Saturday Linkages: Incas, Big Rocks and Cool Cucumbers

building-a-crystal-clear-whiteboard

Engineering professor Michael Peshkin and his clear whiteboard.

Growin’ things
Wildflower project takes root in Echo Park http://feedly.com/e/pugEWv4Z 

Lost Crops of the Incas http://feedly.com/e/9GygG_Yc 

Reading: Urban Oasis on a Balcony: From Concrete Furnace to Edible Habitat… http://bit.ly/HSeQ6B 

Look at My Big Rock by Evelyn Hadden http://feedly.com/e/0gB_TOO6 

The coolest cucumber you’ve never met: http://modernfarmer.com/2013/11/coolest-cucumber-never-met/ …

Food issues
Americans – why do you keep refrigerating your eggs? http://io9.com/americans-why-do-you-keep-refrigerating-your-eggs-1465309529 …

35 sickened; how did E. coli O121 get into Farm Rich Brand Frozen pizza? Flour http://barfblog.com/2013/11/35-sickened-how-did-e-coli-o121-get-into-farm-rich-brand-frozen-pizza-flour/ …

Cool Designs
Building a Crystal Clear Whiteboard http://feedly.com/e/54gF3j19 

Lock Pick Earrings by GiantEye http://etsy.me/1aASFNh 

Micro-community of tiny homes flourishes on rehabilitated vacant lot http://feedly.com/e/V62jTC8v 

Simple And Delightful Tiny Homes On The Back Of Small Pick-Up Trucks… http://feedly.com/e/EIHJkA8Y

Odd ideas
Betrayers’ Banquet: gourmet dining vs the Prisoner’s Dilemma – Boing Boing http://boingboing.net/2013/11/21/betrayers-banquet-gourmet-d.html …

Complete meal cooking with a hotel coffee-maker: http://boingboing.net/2013/11/18/complete-meal-cooking-with-a-h.html …

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Craig Ponsford Bakes Whole Wheat Ciabatta

Via Community Grains a mini-class by whole wheat baker Craig Ponsford. In this video you’ll see him make a whole wheat ciabatta. Some tips to point out:

  • Ponsford doesn’t knead. Even though you’ll see him use a spiral mixer in this video, he’s incorporating the ingredients with water not kneading them. Developing the flour takes place not through kneading, but instead due to a long fermentation, a wet dough and the folding you’ll see him demonstrate. And you don’t need a spiral mixer. You can incorporate ingredients by hand or with a stand mixer. Just don’t knead!
  • Baking requires a scale. Ponsford is very insistent about this and with good reason. As he puts it, when he hears about someone’s bread disaster, 99% of the time it’s because they did not use a scale.
  • Rather than dust flour on work surfaces in order to handle dough you’ll see Ponsford use water instead. He also wets containers that he puts dough into. It’s a lot neater and less flour gets incorporated in the dough. Whole wheat doughs need to be wet. When he does use flour, as in the end of the video he’s using it strategically–in order to keep the loaf from getting to dark in the oven.

Baking bread is actually fairly simple as long as you realize that the devil is in the details. Use a scale and study how Ponsford handles the dough and you’ll get good results. And please marvel at the open crumb structure that Ponsford achieves with 100% whole wheat.

The recipe for this dough can be found here – a whole wheat pizza dough recipe is here.

Can Whole Wheat Solve the Wheat Allergy Problem?

I’m still recovering from the factoid barrage that is a baking class with Craig Ponsford. It felt like my brain had been tossed into the spiral mixer along with the hazelnut bread, danishes, English muffins, chocolate croissants, challah and pretzels doughs he showed us how to make in one action packed day. In between mixing and shaping Ponsford told us his theories about the wheat allergies that everyone seems to have.

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Cheese Powder and Torpedo Bikes

Cheese powder anyone?

Cheese powder anyone?

Cheese powder: What is it?: http://boingboing.net/2013/11/14/cheese-powder-what-is-it.html …

Heat Your Clothes, Not Your House http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2013/11/heat-your-clothes-not-your-house.html …

Heat Your Desk, Not Your Office http://www.notechmagazine.com/2013/11/heat-your-desk-not-your-office.html …

Bog Butter: Storing Food in Soil http://www.notechmagazine.com/2013/11/bog-butter-storing-food-in-soil.html …

Appeal to American Children to Encourage Monsanto to Safeguard Monarch Butterflies: http://garynabhan.com/i/archives/2354 

17 Better Ways to Waste Your Money Than On This Crowdfunded “Flying Car” http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/17-better-ways-to-waste-your-money-than-this-crowdfunde-1458308873 …

Berlin workshop on “Unpleasant Design”: urban design that bullies it users: http://boingboing.net/2013/11/11/berlin-workshop-tomorrow-on.html …

It’s Time to Rethink America’s Corn System http://ensia.com/voices/its-time-to-rethink-americas-corn-system/ …

Cheese powder: What is it?: http://boingboing.net/2013/11/14/cheese-powder-what-is-it.html …

My Vintage Apron Collection http://hencam.com/thevintagehen/2013/11/my-vintage-apron-collection/ …

1913 : Torpedo Bike http://www.retronaut.com/2013/11/torpedo-bike/ …

For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter: