Monday, February 27, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
It's Saturday and it is raining. Is there any combination better than this to catch up on one's reading? I think not. Saturdays are also my baking days so In an attempt to fix the spelt blocks of last week, I got busy in the kitchen treating my dough to some moisture therapy in the form of extra water, olive oil and a touch of molasses. They are now in the oven and I do believe these will be the best loaves yet.
On a recent internet search for rainy day books, I found a lovely blog with a post recommending just such books, and I must say, having read most of them myself, they are spot on! I've heard of winter reading lists and summer reading lists, but a rainy day reading list is something I hadn't really pursued until now. Anyone have any titles to add?
Check it out here.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Ok so this baked block of spelt grain came out of my oven the other day - not very lovely. It was a new, coarser grade of grain which I was hoping would make a more rustic loaf, but alas. Although I suppose back in biblical times this was exactly what bread looked like. This loaf tastes ok, the sourdough flavour comes through quite nicely, it's just that the consistency is especially tough. It's dry and crumbly too which could probably be resolved with more liquid as I imagine coarser grains are thirstier.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Saturday, February 11, 2017
I've been baking regularly but it's all pretty much the same sourdough loaves without much variation: two spelt for hubs and a wheat for me, although this one came out as more of a focaccia - better for tearing and dipping than slicing. Anywhoo. My starter seems pretty happy too, which makes things even more seamless and easy; the only thing I might change is adding some olive oil to the spelt bread to soften up the crusts. These loaves need such a long time in the oven - a full hour - that the crusts become a bit tough. The wheat bread is happy enough to just have 40 minutes of baking time - the crust is nice and crunchy the first day but then softens up on its own once it's wrapped up in a ziplock bag and stashed in the fridge (or freezer, or countertop, etc...) And is easily re-crunched with a quick stint in the toaster. The spelt loaves age well but with a dense pumpernickel / rye type consistency it only gets chewier with time, which is great if your teeth are up for the workload, but alas. Speaking of storing bread, does anyone use or even see bread boxes on kitchen counters anymore? They were something of a feature in kitchens from my childhood, but I can't remember the last time I saw one being used. Sourdough is the only bread I know that has the kind of shelf life that would work in a bread box at room temperature, everything else gets mouldy too quickly. So unless there is an especially high consumption and turnover in your bread inventory, my bet is to store bread in a ziplock bag and park it somewhere cold. Better yet, slice it up first so you can take out a piece at a time for toasting and snacking.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Anywhoo. I'm on the fence with Villette. It's a lovely historic read if you can tolerate disorienting tangents.
Gone Girl the one that made her famous. Her writing is decent and well-paced and covers some pretty interesting aspects of human nature, although I find her use of gruesome imagery a bit much.
Brain Pickings on my phone and this book Sleep Demons by Bill Hayes came up as a feature of interest. It sounded like something I needed to read. I found a copy the next day at my library (actually, it was an interlibrary loan so although I 'found' it in the catalogue, it had to be brought in from another branch.) A few days later I had it in my hands and have been reading it ever since. It's wonderfully engaging and oh-so interesting! The author recounts his own experience with sleep, or the lack thereof, and weaves in some history, lore, and scientific studies. Just the kind of non-fiction I like to read.
After these? I don't know. I'd still like to keep going with the classic authors, I just need to hook up with one that clicks. I had my hand on Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad at the library the other day. Anybody read it? It looks like something I'd enjoy.