So, I took a massive break in order to borrow a video, nap, and then watch the debates. I totally tweeted the whole thing, but just realized that I’ve entered the wrong number on my Twitter account. Hope to rectify that as soon as the stinkin’ thing quits being over capacity. I’d hate to lose my commentary.
And I didn’t get around to watching that movie (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid– may fire it up here soon). But HG and I totally NOMMED the fuck out of my bread.
2 c bread flour
1 c 50/50 wheat/white flour
1/2 c oats
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp yeast (throw away 1 tsp out of a packet)
1 1/3 c water
1 tsp honey (it really makes a difference!)
In medium/large bowl, mix flours, oats, salt, and yeast. Stir in water and honey. Knead dough on lightly floured (read, heavily and repeatedly floured) surface until smooth and springy, but still slightly sticky. Place in oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a clean dishrag and place somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size (I set my oven to the lowest setting and prayed for the best.)
Lightly sprinkle cookie sheet with flour (though the recommended cornmeal or parchment paper wouldn’t reek as horribly when stuck in the over). Turn dough out onto flour surface, gently push fist in to deflate. Flatten dough, roll into a ball, and put on cookie sheet. Cover and let rise again until doubled, again.
Heat oven to 475F (not while bread is in there). Cut an X in the top of your loaf. Put it in the oven for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 425 and bake for another 20 minutes or until bread is golden brown. Voila! You have a thick, crusty bread that would be delicious with some creamy soup. I served it with tomato-basil goat cheese. Butch Cassidy-loaning friend said I should have used Nutella. Nevermind you, Butch.
Now, I will explain how this bread went from hotdog to lobster. First of all, I fuddied with the flour requirements. The original recipe only called for bread and wheat flour, 3 1/3 c and 1/4 c respectively. I decided I wanted some oats and more fiber in there, and fudged the numbers accordingly. This lead to a much denser loaf, and probably assisted the crustiness, but I have no problem with either of those. However, it did make me a bit nervous.
Also, having your dough rise in your oven is a risky prospect. You don’t want it so hot as to kill the yeast, or so cool as to not activate it at all. And I have yeast insecurity issues– you’re not supposed to let yeast into contact with salt or water, but of course recipes call for both of such things. I’m confident in my ability to sift and mix things so that there’s not problem, but Mr. HG had to be all critical again, and worry me, especially when an hour passed and the first rising hadn’t worked. But I muddled through with considerably more success than the Afghani campaign, and turned the oven up a bit.
And I did mention the awful smell of burnt flour in the oven, right? There was also a vague cirro-nimbus effect of smoke, just as a fair warning. But on the whole, that hotdog turned out to be quite a lobster. I think HG might have left me some. It’s okay if he didn’t, because we got to watch the debate at his house. With Republicans. RICH Republicans.
Now, I know I have class issues, and I’m not going to get into that just yet (I’ll wait till the Twitter feed is up), but I can’t remember the last time I was in a room with someone who *didn’t* consider earning $250,000/year rich. Choice quote of the night? Friend of HG’s parents asks me during our mid-debate pause to have our own debate about “what is rich?”: “Okay, so what do you do?” “Well, I’m a college graduate earning nine bucks an hour working at CVS.” Kind of gave him pause.
Seriously though, I’ll give my recap of that later. I’ve got some fun pictures and stories in store for you in the realm of Adventures in Recreational Craigslisting(TM).