Make Your Own Bread

or Things You Should Already Be Doing.

We can buy exquisitely crafted, ultra local artisan bread across the US now. Bread that was cooked in steam injected ovens before you woke up in this morning.  So why make your own?  Ever?

At least that was my thinking until the average price of the aforementioned bread started to push five dollars a loaf.  That and the popularity of no-knead/slow-rise techniques which greatly simplify while adding a great deal of flexibility to the process have change my mind completely.

pain-epi-in-five-minutes

Pan Ordinaire

  • 1200 g bread flour
  • 2 tbl kosher salt
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 900 g ice water
  • First rise: Mix vigorously.  Spray top with oil. Refrigerate 3-10 hrs.  Rise in cool spot 20-24 hrs.
  • Second rise: Divide 4-ways on floured board.  Rest 10 min. Flatten into rectangle. Fold shorter end into thirds.  Roll longer end pinching off seam. Continue rolling and stretching. Transfer to baking sheet, dust liberally with flour.  Rise till doubled 45-75 min or refrigerate 4-24 hrs.
  • Bake 475 preheated oven middle rack.  Add water to cast iron pan on oven floor at baking.  Bake to +/- internal temp of 212 degrees f or  ~45 min.
  • Adapted from Nancy Bagget (hah) Kneadlessly SImple.

Optional:

  • add a pinch of malt powder in the dough to promote browning.
  • use an exotic flour (esp. spelt) when you roll out the dough for taste
  • spray the inside of the oven a few times during baking for extra steam

(Oh right, if you want the distinctive ‘ears of wheat’ shape, repeat diagonal cuts in a baguette before the second rise using kitchen shears)

World Atlas Game

Or “Where in the world is?”

Backstory:  the best teacher I ever had growing up was the Mr. Nelson at Vine Hill elementary.  He required us to memorize the countries and capitals of the world.  It is amazing to see just how much the political map of the world has changed in twenty+ years.

requires: HTML5, javascript

Tide Charts

Tide Charts Rolling 3 Day Local Forecast

My quick hit on a 3 day tide chart applet for forecasting local coastal high and low tides.

It uses a live feed to show the latest tide predictions for the coastal city nearest to your location in the US and territories.

Why it’s interesting: soap, json, geolocating, great-circle computations, html5 and well … anything that NOAA does.

Oh, right, and most important, it shows forecast data for the current year.  Backstory: much to my brother in law’s amusement, I once planned a mussel harvesting trip from the previous years tide chart.

Ok .. it was more than once.