatever I want" stupid-chismo to sacrifice ANYTHING here in ‘merica.  And who will then gladly infect each of their own bubble of contacts once they become carriers.  Ya know what they say about the weakest link in a chain, regardless of how diligent the rest of us are.

Okay, I'm done...

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Admittedly, I was quite shocked by the uncaring response some interviewed US beach girls made. I certainly don't have this kind of mindset, nor do I see it in any of my fellows at university. My cousins in high school are very aware of the risk as well. It appears to me that here in Hong Kong, the elderly make up the bulk of the unconcerned minority. My aunt in Toronto shared with us that the malls and streets there are almost cleared of people, for most of them prefer to stay home. Are those guys who are still out partying in the US exception cases, which are selectively reported by the media? I honestly don't know. 

On another note, I finally find something I can match up to your standard consistency-wise. Any raisins popped out of the dough always end up burnt :)

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

They were never told no so they think nothing can happen to them. It’s going to be one hard lesson to learn for most of them. 🙄

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

But it’s costing me a lot already. The summer internship in Canada has been cancelled. Worse still, the professor would now rather not supervise final year projects :(

Benito's picture
Benito

Sorry to hear that Elsie.

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Thank you Benny.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

It seems that it has been a combined effort that is being learned too late here to quell the trajectory just yet and for the near future.  We have states that reap a large part of their income on tourist dollars, especially at certain times of the year.  For example Florida with Spring Break and winter travelers, and Louisiana with Mardi Gras. The states and municipalities refused to acknowledge the runaway dangers and were reluctant to yield their income.  

New Orleans in Louisiana, home to Mardi Gras, was a festering cesspool in the making just waiting to happen.  And it did.  All the revelers returned to their homes, bringing whatever contacts they had back to all of the aunties, grandads and others in their realm of home contacts.  But they also left behind a city that has one of, if not the fastest, surge in CV+ cases in this country.

And we have states with very large GDPs (Gross Domestic Products, read as income-producing industries), that have, in some cases, been lead-footed to respond and close down everything but the more essential services.  Some were reluctant to respond.

And then we have the real culprit, head and shoulders above all - a modern society that helps foster individual entitlement as standing above all else.  Just like the dopey woman in San Diego(?) when asked about sitting in a "Red Robin" restaurant that was full of other entitled people. When asked, she chastised the interviewer by pretty much saying "I don't care, I'm going to sit here for as long as I want.  This is America, and I can do anything that I want".  Yep, that is our current culture, where even a small majority of people exercising their own brand of free-dumb is easily on display, and unwilling to participate or make the simplest of sacrifices.

Another component are the non-believers who think that some diety and/or prayer will protect them or just think that this is all a bunch of useless hysteria.  That is, until it comes knocking on their door.  Like the Pastor who went to his COVID-19 death the other day believing that it was all a hoax.

And finally (well, it's about time, no?) here is a text that I just sent to some family members this morning:

  • This is 45 minutes long, but definitely worth watching and passing on.  From a doctor at Cornell Weill Medical Center in NY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxyH1rkuLaw&feature=youtu.be

    This one is under 4 minutes from the Czech Republic - just wear a mask!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZtEX2-n2Hc

    Almost all of the pictures that I see from 1918 show virtually everyone wearing masks of some kind.  Why can’t people in the current world do the same?  Have we, as a society, become so individualistic, jaded and feel immune to outside influence and fashion that we don’t or won’t?  It seems a pretty small price to pay to wear a mask in public for a few months.
Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Deleted comment

isand66's picture
isand66

and keep sharing those tasty eye popping bakes! It's pretty scary out there and sickening when you find out our inept government was not prepared as they should have been.  

Benito's picture
Benito

I love seeing your posts with your amazingly consistently beautiful bread, it is such an inspiration.

Stay safe bakers.

Benny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

As mentioned to Ian just above your comment, I don't post much these days anymore.  If you need a fix, here are two shamelessly self-promoting posts that can carry you for a few minutes...

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/50268/amber-waves-grain-baguette-year-review

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/54816/amber-waves-grain-2018

alan

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Beautiful rye, Alan.

Stay healthy.

David

alfanso's picture
alfanso

As I mentioned, I'd started out with Snyder/Greenstein rye sour formula, but this is, TBH, much simpler and doesn't take a three step build for the sour.  And delivers a fair approximation of the Jewish Rye "experience".

So far we've been okay.  I had to make a special date to see my dentist this morning.  His office is pared down to a receptionist, assistant and himself.  According to CDC guidelines as of this week, he can officially only see emergency appointments, until something like May 10th.  My followup was close to emergency, so I was able to slip in.  If there are any non hospital staff on the front lines here, it is certainly the dental staffs who only work up close, as close as one can get.  

I leave house, mask goes on!  Us codgers, as well as the yung'uns, have to watch it!  Stay safe and healthy!

alan

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if anything, it keeps our hands away from our mouths.  And reminds us to keep distance.  I gotta dental surgery on Monday so .... when do we share bread milkshake recipes?  Lol!   This is the make up appointment for the one I had in January but had to cancel before flying to The States.  Doc says it's a time bomb waiting to happen.  Can't have that.  I did slip in some vaccinations between.  Flour run tomorrow.

Saw a cartoon the other day titled "Dog Math"   Where a papa dog is proudly teaching his pup math.  Papa dog:  "If I have three bones and Mr. Smith takes away two bones....how many fingers does he have left?"

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Starting to see a return here of normal supply chain stocking of shelves after the run on T.P. and flour.  Will still take a ew more weeks to return to normal. 

Fortunately I have a mini-warehouse in my pantry to last: AP & Bread flours, some WW, semolina, T65 from France, "WW" Tritordeum from Spain, rye and AP from Japan (thanks to my kind neighbor).