Thursday, 22 October 2015

08:37 – Thanks to everyone who sent me copies of One Year After. I started reading it last night after Barbara went back to bed, and got through the first third or so before I decided to call it a night. In the front matter, Forstchen seems to be taking credit with faint disclaimers for the rise of the prepping phenomenon. In reality, his 2009 book One Second After was very late to the party. For that matter, the LDS Church was late to the party, and that was a hundred years before Forstchen was born. Even the Tudor Monastery Farm series we watched a few days ago was about people who were late to the prepping party, and that was 500 years ago. The reality is that people have been prepping ever since there have been people, more than a thousand millennia ago. Forstchen noticed only a decade or so ago.

We made up another batch of no-knead bread dough after lunch yesterday. It rose overnight to about twice its initial size and will go into the oven shortly. The recipe couldn’t be much simpler: six cups of white flour (actually, 840 grams because I use mass instead of volume measure), two teaspoons of salt, two teaspoons of yeast, and 3 cups of water. That’s sufficient to make two standard loaves of about one pound each. We’ll eat some tonight with dinner and freeze the rest.

We changed the baking method. In the past, we covered the metal pans with aluminum foil, baked at 450F (232C) for 30 minutes, removed the foil, and continued baking for 15 minutes to brown the top crust. This time, we’re baking the loaves uncovered in silicone pans for an hour at only 350F (177C). If it turns out badly, it’s no great loss. Experimenting with recipes is a good thing.

I’d like to be able to bake two of these loaves every day for a year, so I’ll need about 700 pounds of flour, plus the yeast and salt. At about four calories per gram of flour, two loaves per day is roughly 3,400 calories/day, which should suffice for two people if they’re depending on that bread for roughly 70% of their overall nutrition, four people if the bread is to provide roughly a third of their overall nutrition, and six or eight people if bread (and pancakes) is to make up only a small part of their overall nutrition, supplemented by pasta, rice, potatoes, and so on. That 700 pounds is fourteen 50-pound bags–roughly $225 worth–which can be repackaged in PET bottles or foil-laminate Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, which should keep it good for 10 years or more. As I mentioned before, I’ll store mostly white bread flour, which is high in gluten (protein) and can be used to make just about anything you’d want to make with flour.