Saturday Linkages: Gourds, Cats and Cider Bread

The Mukombe. Image: Afrigadget. The Mukombe–a hand washing station made out of a gourd:  http://www.afrigadget.com/2014/04/06/the-mukombe/ … Farine: Mike Zakowski making cider bread http://www.farine-mc.com/2014/04/mike-zakowski-making-cider-bread-video.html?spref=tw … 6 Methods for Harvesting Rainwater – Homesteading and Livestock – MOTHER EARTH NEWS http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/6-methods-of-harves...

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Make a Sourdough Starter

...form. Don’t be concerned, this is natural and simply stir it in every morning when you add the additional flour and water. 5. After one to two weeks, you should have an active culture of wild yeasts that will make your bread rise. You can now throw out those annoying packages of commercial yeast and bake bread the way ancient folks did for thousands of years. Just remember to feed your starter every day. We use the Torah’s mitzvah wh...

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Want to Make Bread? Get a Scale

Liquid measuring cup on left, dry on right. Get a scale for baking. The current issue of Cooks Illustrated Magazine has an interesting test of the accuracy of liquid versus dry measuring cups. When measuring flour, the dry measuring cup was up to 13% off when compared to a scale. The liquid measuring cup was even worse–26% off.  When baking bread, even 13% could be the difference between a decent loaf and a hockey puck. Surprising...

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Saturday Linkages: Broody Hens, Killer Gardens and Salt-Rising Bread

...eetsblog.org/2014/05/28/while-the-economy-grows-americans-continue-to-drive-less/#.U4fYr_rOBGc.twitter … Killer GARDENS | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2014/05/killer-gardens.html … The Disquieting Delights Of Salt-Rising Bread http://po.st/RRay7W Ruins on New York’s abandoned island reclaimed by nature http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27509955 … For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter: Follow @rootsimple...

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Bread and Transformation

I’ve not tried Reinhart’s baking method (even though I once had one of his books out of the library), but I like this 2008 Ted talk on the alchemical symbolism of bread. If you’re either a baking or brewing geek like me it’s worth a view. The baking method I’ve used for over a decade is from Nancy Silverton’s book Breads from the La Brea Bakery. You use a sourdough starter and at least half the flour must b...

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001-Transplants vs. Seedlings, Josey Baker Bread, Gluten Intolerance and Rats in the Compost

...nswer some long overdue reader questions. When we get more comfortable with podcasting we’ll start having guests. In this episode of the Root Simple podcast we discuss transplants vs. direct sowing, the book Josey Baker Bread, gluten intolerance and answer a listener question about rats. Let us know what you think and what you’d like us to cover. If you want to leave a question you can call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to rootsimpl...

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99¢ Store Proofing Basket

For years I’ve used a special wooden basket called a banneton to proof my round loaves of bread in. I’m teaching a bread baking class this weekend and needed a bunch of proofing baskets for the class. Bannetons are nice but expensive so I decided to try using a canvas lined proofing basket as a more economical alternative. I got some metal bowls from my local 99¢ store. Wicker baskets or a plastic colander would also have worked,...

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A Recipe for Injera

One the many searches that leads folks to this cranky web site is the topic of the Ethiopian sponge bread known as injera. We think we know what’s going on. People go out to dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant and come home wondering how to make the bread, leading to a fruitless search of the internets for a recipe and our old post about one of the ingredients, teff flour. The recipe we used comes from the excellent book Wild Fermentation b...

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Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Recipe

UPDATE : we have a whole (so to speak) new take on making a starter. See our sourdough starter video for a better way to do this. Back in March we showed how to make a sourdough starter with white flour. This month we converted a white starter over to whole wheat and have baked many successful loaves of bread with it. The reason that we have to do this conversion rather than starting out with whole wheat flour is that whole wheat tends to get m...

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