Guide to My Bread Posts

A number of people have expressed interest recently in my experience making bread. I’m happy to talk about it, but I also refer them to my posts here. There are enough of those posts now that I wind up rewriting the same little email about how to get started. Rather than writing the same email over and over, here is a slightly more polished version. [Added 30 July 2018: I have often said that baking bread is what has helped me survive the current political scene; here is a fleshed-out version of that thought, suggesting that it can also help you survive the on-line world that we are consumed by.] Continue reading “Guide to My Bread Posts”

Making Bread with Natural Leavening (Sourdough Starter) Needn’t Be Complex or Time-Consuming

OK, let’s get a few things out of the way.  I don’t really like to call bread made with natural leavening “sourdough” because a lot of people immediately turn off, saying, “I don’t like sourdough bread.”  Naturally leavened bread doesn’t necessarily taste sour. The phrase “naturally leavened” is a little leaden and pedantic, so I instead favor the French word “levain,” which sounds pretentious and, uh, pedantic. Oh well, “You pays your money and you takes your choice,” as they say.  “Starter” works pretty well when it’s not ambiguous.

Here are the top six reasons why I bake bread using natural leavening, in rough order of importance:

1. It tastes better.

2. It tastes better.

3. It tastes better.

4. It stays fresh longer.

5. It is healthier (lower glycemic index).

It seems amazing and delightful to me that the only store-bought ingredients in my bread are flour and salt. The water comes from the tap and the yeast comes from the starter, and ever-renewable resource.

Continue reading “Making Bread with Natural Leavening (Sourdough Starter) Needn’t Be Complex or Time-Consuming”

Making Really Good Bread is Really Easy!

OK,  I have been meaning to do this post for almost a year now. In April 2016, I organized a workshop, and had dinner with four out-of-town colleagues afterwards. They asked if I was happy with how it went; I said that I was very happy with the workshop, but I mentioned that I was also happy because the previous week I had finally managed to make a loaf of bread that I was truly pleased with. All four were quite interested, and I thought I should put together a post about it.

I decided to do a demonstration using only equipment that most people have in their kitchens. So  I made some videos, but I got distracted and then let it sit until now. Continue reading “Making Really Good Bread is Really Easy!”

Mavericks Upgrade: Go For It

Added later: this is of purely historical interest, if that.  I added a category “outdated,” but maybe “obsolete” would be more accurate…

I tend to be a late adopter of operating systems.  I went from Windows 95 to XP to 7, skipping Vista, Me, and a number of other dogs whose names I can’t even remember.  I would still be running XP except that when my son switched from Linux to Windows 7 I sat up and took notice. Continue reading “Mavericks Upgrade: Go For It”

Weird problem with PowerBook G4

So my stepson Walker has a PowerBook G4 that he got from his dad, which stopped booting up.  It would get maybe a third of the way through the progress bar labeled something like “Mac OS X” and then it would go to a blue screen (light blue, not BSOD-colored) and hang.

My son Ben discovered that you could boot in single-user mode (holding down apple-S while booting) and repair the disk with “fsck -fy” (perhaps several times), and then rebooting would work.  In fact, rebooting turned out to be fine in general, the problem only happened when you powered the thing down. Continue reading “Weird problem with PowerBook G4”

Palm OS to Google/Android, Part 1: What Worked (4.1)

OK, so Thursday I got my spiffy new T-Mobile “myTouch” (I’m going to call this my G2 from now on, to keep from gagging). It looks pretty cool, but of course it’s no good to me without my calendars and contacts, which are on my old Treo 650. For my calendars and contacts, I’ve used a program call Agendus from Iambic Software for a long time (I think it was called “Action Names” when I first started using it, and since then it’s gotten upto Agendus 13, so we’re talking a good stretch of time in dog years). Continue reading “Palm OS to Google/Android, Part 1: What Worked (4.1)”