Saturday, April 21, 2007

Rainy Day Stuff

It's probably hard to tell in a photo this size but the shot was taken through a rain-splattered window and the branches of the trees are tossing in the wind as though they think they're at the disco. All those gorgeous blossoms just came on this last week and now, thanks to this silly April stormlet that came pouncing in this morning, it's beginning to look like pink snow down there. Dayum.

I'm happy to report this particular storm is not irrigating the innards of my humble dwelling, thanks to the heroic efforts of my landlord earlier this month. Billy spent several days slaving on the roof with assorted tools and supplies and, by golly, I think he managed to seal almost all the leaks. What a blessed relief!

There's been such a lot going on this month that I just haven't been keeping up with y'all. I will try to get all caught up now but I'll spread it out over the rest of the month, okay? Can't use up all the "stuff" in one swell foop. What fun is there in that?

One thing about which I need to alert you: the yeast content of the pan de agua recipe in the April 1st post. I said 3 Tablespoons yeast. The original recipe actually called for 2 1/2 packages of yeast. Okay, a package is 2 1/4 teaspoons and, since 3 teaspoons equals a tablespoon, I always just round it off and think of 1 tablespoon as being the same as a package. For all practical purposes, that works fine.

Where I messed up was in converting the "2 1/2 packs" to tablespoons. It really should only have read 2 tablespoons (rounded off on the generous side) but I was thinking of the 3 teaspoons and the proverbial doo-doo eventuated. Fortunately, that over-abundant measurement did not hurt the bread. On the other hand, that much yeast can put a hurt on your pocket book. I got to looking at that measurement and thought, whoa! Why so much?

Well, I did some experimenting. A loaf using 2 tablespoons came out, as far as I could see, identical to the previous loaves using 3. Okay. Fine. My last loaf, baked just yesterday, used only 1 tablespoon of yeast and, I swear, I think it was the prettiest, biggest loaf yet! So, for what it's worth, I made an editorial correction in the April 1st post and if any of you have already copied off that recipe, you might want to make the correction on your own copy.

To make up for my spendy blunder, let me give you a heads-up for what looks like a truly great baking site I just found. This link takes you to the Bread Baking Center of a place called The Prepared Pantry. I'm still wandering around the site, trying to take it all in. Not only can you order supplies and equipment there, should you choose, you can help yourself to several free and most excellent e-books on assorted baking subjects. Explanations, photos, recipes ... I've made the first download of their Free Baking Book (it comes in at a chapter a week) and I am IMPRESSED.

See? There are lots of neat things to do while it's raining!


John Bailey said...

I have a feeling I may be making a return to baking sometime in the not too distant future, Dee, so keep on keeping on if you please, ma'am! :-)

Mage said...

Ah, how nice to see you yeasting and all. So glad your abode is dryer now, but I hope spring will return and the blossons stick to the branches soon. Me. I'm scribbling in my blog just so I don't forget my days. That's as good as I can manage now that baseball is upon us. Take care with the breads or you will look like me......

bb said...

It was so nice looking at Annie's trees. I wish I could be there to walk about. I keep wondering about the school and what impact on the garden they have had.

How's Ralph?

Dee said...

John -- stick with me, kid. I'll have you inhaling homemade yeasty goodness before you know it.

Mage -- I identify with keeping track of time. Where you get your energy, what with being Duck's angel *and* dealing with the Boys of Summer, I'll never know. But more power to you, my friend.

Bonnie, the school hasn't done a thing to the garden at Annie's. They fenced off the section where she always displayed pots of plants for sale so the kids don't have access to the planted areas. And Ralph sends you a hearty Mrrrrowww.

Lou said...

Thanks for thank link Dee, I was having a spot of trouble with my first attenpt at a hand made (rather than bread machined) yeasty brown the other week and they have a neat little 'mixing for dummies' article there that's sorted me out :D