Baking Day

June 1, 2008 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

Yesterday, I plowed through a long list of tasks including doing some baking. For the past several weeks I’ve been keeping myself in whole grain bread by the do-it-yourself method. I considered getting a breadmaker as a time-saver, but decided to start out trying to bake as I did thirty years ago — just on my own.

I follow the method outlined in theTassajara Bread Book which includes an additional rise at the beginning and takes almost five hours total. But the bread is spectacular — moist and dense without being bricklike with an awesome crumb. It’s perfect for slicing, sandwiches and toast and holds it’s flavor very well on the sideboard. I make up two loaves at every baking, slice each of those in half after cooling, bag and freeze them.

At the CRV house, I think I would have had to call it the “disappearing” Tassajara bread as DP, especially, munched it often for snacks. I baked yesterday actually because I had left most of a baking I did last Sunday in the freezer at the CRV house. I’m even planning to share half a loaf with the X when I go over to pick up the Kid later this morning. Even though making bread this way does involve some planning, the task itself really doesn’t take all that much time. It’s more a matter of being attentive and being present. I don’t think there is a breadmaker in my future — at least not anytime soon.

Another thing I almost consigned to a machine was the making of yogurt and now I can’t even figure out what I was thinking there. Several months back, I had made some very successful yogurt following instructions provided by No Impact Man and came up with easy, very tasty yogurt. But somehow in the intervening months I had convinced myself that repeating this would be way too difficult. Over time I weaned myself away from pre-packed, individual yogurts to mixing up my own buying a quart of Stonyfield plain yogurt and fresh fruit. I found that I could mix the fruit and yogurt together a quart at a time and then simply transfer a single-portion amount into a reusable container. This made it easy and quick to pack my breakfast, which I usually eat around 10am, on days when I went in to the office. Having that first step down, it was an easy leap to think about making my own yogurt — using locally produced milk (available close to both of my homes). But for some reason my mind balked on the idea of making it myself following Colin’s simple recipe. Didn’t I need a machine in there somewhere?

I found a Salton one-quart yogurt maker on Amazon and placed my order meanwhile continuing to accumulate plastic tubs from Stonyfield. I waited and waited and finally received word from Amazon that the supplier would not be shipping my product but no word on the reason for that. I re-queried the product on Amazon and found none to be had. I hardly ever shop — other than at the grocery or farmer’s markets — but when I get my mind set on a purchase I can be stubborn about it. For this one, I signed up at e-Bay and opened a paypal account simply so I could bid on a used Salton one-quart yogurt maker. I dropped out when the auction price topped what I had been planning to pay for a new one on Amazon. It was about that time that I received an email direct from my first Amazon-vetted supplier apologizing for not making good on my order and explaining that the reason was that this particular item had been recalled by the manufacturer due to contamination issues with the yogurt. Hmmm. Perhaps the goddess was trying to tell me something here. I dropped my quest for a yogurt machine and looked up the simple recipe I’d used from Colin’s blog. I made up a quart of good yogurt with maybe five minutes total work and the additional burden of remembering that I had a tub of yogurt incubating in my cooler this morning. Gee, that was tough.


Entry filed under: Cooking, Piedmont.

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