Dave Bread

Required Supplies:

  • 1 digital scale
  • 1 bench knife
  • 1 hobby knife or razor blade for scoring
  • 1 cast iron dutch oven, the bigger the better
  • 1 wood work surface (I use a 55x90cm piece of pine from the hardware store and put it up on the counter when I need it)
  • 1 large mixing bowl (I use Ikea stainless salad bowls)
  • 2 rising bowls (I use cheap 9″ hemispherical bowls from Daiso)
  • 2 towels (Ikea dish towels work great)
  • 2 round baskets for cooling (Daiso)
  • an oven, obviously  😉

Levain (dough time – ~8h – I usually do this 10pm):

In small bowl, combine:

  • 20g starter
  • 125g water (room temp)
  • 125g 50/50 white/whole wheat flour mix

Cover, let sit room temp 8-10 hours until bubbly.

Dough (bake time – 6h):

In a large bowl, combine:

  • 865g bread flour
  • 35g whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast

In a separate bowl combine:

  • 625g water (about 85F)
  • all the levain (or save a tsp for new starter)

Mix well until no dry flour remains, cover and let sit for ~30min.

After 30min, add 20g salt, a splash of water, and mix well, by hand. (I wear a disposable glove to do this.)  Squish every lump of unmixed dough and work the whole thing until it’s all the same consistency and starting to feel stretchy and soft.  Alternatively do all this in a stand mixer.

Let sit in warm spot, fold every 30min for 2 hours, then another 1.5 hours rising until it’s expanded by 50% or so.  The temperature makes a huge difference here, you want the spot to be a little warmer than standard room temperature if possible, but probably not up to 90F or it’ll expand too quickly.

Divide in half, form boules by folding and shaping.
Flip into bowls lined with towels and dusted with rice flour.  Make sure to use enough rice flour or the towels will stick and ruin the loaves when you try to pull them off.
Put into fridge and let proof for another hour while you preheat the oven.

Preheat oven with dutch oven inside at 240C.
Flip dough onto parchment paper circle and score with razor blade, transfer into hot dutch oven and cover.
Bbake at 220C for 30m.
Remove cover, continue baking 220C for 25-30m.
Cool standing on end in round basket.

Wah Pedal Hackery

My Line 6 Toneport UX8 has an input for an expression pedal; I ordered an el-cheapo volume pedal (Behringer) online only to find it didn’t really work.  Looks like the Line 6 box is expecting to be hooked to the ends of a 10K potentiometer, not to take a voltage input and compare it to a reference.  (which IMO would have been a better scheme)  Luckily I had an old Crybaby that hadn’t worked in years.  I got a new pot for it, gutted the internals, and wired the pot to the output jack and the switch terminals to the input (for use as a footswitch controller).  The only really tricky bit was that the pot mounting shaft wasn’t long enough and I stripped out the threads on the mounting nut.  If racing motorcycles has taught me anything, it’s that any mechanical problem can be solved with a proper application of zipties.

Presto!  After setting up the driver inputs, I can now control the virtual wah inside the Line 6 guitar amp module in Record (and record its values), and the on-off switch even works like it did back when it was analog.  Rock on!

Green Curry

Don’t know why I forgot to take a picture, but I made a pretty successful Thai green curry chicken tonight. Curry paste from scratch as follows:

in mortar/pestle:
1 tsp white peppercorns
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt

in cuisinart:
3 Tbsp chopped lemongrass
2 Tbsp garlic
5 Tbsp shallots
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 Tbsp finely chopped kaffir lime leaf
2-3 thai chilli peppers
3 Tbsp ginger
big handful fresh basil (with stems)
2 big handfuls fresh cilantro (with stems)
a little peanut oil to bind it together

The rest is easy, just cook the meat in the paste a bit and add coconut milk and veggies, serve over rice. I cheated a bit and added some sugar and lime juice as well. This one came out really fragrant and mild. Bummer I forgot to snap a pic, the color was really nice.