Monday, September 6, 2010

Second batch try

I wasn't necessarily in the mood for another batch of bread today, but for some reason, I couldn't let it go - this bread won't beat me. So I tried again, measured the recipe in grams as it says (rather than converting it), and used the leftover starter from last night to make a sponge for sourdough English muffins for this morning. With extra sharp cheddar and sunny-side up eggs, these made the best breakfast I may have ever had:

And then, the bread. The dough is so gooey right out of the mixer that it seems wrong - but this time, I just let it be a mess and get everywhere. Sure enough, as it fermented, it came together more, until I could fold it and not lose anything on my hands.

It actually tasted like sourdough, too, which was very neat. The crust browned better, too, although I still have to work on the steaming process.

Some writing today on Stone Lake, finally. Not as much as I wanted, as neither I nor John were feeling well all day, but hopefully what I did manage will start me off to a good week. And if I can get through this scene, the good Underground stuff comes next.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Done and more

I wrote a long post while I was making of the first sourdough loaves yesterday, about what worked & what didn't, and the whole post was so boring and infomercial-ish that I deleted it. So here's the short version. I shouldn't have tried to convert from grams to cups because somewhere along the line, something went very, very wrong. And I probably did something else wrong, too.

This was the result -

Great-tasting, but not sour enough (so that was a problem back with the starter), and since I didn't have an adequate steaming system, they weren't as lovely as they could have been.

Plus, not enough holes. They just didn't look right, although they tasted fine. Like white bread, really, which I could have made with far less work.

Then, the lasagna had too much ricotta. Who knew that could happen? I do, now.

The lemon custard ice cream, on the other hand, turned out better than I could have even hoped. I think it was the most splendid ice cream I've ever had, both today and yesterday. I adored the rinds in it, too, which gave it a lovely aromatic, rich flavor.

This morning, we made the best out of the rest of the sourdough.

I had a quick run, played some Bioshock, and then John and I went out to see the movie "Machete," which I loved as much as the other two Grindhouse flicks by Rodriguez & Tarentino. A terrific movie, in classic "B" fashion, only with a pretty decent plot. Lots of layers - or rather, lots of hands involved in the drug money, with some really laugh out loud moments. And the timing on the music was so perfect so many times that every bom-chicka-bom-bom moment was hysterical. Great fun.

Then dinner at the Deep Fork Grill, where John had a glass of 18-year-old Macallan- which was to die for - and I had a beautiful California Cabernet Sauvignon. We're going to finish up with some Nip/Tuck tonight, since we're still working out way through the first season - when it was still (mostly) classy.

Then up early to run tomorrow, before it gets hot - I desperately need to work off this booze & bread. I thought about trying the sourdough again, but we'll see - it may be too soon, although I know a lot more know than I did before. I'm also going to try to treat tomorrow like a normal work day, so hopefully I can get the writing done that I need to.