Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If two wrongs don't make a right, try three

I was always good at readin’ and writin’ . . . but ‘rithmetic escaped me on so many different levels.  I get the basics . . . I’m not a mathematical moron . . . but the more advance stuff, well, I just don’t get it.

When I was a kid, when I was in school I actually had to use my head, paper and a pencil.   Pocket calculators were available but they were expensive, bulky and impractical to your every day kid on the bus.

It's true that as I grew into junior-highness smaller solar calculators were all the rage.  But, I didn't have one.  No money = no calculator.

My point is that I, with my mathematically challenged brain, had to learn math the hard way.  Retention?  Well, that's something else, entirely.  

Those of us . . . not me . . . with the means to afford such a spiffy device weren’t allowed to use them in class anyway.  Teacher said that it was unrealistic to expect to have a calculator always in hand and so it was best that you not use it as a crutch.

Yeah?  Well, what did she know?  Huh?  HUH??  

Ring! Ring! You wanna answer that, teach??

I got’s my calc right here, baby.   That’s right!

Just sayin'.

Sourdough Starter

Make the starter two or three days ahead of making the bread.

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Warm Water (110 Degrees F)
1 (.25 Ounce) Package Active Dry Yeast

Mix together flour, warm water, and yeast in a large glass bowl. Let stand uncovered in a warm place over night or up to 48 hours. The longer the mixture stands, the stronger the ferment will be.

After fermenting, the starter is ready to use or to store covered in the refrigerator. Feed once or twice a week with 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup sugar; allow the starter to rest at room temperature for several hours after feeding.

Sourdough Bread

4 3/4 Cups Bread Flour
3 Tablespoons White Sugar
2 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1 (.25 Ounce) Package Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Milk
2 Tablespoons Margarine, Softened
1 1/2 Cups Sourdough Starter
1 Extra Large Egg
1 Tablespoon Water

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast. Add milk and softened butter or margarine. Stir in starter. Mix in up to 3 3/4 cups flour gradually; you may need more depending on your climate.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to oil surface, and cover. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.

Punch down, and let rest 15 minutes. Shape into loaves. Place on a greased baking pan.

Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.

Brush egg wash over tops of loaves.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or till done.

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