Note to Self:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#379, 380 & 381)...plus a couple comments and a recipe


#379 (top photo)...two cardboard boxes containing hundreds of tea sandwiches, which were being transported to a local food pantry.

#380 (middle photo)...a plastic dough rising bucket and a cardboard box containing three large loaves of freshly baked whole-wheat honey-brown rice bread.

#381 (bottom photo)...a Fender Stratocaster guitar.

These photos were all taken today, and they are just another example of how a person can survive (and thrive!) without owning a car. Yesterday, for example, I served a large Victorian Tea Luncheon at work and found myself with a huge amount of sandwiches left over today. After offering them to the staff I boxed them up and carried them over to a food pantry. In the next photo I was on my way home from work...I carried raw dough with me to work (as I often do) and baked it there (as not to heat up my home kitchen) and carried it (the baked bread) home in the afternoon. And tonight--being Thursday--is my son's guitar lesson, so I meet him with his guitar (after switching bikes to accommodate the guitar), have a beer or two in the bar across the street, then carry it home for him afterwards. All-in-all, I likely pedaled less than ten miles, but it didn't cost a cent, I burned calories not gas, and I was able to be outside on a beautiful day/evening. Anyhow, here's a recipe for the bread I made and carried home today; for pictures of it being made see this posting. At the bottom of this post is a picture of one of the hundreds (literally hundreds) of tea sandwiches I carried to the pantry; the one pictured is smoked salmon on marble rye with boursin cheese.

Whole Wheat Brown Rice Bread
Makes 3 loaves
1 cup (6.6oz/187g) brown rice
3 quarts (96floz/2.83L) water
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cooked rice
2/3 cup (5.3 oz/157ml) cooking liquid
2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (.2oz/5.6g) instant yeast
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4 cups (21oz/595.3g) whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons (.75oz/21g) vital wheat gluten
2 cups (16fl oz/.47L) cooking liquid
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1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) honey
1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) olive oil
3 teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) instant yeast
3 teaspoons (.5oz/14.1g) kosher salt
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Combine the grain and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil; lower the heat to simmer and cook the rice for about 45 minutes or until very soft. As the grain cooks add more water to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which is full of nutrients, will become part of the recipe. After the grains are cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature, refrigerating if necessary. Then drain it, squeezing it with your hands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.
Place two bowls side-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. In one bowl combine the cooked and drained 7-grains with 2/3 cup (5.3 oz/157ml) of the cooking liquid, 2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons (.5oz/14g) vital wheat gluten, and 2 teaspoons (.2oz/5.6g) instant yeast. Stir just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4 cups (21oz/595.3g) whole wheat flour and 1 1/3 cups (10.5fl oz/315ml) cooking liquid; stir just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take care not to get yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at room temperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment will begin it's job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten. After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3 teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl). Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains. Preheat an oven to 450f (232.2C). Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
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Urban Simplicity.

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