Monday, 9 May 2016

09:39 – The King Arthur Flour No-Knead bread recipe I mentioned yesterday turned out very well. Far better than the earlier recipe from that we’d been using. That despite the facts that we used bread flour rather than the recommended all-purpose flour and that we made no adjustments for high altitude.

The loaves with made with the older recipe tasted fine, but they were very dense and damp. The loaves we made with the KAF recipe were light and dry, indiscernible from bread from a bakery. Barbara and I both liked the KAF loaves much better.

33 thoughts on “Monday, 9 May 2016”

  1. My wife is going to hate me – I love home-cooked bread. Now I have to try your recipe.

    edit: Okay, not “your” recipe. But you pointed me to it.

  2. This time, we made blob loaves on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Next time, we’re going to try it with our silicone loaf pans. This recipe has a bit more flour than the older one (907 grams versus 840), but uses the same amount of water. I think slashing the loaves before baking lets a fair amount of the excess water steam off. Between that and the pan of water, there’s still enough humidity to give a good crust.

    The recipe says that they recommend all-purpose flour because they think it yields a better crust/crumb than using bread flour, but all we stock is bread flour (other than LDS #10 canned stuff). Costco carries only Con-Agra Bread Flour in 50 lb. bags, so that’s what I buy. It is also, IIRC, about 14% protein, which is 20% to 40% higher than most all-purpose flours. We haven’t tried baking a cake with it, and I suspect it would be noticeably inferior for that, but it works fine for bread (duh), biscuits, cookies, and the other stuff we bake. It’s also fine for pancakes, although we normally use Krusteaz pancake mix for that.

  3. Any scale recommendations for something with a 5kg (more or less) capacity and a 0.1g precision?

  4. I’m sure you could find one, but I don’t have any experience with one in that range. We have lab scales that typically offer 200 g capacity with 0.01 g resolution, milligram scales that have much lower capacity, and the shipping scales I mentioned.

    A quick Amazon search for 0.1 gram scale turns up several scales with 2 or 3 kilo capacity and 0.1 g resolution for $12 to $25.

  5. @RBT, I agree with your experience with bread flour vs all purpose. Bread flour wins in the situations you mention. Your personal taste/preference may vary, don’t be afraid to experiment now, not when the SHTF.

    I mentioned in a comment I just made in yesterday’s journal post that I dug up this no-knead bread site:

    This guy’s YouTubes show how simple the process is even for those who do not like to weigh ingredients. He does show some good recipe variations and different cooking vessels.

    Edit — WRT scales: this one sits on my kitchen counter all the time:
    This one I use when I am using large bowls, it has a pull out display (price is currently at its high so check Bed Bath and Beyond):

  6. Speaking of experimenting now, our house is all electric and there’s no way we’re going to run the stove and oven on generator. We do have a woodstove (although not a wood cookstove), and during the cold months I’d plan to cook on its top surface and although I haven’t tried it yet, I’m planning to use our Coleman oven on the woodstove for baking. During the warm months, we’re not going to want to run the woodstove for obvious reasons, so I’ll probably build one or more rocket stoves for cooking with pots and pans. I doubt the Coleman oven would survive open flame for long, so I’m considering alternatives. One I keep coming back to is solar. Until recently, I thought of solar ovens as pretty much crockpots/slow-cookers, but several people have told me that it is possible to bake bread in one although I shouldn’t expect much in the way of browning or crust.

  7. As if there was ever any doubt that the fix has been in since the beginning:

    On a lighter note, I need to make up a few gallons of this, cheap strawberries and rum at Costco:

  8. Speaking of experimenting now, our house is all electric and there’s no way we’re going to run the stove and oven on generator.

    My former USMC son told my Dad and I yesterday that a running generator set was the best way to know that someone was home in Iraq. He highly advised against running a generator in times of crisis.

  9. “He highly advised against running a generator in times of crisis.”

    Well, there are certainly times when you WANT outsiders to know someone is, in fact, home, and possibly/probably armed and ready (maybe with dawg/s barking, too, and lights on, etc.) Other times, maybe not.

    Plus radios and tee-vees blaring away, cooking smells, smoke from the fireplaces/stoves, etc., etc.

  10. I don’t really have an option until I can afford solar.

  11. Do any of the solar installers have lease deals, where you don’t have to pay the whole cost up front?

  12. Sure, but I want them in Faraday cages, not installed.

  13. Ah. That kind of solar.

    My wife is looking at getting solar panels installed on our house for regular use, which is why I was thinking in that direction.

  14. Sure, but I want them in Faraday cages, not installed.

    Are you going to install them for testing purposes to make sure that the equipment is ok?

    Shouldn’t the panels and wiring be just fine after an event? You might have to replace the inverter(s) though.

  15. Local high school year book came out today. The year book was dedicated to my wife and myself with a full page spread. Surprised and honored.

  16. “… dedicated to my wife and myself with a full page spread. Surprised and honored.”

    Outstanding, Mr. Ray. And well-deserved, I am quite sure.

    It was overcast and chilly here again today but the sun hath made his usual early evening/sunset appearance and we have blue skies for an hour or so.

    Contacted my recruiter pal about that temp IT drone gig and he said they’re still interviewing and he has no other specific info yet. So they’re probably on second interviews for other, younger IT rock stars and I’ve been forgotten. If so, I have Plan B in-progress anyway. Which will continue even if I land another IT drone job.

    And I see we’re putting jarheads on the ground in Yemen, 200 of them, allegedly, to allegedly counter Al-Q there. Why oh why do our asshole sons-of-bitches dear leaders continue to INSIST on poking our fingers into fucking hornets’ nests all over the world? Can’t we just leave these scheisskopfen to slaughter each other and forget they even exist???

    Next time I encounter younger vets at the various vets’ venues up here, I’m gonna tell ’em straight out: when I was in, my real and true enemy was in Mordor. Sure, he was in Hanoi and Beijing and Moscow, but he was also in Mordor. That hasn’t changed. We were killing the wrong people then and we’re still killing the wrong people. I’d send those 200 Marines to the WH, Capitol, Snake Department and SC and let ’em go to work. Then move a couple of regiments in to close out the bureaucracy/Fed leviathan for good.

  17. Congratulations Ray.

    Condolences OFD, you were too good for them anyway.

    I like your idea for the Marines.

  18. “Condolences OFD, you were too good for them anyway.”

    Nothing official from anybody yet, but I figure by now, it’s dead. My wife tells me that each time, too; I was too good for whomever. I assume I’m just too old for their games. No problemo, if it is in fact a dead issue; Plan B is fine by me.

    “I like your idea for the Marines.”

    We send them in first, tidy up the place. Then me and Mr. SteveF will bring in the death squads. RBT might wanna get in on that action, too.

  19. will bring in the death squads.

    Dafuq? What makes you think I’m going to share any of the throat-slitting?

  20. “Another variant on the rum/fruit is “brandied fruit”.”

    Yup, I remember having that on the winter holidays. Lots of crazes back in the Glorious Sixties. It’s great on BOTH ice cream and pound cake at the SAME TIME, and yes, I’m kind of a pig with stuff like that.

    “What makes you think I’m going to share any of the throat-slitting?”

    My bad. OK, you can do the cutting and chopping stuff and I’ll run the gallows and firing squads. Seems fair.

  21. @OFD:

    IIRC, before I got my last job, I applied on-line, got an interview two months later, and a decision took 2 weeks. It was a local government agency, but suspect that private business also moves slowly on hiring decisions. So don’t give up.

    And I was 59 at the time of hire. Worked there for almost three years before having to quit to move here to the Olympic Peninsula. (Because of wife’s health: she has pulmonary hypertension, and the altitude in Utah was slowly killing her, requiring her to be on supplemental oxygen full time. Since we have moved here, no more oxy needs, except for plane travel and visits to the kids/grandkids in Utah.)

  22. “So don’t give up.”

    I generally don’t; when I got hired at IBM it took them four months, total, of screwing around, before I actually entered a data center. But I’m nearly 63 now, and although I know full well I can do IT drone work for many years to come, barring serious illness or injury, the powers-that-be take us out of the running automatically after anywhere from 35-50, apparently.

    Sorry about your wife’s medical health; a lot of what we do is for family. My wife has a potentially terminal thyroid disease, heart and insomnia issues related to stress, and I’ve got three cancer-surviving siblings and my mom is in a nursing home with Pick’s Disease, after watching our dad check out at 71 from early-onset Alzheimer’s, probably due to job/environmental conditions then. My sore back/sciatica and PTSD stuff are as nothing compared to all this.

    Glad that you’re in a place you like a lot and that your wife is mostly OK now. Being unable to, or having difficulty breathing, really sucks, as I have cause to know, from several severe bronchial asthma attacks. And one of my great-grandfathers died slowly from TB and wife’s aunt had it as a kid. My maternal grandpa smoked his whole life and spent the last few years with emphysema and being attached to an oxygen tank at home.

    Good for a laff, if one enjoys dark, bitter hew-muh.

  23. move here to the Olympic Peninsula

    Where abouts on the Peninsula? I have spent many days in Port Townsend, Port Angeles to take the ferry to Canada, and three days in LaPush, about as far west in the lower 48 that you can get. No phone, no TV, no internet, condo on the beach. Relaxed, walked, flew the kite, napped. A nice vacation that I would like to repeat. There is not much of anything in LaPush.

  24. “@OFD: Based on that article. businesses should be jumping ar the chance to hire a well-educated, non-incarcerated geezer like you!”

    Au contraire, monsieur; they have demonstrated repeatedly to my “satisfaction” that they would rather hire kids fresh out of “college” or even better, foreigners, in wonderlands like Mexico, India and Slovakia. I believe that if it came down to hiring either a disabled American veteran with a family or a wise Latina from south of the Rio Grande, they’d pick her every time. Or one of them kids from India who’s always posting selfies on FaceCrack with backgrounds featuring elephant deities and many-armed goddesses.

  25. Ray Thompson:

    We’re in Port Ludlow. Great view from the house of Puget Sound; get to watch the big boats, cruise ships, and the occasional submarine out there. Plus a couple of eagles that live in the area.

    Clear weather this week (mostly), with temps approaching 80F.

  26. @Rick H:

    Drove through Port Ludlow on one of our trips just looking around. Nice town as is Port Townsend. My aunt lived on Beckett Point up on the bluff overlooking Discovery Bay. Across from the bay from her place was Olympic National Park and highway 101. Hated to sell the place but had no choice.

    Beckett Point is all private property owned by the Beckett Point Homeowners Association. People lease the lots on which their homes sit. Long term leases. But you have maintenance fees as the land is not owned by the city. Everyone was on a septic tank and the EPA said the tanks had to go. Thus the homeowners association had to install a sewer system and some expensive pumps. Every lot was assessed $25,000. My aunt owned two lots and there was no way I could afford the $50,000. Could not use her money as that was needed for her care.

    Anyway, one day I will return to the area on my way to LaPush. Want to spend another three or four days there as there is nothing to do thus forcing me to relax, walk, view, and fly my high performance kite, such kite being able to pull me off the ground if the wind is too strong. It is steerable so there is quite a bit of control. It is enjoyable.

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