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Ok so we are bad bloggers but any of you who have spoken to me know that this job is driving me into the ground. So go bug Patrick to blog!
In the meantime wander over to the Fowlkes site to see how we set the bar pretty high for the Awesome Uncle and Aunt Award:
Fowlkes Family Blog
Our kitchen is almost finished (again)! Kirstin and I put our old stove out to pasture in favor of this stainless steel beauty. The first thing we did was test all of the new features: grilled cheese sandwiches under the broiler, jet engine hot stir fry over the “power burner”, clarified butter on the “simmer burner”, bbq chicken breasts on a griddle over the “oblong center burner”, and scallion pancakes (2 at a time) over the two not-special burners. Well its time to test the oven! Here’s a whole wheat bread I’ve been playing with. Who knew coffee and beer could be so nourishing?
The motley cast of characters: bread flour, beer (darker the better), coffee (same), instant yeast, wheat germ (for garnish[?]), whole wheat flour, kosher salt. It’s early morning, so first thing’s first!
Brew some coffee! Pour 8oz (hot!) off into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix the rest with half n’ half and a bowl of sugar (if you like it regla’) and drink.
To that same bowl add 8oz of cold(!) beer (you may notice a Pennsylvania theme arising in the first two ingredients). You will be left with 4oz of beer. Do not drink this. (It’s 930am, remember?)
The idea here is to temper the piping hot coffee with the cold beer and have the resulting mixture be just warm enough to dissolve the yeast (105-115 degrees if you’re picky).
Once the yeast has proven to you that it will bubble and foam, pile on 13.25 oz (always weigh!) of wheat flour.
Mix this mess into a paste. This is the “sponge starter”. Leave it be for 30 minutes.
This is what happens during those 30 minutes. It looks like the paste has simply risen but inside it has a spongy texture not unlike whipped egg whites.
Add the rest of the dry, 14.75 oz of bread flour and a teaspoon of the salt. Knead into a dough. Let rise until doubled. Fold down. Let rise until doubled. Fold down. After the second rise and fold, rest the dough for a few minutes before shaping into the loaf of your choice (I was feeling rustic and round). Sprinkle with wheat germ (or oats, anything decorative and earthy will do).
Let it rise one last time before slashing the top a few times and baking @ 400F for 20-30 minutes.
And you thought this post was going to be about a stove. Well the last thing we need to complete the kitchen is a stainless steel refrigerator, which will not yield nearly as interesting photos.
Let the loaf cool, slice to desired thickness, cover with desired cheese, and slide into the broiler of your sexy new Kenmore!