Monday, October 27, 2008

It’s no fun unless you touch it

I can’t say that I have always liked bread because I don’t have all my memories but I can say I can’t remember a time that I didn’t like bread.

I don’t know why I just started more earnestly baking bread but I think it might have had something to do with having to pay $3.69 for a baguette. I’ve found out that under four bucks ain’t bad for all that is involved.

I’ve also found out that bread making takes a lot of time management. You have to plan things out. Refrigeration does afford you some flexibility but in a day or two: it’s do or fail.

Rilo Kiley, Feist, The Shins, Eddie Vedder, The White Stripes, Neko Case, Jack Johnson, John Hiatt, Bruce Springsteen, CAKE, Spice Girls, The Cure, Semisonic, Chantel Kreviazuk, Tegan & Sara, Coldplay, The Decemberists, Brandi Carlile, The Fray, Augustana

Those are what the Genius option on iTunes picked. Most of those where impulse buys when I was bored and there was a music store next door to where I worked.

They had a top 20 display.

Sometimes, I’m a sucker.

I mostly use a stand mixer which makes bread making a chore and not a love.

It’s like petting a dog with a stick.

I like to play it cool


I do think about this place from time to time when I’m not posting. I guess lately, there hasn’t been much I wanted to get off my mind.

I don’t rock the boat much; I’m of the opinion that there are better ways to get your point across without causing too much of a scene. Some people think I miss out on some things because I don’t call attention to myself.

I was playing it cool but growing a little impatient. I was going to break my M.O., but every time I was going to stand up, I asked myself “What good will come from it?” I usually didn’t have a good answer, so I just kept quiet; my friends told me that I was making a mistake and I thought that they might be right.

Two of us were in the same situation only the other fellow made a scene. I was told last Friday that I would be getting a raise. The other fellow was told nothing, well nothing other than the boss felt that the other fellow stabbed him in the back a little.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The photography isn't that good...

The photography isn't that good because I was still in baking mode and not in photo taking mode.

(I wrote that so it rhymes)

ciabatta 01
I got a little impatient. The starter gets started the day before. The starter is called a biga and the biga is one cup flour, one half cup water and an eighth of a teaspoon of yeast. You mix the ingredients and let it sit at room temperature for SIX hours and then put it in the refrigerator over night.

ciabatta 02
The next day you take the biga out of the frig and let it sit for about an hour to get to room temperature or there about. You mix two cups of flour (5.25oz), a cup of water, a half teaspoon of yeast and one teaspoon of salt along with the biga. I use a stand mixer so I mix it on low for about two minutes using the paddle attachment or until the mixture all comes together and then I mix it on medium high for three minutes which should change the soupy batter into a sticky dough.

I then put the dough into a bowl and let it rise until triple in volume (1.5 to 2 hours). I then let the gooey mass plop out of the bowl onto a bed of flour. I then cover the dough in flour and then cut it in half with a bench scraper.

I then carefully shape each piece into a rectangle (this makes two loaves), then dimple it by pressing my fingers into the dough at about one inch intervals. I then push the sides of the dough to make it taller. I then flip the dough over onto a half sheet pan that has a Silpat in it. I then let it rise until 1.5 times the volume (1.5 to 2 hours).
ciabatta 03
I then bake it in a magic bread oven at 475 for five minutes and then at 400 for twenty.

I didn't let this bread, the one in the photos, rise as much as I probably should have, I got impatient and couldn't wait but it's better for sandwiched without the huge voids that I got with the loaf before these ones.

My oven isn't really magic. I just use a baking stone and have a cast iron skillet at the bottom and immediately after the bread goes in, I dump a cup of ice into the skillet which causes a bunch of steam to fill the oven. I also spritz it a bit with a spray bottle.

Steam is important.

That's up to eleven hours and twenty five minutes of just waiting (over two day)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Patron is not Cuevo, hold the salt, hold the lime

I was born on this day awhile ago.

I was asked what I wanted to do on my birthday and I didn't give an answer because I don't want to do anything that would make me extend any sort of effort.

The manager was standing near the door as I was making my way out.

"Hey, happy birthday, Tim."

I was a little surprised because I really don't talk about it much but then, I know his birthday is six days after mine so maybe he remembers the same way as I do. I know his birthday because he shares it with a former bartender that would let everyone know when was her birthday.


It wasn't the shortest line but it had the best view.


He joined me at the bar and after a couple beers, I tried to get him to do a shot of Patron but he wouldn't go for it but he did offer to buy me and the person I was talking with one. I protested that it wasn't fair for him to buy me a shot if he wasn't going to do one too but he didn't care and ordered two shots from the bartender.

I told the bartender not to take his money but she said "So, you're telling me he can't buy you a shot?" and she wasn't really asking for a clarification but more than less telling to shut the fuck up and let my friend buy me a shot.

So I shut up and drank.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

This post was composed on my studio

I sat down to work on that invite but I started reading blogs instead.

What I do best is not something that I do very much – is what I thought while I was still looking at Angelina’s page. She had just launched a site and was proud like a mother.

I thought “I’ve launched a couple sites but I’m only proud of a portion of one.” You see, design isn’t something I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s just that I sort of fell into it. My level of skill falls in the pretty good most of the time. Pretty good doesn’t satisfy me.

Sometimes I get it right, though.

I then thought about what is it that I’m best at, what is it that I like doing most. I didn’t have one answer. My tastes and skills have changed over the years.

I’m best at helping others succeed; when the victories are solely mine, I tend to lose heart.

There were five of us there going over what should be on the invite: the owner, her cousin, his daughter, her cousin and me. The niece of the owner’s cousin was doing a mock layout of what she wanted for the invite (it was for her mother’s birthday); Lisa was using one of those invite making programs that you might get free with the purchase of a printer.

After she was finished, I was exporting it when someone wanted to add the day of the week in front of the date; so, even though I never had used that program before I double clicked on the date and typed in “Friday” followed by a comma and a space.

Later, Lisa asked if I could remove the comma. I was going over the sentence I wanted to say that would kindly let her know that the comma should be there but if she truly wanted it removed that I would do it when the owner said “A comma’s supposed to be there.” Lisa questioned it and the owner replied “He’s pretty much flawless with punctuation.” I thought “Oh yeah. You should see my blog.”

I mostly use punctuation for timing purposes.

The owner also said that I had a studio. I said “It’s more like a laptop than a studio.”


I noticed a new link for an old familiar before I left Angelina's


This post was composed on my studio.