Perhaps this is actually a food photography blog, and no one told me.

Here, a trilogy of summer bread-baking notes.  First, corn grits make for a beautiful, stew-dipping texture.

This boule was baked in the 7-qt Le Creuset (or, rather le 7-qt creuset?), because when you have a pot like that, you use it for everything.

Second, a few method tips, in part via Ruhlman’s blog and frivolous but lovely ipad app.  First (and this from multiple sources), I now just throw the yeast into the mixer with the first run of dry ingredients.  I’m not sure why I lamented over 105-deg water and a spoonful of sugar for so long; yeast right from the freezer into the flour does just fine.  Second, and on the topic of yeast, it was on my expensive ingredients list until I learned that it comes pretty-darn-cheap in bulk.  We ordered a brick from Amazon at five bucks a pound; it lives in suspended animation in the bottom of the freezer, with a cup or so in a glass jar for easier access.  (I like Red Star yeast.  It reminds me that cooking should be communal.)

Third, a pan loaf goes into the oven when it starts to heat.  That is, no preheating – just click the oven on bake, 372F (I have digital resolution to the degree; there’s no way I’m rounding if I don’t have to) and let it go.  When the oven comes to temperature, the loaf is firm enough to score and insert the thermometer probe.

Four, thermometers.  There’s nothing predictable about how quickly my bread cooks.  I never mix in quite the same water content, nor have quite the same sized loaf.  (I like to make dough by feel, in the Tassajaran sense that experimental chemists are a more fun dinner group than theoretical chemists.)  But, if I probe it and remove the bread from heat when its interior hits 195, I end up with a fine piece of toast the next morning.

Five (and in a second homage to DA in this evening’s posts), that’s a USA Bread Pan.  Corrugated steel with a bit of silicone.  Made in Pittsburgh.  Dough goes in, bread comes out, never with a soggy bottom.  Best loaf pan I’ve used.

pancakes (more)

Another recipe posting, because it’s quicker than finding the card.

2 eggs, 2T oil, 2c milk


2c flour (half wheat), 2t powder, 2T sugar, 1/2 t salt

mix minimally, 3/16-c scoops [*]

[*] I filled a quarter of a quarter-cup scoop with gorilla glue and let it dry, to make a 3/16 scoop.  Not really.

poofy sourdough

  • 1 c of 216 sourdough starter
  • 3/4 c water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 c wheat flour
  • 1 t salt, maybe more
  • ap flour to taste (2-3 c, perhaps)

rise oiled, smack down, rise in boule, baking sheet with a little cornmeal and flour (score loaf) and room overhead (height doubles in the oven), 450 for 10 minutes in a moist oven, then 350 until loaf interior reaches 195

chocolate cookies

Combine dry; combine wet; mix; scoop onto ungreased baking surface.  350 for ~12 min.

  • 4 c flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 2 T soda
  • salt
  • 8 oz chocolate (chips, chunks?)
  • 3/4 c nuts


  • 1 c b. sugar
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 c oil

I adapted this from somewhere, but I wasn’t successful in regoogling the original.  Nuts = pecans was a tasty choice.  I might try to shoehorn in some coconut and coffee next time.  I used half wheat for the flour, and half milk chips (half cut-up 70% bar) for the choc.


A “recipe” I’ve been asked about more than once, so I’ll write it down.  This is for a press pot: I like fat Indonesian from a shaggy Ohioan in our 8-cup Brazil.

  1. Heat water.
  2. When nearly whistling, coarsely grind 2/3c [*] beans (third-coarsest setting out of 16 on our machine).
  3. Pour grinds into press.  Take water off boil and wait 30s (for our kettle, which brings the water down to 195).
  4. Flamboyantly sploosh water into the press, drenching and agitating everything.  Fill to an inch shy of the brim, about 30 oz.. [**]
  5. Quick stir with the reserved end of a wooden spoon.  Cover.  Drain a 3:20 hourglass and then press.  Spooning a bit of crust off the top first makes the pressing easier.

I find the “8-cup” (actual volume: 4c, resulting in 24-26 oz after infusion) press nice for a couple of small mugs, plus a fill of an insulated travel mug for extended sipping.

[*] weight probably matters more: 46g, which consistently works out to about this volume, for these beans

[**] One period or two?  Discuss.

Basic bread

Our standby these days.  Free of dairy and egg.

2c water, tap-hot
1T yeast
1/4c olive oil
1/4c honey or molasses
2t salt
5-6c flour, 2c of which wheat

bloom yeast in water
rise on the dining room radiator in an oiled bowl until half an hour before {lunch, dinner}; two rises at 60+40 works here
bake 350 for 25-30.

Even more basic bread

1+1/2 c water, tap-hot
1t yeast
2t salt
3+1/2 c flour

Mix salt into some of the flour.  Bloom yeast in water then mix into dry.  Add flour until doughy.  Rise between 2 and 5 times, inclusive.  Flop onto a baking sheet and blast for 20 on 425 or so.  Foolproof enough to complete all pre-rise steps before coffee brews.

Pumpkin pie ice cream

Awesome scream.  Takes a while, but well worth the wait.

Day 1: Cut your pumpkins in half.  Roast them, then puree.  Divvy one portion into baby-food-sized portions for freezing.  Hold the rest.

Day 2: Make a pie, following the recipe on the back of the can.  But not your can, because you’re subbing real pumpkin from step 1 for the processed goop.  Veganize the dish by subbing coconut milk for the evaporated milk and mysterious non-egg substance for egg.  Refrigerate to set.

Day 3: Eat one slice of the pie.  Note that with the substitutions, the consistency is somewhere between pie and soup-in-a-crust.  Really, really tasty soup.  Make custard for homemade vanilla ice cream.

Day 4: Finish whipping up the vanilla ice cream.  Smash up the pie and mix it in.  Freeze.

Day 5-6: Ice cream is ready.  Eat.

Day 7: Rest

Day 8: Lament that there is no ice cream left.  But, it’s a week later, and we have another pumpkin from City Fresh

Evidence.  As an aside, I assume the title character’s
complaint has something to do with the ice cream being
half-eaten.  But, I’m not sure, as I haven’t read it yet.

A basic Belgian waffle

4 eggs, separated
1T sugar
1/4c butter, melted
1c milk
1t vanilla
2c flour
2t powder
1/2t salt

All ingredients near 295K. Beat yolks and sugar until fluffy.
Add butter, milk and vanilla. Mix.
Add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat.
Beat egg whites until fluffy; fold in.

Makes 5-6 waffles in our round press.  Serve with Shenton Road jam.