Bread for Success

The title is ironic because out of my four bread-based adventures yesterday, only one was a complete success. The three loaves of honey whole-wheat all succumbed to different flaws, two of which were my fault. The recipe makes three loaves, and only one really rose well. I think they didn’t rise well because the recipe did not say that I should knead after I punched the dough. Because I didn’t knead after I punched the dough down, only one rose all the way, and even that one had a huge sinkhole in it once I started cutting it. The other two were doomed before that. One never rose, and so I decided to go double or nothing and covered it with cinnamon and sugar. I figured if the loaf was inedible, it was no loss; but, if the loaf was edible, the spice combo may make it very good. I just didn’t want to risk my other loaves. The other loaf that never looked good rose a little more than the worst one, but then I accidentally hit it against the oven as I was putting it in and deflated the whole loaf. So, now I have three very delicious, edible, but compact and dense loaves of sandwich bread.

After that I began my cranberry-pistachio-white chocolate biscotti, which turned out brilliantly. They are easy to make and yield two dozen, so I froze about fifteen. We eat one or two with coffee so they will last a week or so I’d imagine. Biscotti are funny though, because they actually get better as they get more stale. So, in the future I may make more and just set them on the counter to get crusty and tough.


My yeast is coming along nicely after I gave it the yeast equivalent of mouth-to-mouth. I intensely fed the little bread bacteria after I abandoned it for two days. I fed it twice a day, stirred often, and rotated it in and out of the house based on the temperature. I think things look good, and it’s really starting to bubble and ferment. The fermentation byproduct, hooch, which is a form of alcohol, is actually 28% proof. I have been slipping it to my cat and watching her try to hook up with my two dogs. Ok just kidding, it’s only 18% proof.

Also, last night James made up for boofing us the other night with the hot-tub fiasco. He invited me, Luke, Callen, and Fitz over to his house, not to apologize in word, but in action. He was an unusually gracious host, and I think that said that he was contrite. Also, he leaves today at noon for TbarM (sic) to be a camp counselor for eleven weeks. He doesn’t come back on weekends, so last night was the last night we got to see him. We might go visit in Fredricksburg, because James is one of our best friends and this is the second summer in a row we won’t get to see him much. James is absolutely hilarious, with a sense of humor like no other. When he and Fitz start talking or arguing, it is like a sitcom in that everything they say is hilarious, but neither one is laughing. We will miss you James, have fun at camp, and we’ll come surprise you soon!

Oh, the results from my call with the vendor from the farmer’s market: very good. He is interested in hiring me to work for him and his wife at their booth at the Olmos Basin farmer’s market on Saturday morning. I told him I am interested, but I mostly want experience on the actual farm. He said to come talk to him at the St. Matthew’s farmer’s market tomorrow about what I would be doing. Regardless, even if I only work at this booth, it will be a good way to burrow myself into what is a very tight-knit farm community. Juan (his name) runs the farmer’s market at Leon Valley, and is a head honcho of a few others. If there is any man to work for, it is him; working for Juan, in any facet, will integrate me into the community. He also said he will try and get me some farm experience.


Bread for Success

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