Author Archives: ejm

About ejm

I am a freelance musician in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. What I really love is good food, books, movies, gardening (even though I have a black thumb) and bicycle travel. My foodblog is at http://etherwork.net/blog/- adventures in food and drink, recipes, disasters, triumphs....

Bread for Cousins’ Day

summary: in praise non-sour sourdough wild bread; planning ahead; working with Jane Mason levain; what to do with all that extra starter; it’s Sourdough September

Apparently, it’s Sourdough September in the UK. I learned about it from BREAD Magazine’s “Dough Wizards” newsletter.

But for us, I think that we will be still be celebrating Sourdough in October, November, December, January, February, etc. etc.

Of course, we do NOT call our bread Sourdough. Because it isn’t at all sour. We’re so thrilled about the bread that we want everyone to be able to taste it.

We cannot get over just how wonderful our wild bread is, ever since we embraced using Jane Mason’s starter and Chad Robertson’s mixing/kneading/shaping/baking method.

Tartine Bread

Last week, one of my sisters who lives on the west coast visited. We took the opportunity to invite ourselves to spend the weekend at our cousin’s house in Vineland. Everyone from our family who was in the vicinity descended on my cousin and cousin-in-law. (continue reading )

Almost-wild Very (very) Light Rye (BBB September 2017)

go directly to the recipe

Bread Baking Babes September 2017summary: BBB Swiss Rye Ring (and boule) based on a recipe by Stanley Ginsberg; trying to use wild yeast instead of commercial yeast; creating a rye starter using Jane Mason’s method; creating scary rye alcohol in solid brick-like form; ears! we see ears; a Bread Baking Babes project;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) September 2017: Swiss Rye Ring

BBB Swiss Rye Ring What?!!!! They want me to make a rye starter now??? :stomp:

At least that’s what Stanley Ginsberg’s (The Rye Baker) recipe says. He based the recipe on a recipe at Bernd’s Bakery:

Eine kleine Schwierigkeit stellt hier der Zeitpunkt der Stückgare dar – es sollte nur eine kurze Gare durchgeführt werden um noch ausreichend Ofentrieb zu haben. Da ich aber wilde Hefe aus Hefewasser verwende, galt es hier die Zeit abweichend zu ermitteln. Ich bin noch nicht ganz zufrieden – es hätte noch 10 Minuten haben können. Das Brot ist köstlich und dringend zum Nachbacken empfohlen. Es sieht gut aus, hat eine feine und sehr lockere Krume und eignet sich durch seinen kleinen Querschnitt hervorragen für kleine Häppchen – bevorzugt mit Alpkäse und Trockenfleisch. A small difficulty here is the right timing for the final proof – it should only be a short final proof to have sufficient oven spring. But since I’m using wild yeast made from yeast water, i had to find out the correct timing. I’m still not quite satisfied – it could have been 10 minutes more. The bread is delicious and highly recommended for baking. It looks good, has a very fine and fluffy crumb and is due to its small cross section for excellent appetizers – preferably with Swiss mountain cheese and dried meat.
 
– Bernd, Bernd’s Bakery
You’re the director of your sourdough, with the starter + flour ‘actors of sorts’, ingredients you can guide but never entirely predict.
 
– Dan Lepard, Twitter, 20 July 2017

Okay. Let’s say that Dan Lepard is right!! I am the director. :-)

And Jane Mason does say that it takes just 5 days to create a starter. So. Armed with Jane Mason’s charts, I got out the rye flour and forged ahead. (continue reading )

Who says we don’t have enough sun?

sunflower summary: our mostly shady garden; branching out into the sunny lane; Swiss chard, garlic, sunflowers; “Orange Appeal” blurb;

It may be raining now but yesterday morning, we took our bikes out into the cool air in brilliant sunshine. I do love this time of year (and try not to think about the icy slogging that is coming all too soon).

'Music' Garlic One of the thrills this year is our garden bounty. We have very little sun because of large trees in the front and back yards. Don’t get me wrong. We’re happy about the shade in the summer. I throw caution to the wind and plant garlic and all kinds of herbs in part shade anyway.

Look at our garlic harvest this year!! (The garlic gets about 3 hours of sun….) (continue reading )

Chilis!! Get yer red hot chilis here!

summary: great neighbours; peach salsa; excerpt from ‘Kitchens of the Great Midwest’ by J. Ryan Stradal; chili syrup for ice cream; hot red chilis!

Red Hot Chillis The chilis are always redder and hotter on the other side of the fence. Aren’t they?

In our case, it’s true. Late in the spring, I transplanted several different chili plants in pots in our primarily shady garden: ghost, Thai green, cayenne. I know. Chilis neeeeeeeed sun.

Happily, there IS sun two doors over. Even more happily, the peppers that our neighbour planted are prolific and far hotter than he had planned. He has invited us to help ourselves.

So, the other day, we took about 8 bright red chilis. And tried one.

Oh my!! Just cutting into one of them sent out hot hot hot hot fumes. I’m tearing, just thinking about it. But we tasted the chili anyway.

It {gasp} was {gasp} real{gasp}ly {gasp} hot!

But just behind the heat was the most lovely citrus flavour. We can’t believe our luck!

chili syrup We thought about things we should try with J’s insanely hot chilis…. Suddenly we remembered the Red Chili Syrup we had made eons ago.

How could we have forgotten?! It was fabulous.

(continue reading )

Jamie’s Orange Ice – Garnished with Fresh Mint

summary: delicious orange ice, based on Jamie Schler’s recipe for Orange Mint Granità in her lovely just published cookbook “Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet” that is now available for purchase;

Orange Granita There really is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than having a little bowl of sorbet, is there?

One of my favorite snacks when I was a kid was frozen fruit juice […] [I would hack] away at the frozen treat with the spoon and scooping up chunks and flakes, letting them melt on my tongue, icy cold and orangey.
 
– Jamie Schler, “Orange Mint Granita”, Orange Appeal, p196

We love Jamie’s granita! What a revelation. It’s so very refreshing. It was so wonderful that after the first time we made it, we went out immediately to get some peaches to try it with peaches instead of oranges (simply because peaches were in season at the time). Then we made it with blackberries donated to us by our brilliant neighbours. And after they tasted the ice, they brought over more blackberries so they could have more of Jamie’s blackberry ice.

As much as we love the ice with other fruits, it’s particularly delicious made with oranges. We will definitely want to make it Jamie’s original way with oranges many many times. (continue reading )