Saturday, February 21, 2015

New Bread Technique and Daily Routine

We  are in a slight warm-up period but are getting a  mix of rain and sleet.  That means roads will be treachorous.  We had planned a WM run but will probably cancel.

 I did chores again yesterday morning and it was more uncomfortable at a windy 24° than it was the day before at no wind 10°.  I just did the puppies who are little wild things.  I stayed in the pen with them and petted them until they finally got over the thrill and settled down to eat.  Tito, the large male has very unusual colored eyes.  I tried to get a picture but wasn't very successful.  The are amber colored.  I hope they stay that color as he ages.
As  you can see, Daisy decided to eat while Bella (black)  is attacking my glove.

DH decided he would do the grain feeding.....I let him.


My new bread making technique was using a biga as a preferment or starter and reducing the yeast. May I say after one experiment that I am not impressed and once I use the other half of the biga, will probably not do it again. The biga is supposed to be improve keeping quality, taste and texture. Well, DH and I couldn't ascertain an improvement in the taste or the texture. It also seemed I did not get the volume I usually get. It may be that I am not really a bread connoisseur just like I am not a wine connoisseur. I strive for a light, tender bread more like store bread but better tasting. When I started making bread it was during the Artisan, no-knead craze and I had tried that but it wasn't what we wanted. This bread was similar in my opinion.   My Sis got me started again (she is going through my early  experimental- bread- making phase now). I will stand more ventures into bread that takes between two and 5 days to make while waiting for a perferment to you true bread making bakers can just shake your heads.  I am hopeless.


It wasn't quite as cold last night, 17°. I love it when it isn't 'leave the water dripping' cold which for us is l0°. We are in line for some freezing rain later today and tomorrow.

I fixed something different for breakfast. I made scones with our scrambled eggs. I have just made them once before. They are simply a sweetened biscuit with eggs and cream. I like using the leftovers for shortbread. I will do that for lunch using our frozen peaches.


Our farm hand (doesn't that sound inflated) he is just a 16-year old neighbor. Came and Max showed him how to use our tractor for feeding the round bales. If the weather is too severe he can use his truck that is equipped with a bale spike on the back. He turned his ankle getting off the tractor. I hope it isn't too bad. I will call and check on him this morning.

I am going out around 9 to do chores near the house. It was 24° but with wind.
 It was more uncomfortable than the day before at l0°.  My hands got numb before I was finished. 
DH did the grain feeding.  

Dragging through the frozen snow requires a rest period when I come in.......

Cooking 2

I decided to make our old-fashioned white bread  (no preferment or  starter!).  I did have to use Hogsdon  Mills flour since our local store wanted $6 a bag for King Arthur and I refused to pay that.  I may be slightly  prejudiced but I don't think I get as much  lift with other flours.  I added two eggs instead of the called  for one.  Just did it without thinking because I had two eggs sitting on the counter top from collecting that morning.  I like the color and texture and may keep adding two eggs.  You know now we don't have to worry about cholesterol in our food ! (did you hear the latest nutritional recommendations?)  My Sis and I got a good laugh.....she and I didn't believe that link between foods a cholesterol when they began pushing it.
I had thawed a surprise package from the freezer when it turned out to be strawberries that were past their prime, I decided to make jam.  I added l cup of the aforementioned  peaches to make the 5  cups.  It turned  out nicely.  The fruit was frozen with l cup of sugar so I reduce the jam recipe by that cup and proceed as usual.  I used pectin with this batch.

Note: no lids...yet.  In a cleaning frenzy I carried all canning supplies out to the milk parlor (jack of all trades work room).  I will retrieve them this morning.


  1. All your posts that speak of food make me hungry. We eat store bread. Last night we did have roasted carrots that I saw on Facebook -- simple, oil and seasoning on split pieces baked at the same time as the chicken. We ate the biggest of the red cabbages. I cut before it got so cold the other night. I cooked it with a little apple. Tasty.

  2. Your scones and strawberry/peach jam look delicious! Homemade bread sounds good too.

    I hope your handyman's ankle isn't strained too badly.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  3. My sister used to make a cake where you keep fermented mix and fruits going all the time. We loved to eat it but no one wants to make it. We called it her Rotten cake and boy, was it good.

    It rained some on our ice and snow but I imagine just enough to make it slicker in the morning.

    Have a great evening.

  4. I'm not that crazy about Artisan bread or anything having to do with a Biga, either. I think it's just a fad that actually will get more people baking bread that might not have ever tried it before, but the texture is chewy and not unlike a batch of failed bread for us.

    These fads, they come and go. It's all about the dollar, you know....

    Yeah, we had a good laugh about eggs being ok now. I never paid any attention to that nonsense anyway. I also get a giggle about my DIL, who insists on buying whole wheat bread at the store but yet turns her nose up at my homemade whole wheat sandwich buns. She doesn't realize that stuff she pays whole wheat prices for is only about 10% whole wheat, while my homemade bread is over 50% and sometimes 100% whole wheat.

    Dr. Oz is always excited about the latest power-packed fruit when actually all fruits have a great deal of anti-oxidants in them. Blueberries are a lot easier to get and not horribly high-priced at Aldi, and they are every bit as good for you as Acai or Goji. Just been around too long to be faddish, and has a name everyone can pronounce right.

    I made jam from strawberries in my freezer a few weeks ago, too. Sadly, I had no peaches. I love peach jam. But I'm consoling myself with a dollop of strawberry jam in my Greek yogurt (another new fad but I do like it.

    I remember that "Brandied Fruit" that Gail mentioned, and the Friendship Bread. Another fad, many years ago.

  5. Glenda,
    Since your not impresses with using the experiment on making your bread, I'm going to stick to my regular recipe.

    Your shortbread looks delicious, I'm a peach fan :-)

  6. Ok, now I have to look up what a "Biga" is. I've been a "this is how I do it and how I will continue to do it" when it comes to my bread baking. Guess I'm just stubborn. I never tried the "no knead" breads....but I may have to try it if it's easier. We'll see.
    Everything looks yummy nonetheless....especially those egg/cream scones. I haven't made scones in forever, may put that on my to-do list this week.
    Stay warm & be careful on that darned ice!

  7. I kinda miss making fresh ciabatta & soda breads, but hey - it's just not good for me. Only zero again this morning after the weekend storm Pandora. Lot's of deep-freeze days ahead this week. Hope Quantum (storm) doesn't give you too much grief. Tito looks more and more pitbull-ish as he gets bigger. Sooooo looking forward to spring! Keep warm....