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Stephanie Brim

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Everything posted by Stephanie Brim

  1. Okay. I need some help here. Can someone make this and tell me what you think? I think that the method plus the ingredients are what gives me the bread, but I need a confirmed second opinion that it's good. What we're going for here is a 100% sandwich wheat bread that isn't too heavy, is soft enough for peanut butter, and my 2 year old won't turn her nose up at. She likes white breads, loves sourdough and light rye, but she's stuck on this no whole grain thing. I'll put the ingredients as I used them and then the baker's percentages (roughly) next to them. It's enough for one 8.5x4.5 loaf and a few rolls, so the entire recipe would probably work in a slightly larger pan. A couple things to keep in mind. I use instant yeast here. Also, my kitchen temperature is about 68-70 degrees. My milk was cold from the fridge and my water was room temperature and bottled. My butter was half melted, half not. None of this was completely scientific. Had it been, I would've been able to calculate for 500g of flour instead of 550g. Soaker 200g (36%) whole wheat flour (KA or other finely milled) 115g (21%) white whole wheat (KA or other finely milled) 35g (6%) gluten flour (I used Arrowhead Mills) 260g (47%) milk (I used 1%) Mix together all ingredients so that the flours are thoroughly moistened and set aside for at least an hour at room temperature. Biga 200g (37%) whole wheat flour 150g (27%) water 5g (1%) instant yeast Mix together all ingredients in a separate bowl from above and set aside for an hour or so, also at room temperature. Final Dough all soaker all biga 50g (9%) butter 75g (14%) honey 12g (2%) salt 25g (5%) milk Break up both the soaker and biga into small pieces and put in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter, honey, salt, and milk into the middle of the pieces and turn the machine on low until they are starting to become incorporated into the dough and the dough itself is starting to stick a bit more to the dough hook. Once it starts to become dough, move up to medium-low speed (3 on my KA Pro) and go for about 4 minutes. It doesn't really take too long to become a nice dough due to the long autolyse that all the flour got. I did 2 letter folds (pat or stretch out dough and fold in thirds like a letter, both top to bottom and left to right) at 30 minute intervals through the bulk fermentation, which takes about 2 hours. After the second fold let the dough completely double in size before moving on. Once fermented, split the dough into enough for a loaf (750g or so is what I used) and a few rolls (I did one long free form batard). Proof until almost double, or about an hour. Score or not, brush with butter or not, and then bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes (your rolls should probably be done now), then turn the oven down to 325 degrees and bake for another 10 or so minutes.
  2. I was thinking that, too, but the bag I have is just this side of ancient. Maybe I should chance it...
  3. I'm in the middle of testing a new recipe for honey whole wheat that uses a somewhat bastardized form of Peter Reinhart's epoxy method. Considering the overall hydration is something like 78% (!) it will hopefully bring about a nice, springy loaf. I'll try and post a photo if my camera doesn't hate me too much tomorrow.
  4. Yeah, I can't really mince garlic very well with a knife, either. I keep trying, though, and give my family members the eye if they say anything about getting a too-large piece of garlic in their bite of sauce. It doesn't help matters, either, that I actually like bigger pieces of garlic. I saw Gary Rhodes mincing garlic to paste with his knife and thought: why not just use a press? Surely it's the same result? Although it would be nice to have the knife skills to do it without fear of losing a digit or two... I use the microplane to 'mince' garlic now. And rub my hands on the sink to get rid of the smell afterwards. I've done that, too...now that I have one. When I must do it with a knife, to the disdain of my husband and numerous family members, I take out the really big pieces and...er...eat them raw before putting the garlic in the sauce. Did I just say that? Also, I have a liking of plain white store bread, but only for grilled cheese and the like. I've not found a homemade bread, though I've really gotten creative with baking now, that makes a really tasty classic childhood grilled cheese: butter the backs of two slices of plain white bread, put Kraft cheese slice in between on the non-buttered side, place in frying pan, brown until toasty and melty. My homemade white just doesn't have that...airy quality to it. My favorite bread for these sandwiches right now is none other than the cheapest white sandwich-style bread at the cheap grocery store. Maybe one day, when I can spend the almost $40 to get a Pullman pan, I'll cease to buy the supermarket stuff.
  5. Yeah, I can't really mince garlic very well with a knife, either. I keep trying, though, and give my family members the eye if they say anything about getting a too-large piece of garlic in their bite of sauce. It doesn't help matters, either, that I actually like bigger pieces of garlic.
  6. Here's an awful one: I like Velveeta Shells & Cheese. A lot. With canned ham and frozen peas. I make it as a meal occasionally and my daughter likes it, too. Not as much as I make homemade mac & cheese with ham and frozen peas, but still. The fact that I felt I had to delurk to mention that means I'm on the road to recovery, right? I'm also one of those people who buys lots of canned goods in the winter just in case. If you saw my canned goods shelf right now you'd be amazed. There are very little canned veggies, however. Most is canned condensed cream soup (for casseroles, which are a whole other point), canned broth, or canned tomatoes.
  7. Yet another rye. I have a little rye obsession lately. Also, I tried sourdough bagels. Still a work in progress, but it was my first official time.
  8. Hrm. Sounds fun to me. I will eat better. Just...better. Due to pregnancy, there's been lots of crap coming and going from this house and I'm not proud of it. For the latter part I was just too tired to do anything. One of my new year's resolutions is that I will try to eat more whole foods and cut back on the processed crap. I will make one soup a week for the entire year. I will never duplicate. We need to be a little bit more adventurous in our choice of cuisine. I will find 3 recipes that I am confident enough in to take to the fair. I've always wanted to do that, and this is my year. I will learn how to score my bread correctly. I'm still having trouble getting good ears. I will teach myself how to bake and raise two kids at the same time. Fingers crossed. I will read at least one new recipe a week. I will create at least 5 new bread formulas that work for me.
  9. Baker woman is baking bread... I mixed up the dough for 6 small loaves of baked potato bread. This is one of 4 things I'm giving for the holidays; there's also rosemary potato bread, brownies, and gingerbread. I'm going to be so tired. Apparently having a baby 7 weeks ago isn't stopping me from doing anything this year.
  10. Broch's mellowcremes. Any type of oatmeal cookie. Good mac & cheese, especially when made from the leftovers in the cheese drawer because it ends up with a more complex flavor. Like most people, I also have no self control when it comes to bread. I *love* bread. If I ever become diabetic I'm probably going to cry. Hard. Homemade potato bread with bacon and cheddar mixed in is my favorite.
  11. I think that the one thing that changed my life more than anything is my big KitchenAid Pro 600 stand mixer. Refurbished, I paid $230. I picked up the beater blade, too. You know...one of those things that scrapes the bowl for you. My cake making has become much easier.
  12. My contribution. I baked them too long. Full write-up, including a little backstory as to why I wanted to make brownies in the first place, is at the blog link. I can say that this is the best I've ever made, personally, and will probably be my go-to for quite a long time to come.
  13. WOOOOHOOOO! I see orange tomatoes! I should have red ones by Tuesday or Wednesday! Big ones! Sandwich sized! Don't get me wrong. I love my little ripe orange cherry tomatoes. They just don't make the best BLTs.
  14. I have a few cherry tomatoes per day. Today I didn't get to pick any, and tomorrow I think I'm only going to get 2 or 3. But they're coming, and I still have most of August and all of September to go. Now, by the middle of September when it's getting cooler they may not be quite as good...but they'll still be better than the utterly tasteless ones I get at the stores in the winter. Ugh.
  15. Stephanie, where do you live? It's been unseasonably cool all summer here in MN (outside of one hot spell for two days in May). Night time temps are in the 50's (read bad for tomatoes), and the days aren't much warmer. It's also been unbelievably dry in in the Upper Midwest. That doesn't help, either. I just celebrated a birthday -- the first since I've been a home-owner and tomato grower (think since 1986) that I haven't have a home-grown from-my-garden tomato. So sad. ← I'm right below you in Iowa. We live about 40 miles north of Ames, which is where I tend to go to the markets when I get the chance. During early May it was wet and warm here. I didn't get these in until the very end of May. Then we got more rain. Then we got the unseasonably cool weather. Now I've actually had to water my tomatoes a few times and I've gotten maybe 3 or 4 good ones so far. It's been a mixed season here in Iowa for almost everything. I went to the farmer's market in mid July for things that would usually be around and found almost nothing. Usually *someone* has tomatoes by then, but there was not a one. Also, my rhubarb didn't come up hardly at all, which made me really, really sad. I had no pie. Luckily I haven't had the blight issues that some people have.
  16. These have been taunting me just lately. These have been taunting me for a month. Hot weather would be nice, methinks. It's been unseasonably cool here for the last few weeks. I am regularly picking other cherry tomatoes, but just enough for a snack. I'm hoping to have enough for a small salad by tomorrow.
  17. I'm tapping my foot at my tomatoes. They're doing well and have tons of buds, I've only gotten 3 ripe ones: 2 Amish Paste (which aren't really big enough to do anything with alone) and one Sugary grape tomato (which my daughter threw on the ground after taking one bite - and yes, I did ponder picking it back up and eating the rest myself). The two paste tomatoes will probably go into the sauce I plan to make out of the can of whole tomatoes that I have sitting on my pantry cupboards for lasagna tonight. The others are going to ripen around the same time, I think, so I'm going to have a BLT blowout at my house to celebrate. Bacon, leaf lettuce, and fresh off the vine tomatoes on homemade sourdough with mayo. Mmm.
  18. http://mentalexperimental.org/?p=34 This was my final after about 4 revisions, but I'm in the process of trying to reduce the amount of cocoa in favor of upping the chocolate in the recipe. I prefer a 60-70% cocao chocolate for this, and a decent one. Ghirardelli or Guittard, but preferably Callebaut. My next trial will probably be reducing the cocoa by 1/2, upping the chocolate to double again, and adding 1/8 cup more flour to compensate for the loss of cocoa. By the by, the first time I made the recipe I did it in an 8x8. They were only about an inch thick, so if you want a thicker brownie you'd have to double it.
  19. I'm waiting on the Missouri peaches myself. I did have a very good couple of white California ones recently, but they're a poor substitute for my favorites.
  20. Stephanie Brim

    Potato Salad

    Baby red potatoes diced red onion diced celery hearts diced radishes fresh dill bit of dried dill for extra flavor mayo sour cream salt pepper a little dill pickle juice for acidity I've seen this particular salad done many different ways, but this is my favorite combination of goods. Another one substitutes raw red bell peppers for the celery and a Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packet (or your favorite homemade "ranch" mix) for the dill.
  21. I did this by accident once with a few quartered a-size new potatoes. We were supposed to have my spicy garlic potatoes for our grill night and I...er...left them in the oven a bit too long. The result: spicy garlic potato wedges. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. My weapon of choice is always olive oil. Oven is always on 400 degrees. The potatoes are tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then thrown on a sheet pan in one layer for as long as it takes for the outside to crisp up...usually about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the wedges. One thing I've learned is to not oversalt the potatoes like I did the first time, and to test them every once in a while for doneness instead of relying on the clock.
  22. These are one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast on a lazy day. I do both scrambling and broken yolk depending on how I feel that day. No cheese, no meat. I generally toast the bread I'm using, smear it generously with butter, and add the egg between the bread. Top with a little pepper and that's that.
  23. Kim, that is one amazing cupcake. My favourite - first rhubarb pie of the season. And homemade Walnut and White Chocolate Fudge ← My GOD I love rhubarb pie, and that one looks particularly scrumptious. Mine is doing poorly due to where the person who previously owned this house had it so I'm getting it moved in August to a more suitable location. It'll get big enough for me to use in a couple weeks and I do think I'll have to make a pie of my own.
  24. Looks better than *my* first attempt. I tried a normal loaf of simple white French bread, didn't know what scoring was so I didn't do it at all, and the thing busted at the seams into a strange shape that I can't even really describe. I bet it's really tasty. Once you go homemade it's really hard to go back to store bought...so be prepared!
  25. Thought I'd say hi and mention my experience with sourdough. Couple of observations first, though. Firstly, having to restart my sourdough starter during the first trimester of my pregnancy was something I thought would prove to be very hard to do. I've had some pretty wicked morning sickness and gagging problems throughout the entire first part, so naturally I thought that the smell of the starter in the first 3 or 4 days was going to make me run for the sink. Strangely this was not so. It actually made me *hungry* for sourdough because I knew I was getting closer and closer as that smell went away to something...heavenly. I'm now the proud parent of a 10 day old very happy starter. The second observation is that starting with whole rye, be it organic or just a good brand of stone ground, seems to be the thing to do if you want the starter active and bouncing within the two week time period. This is my second starter that I've started with rye and it works so well that it's what I recommend to people now. Rye only the first couple of days, not throwing any out, and then throw out half and feed white flour and water the rest of the time. But anyway, on to the story... I was having really good turnouts with my sourdough bread before, so I'm hoping that this starter will give me similar results. It seems to be giving me slow ones, but that has to do with the temperature inside my house, too. Today's sourdough is a test loaf, though, to see if I'm where I want to be for now in terms of flavor or if I should keep it going for a little longer before doing any serious baking. I wanted a sundried tomato sourdough for this weekend's turkey sandwiches. I'm also looking forward to sneaking starter into every little thing. Banana bread, brownies, chocolate cake, muffins, and of course pancakes and waffles. EDIT: Had to post my UFO Bread photo.
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