Saturday, March 16, 2013

Camp Oven Issues Solved

With a couple of changes the Coleman Camp Oven is now working perfectly. I added a pizza baking stone and used the right side burner on the coleman gas stove which is much easier to adjust. In this video I baked bread and muffins and they both turned out very well.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Saint Patrick's Day Green/Basil No-Knead Bread Metric Measure

The New York Times No-Knead Bread

In addition to the regular ingredients listed below I added one third cup of fresh Basil finely chopped with 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil. One third cup of Pesto would work as well. It smells and tastes wonderful and was great with olive oil to dip it in.

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour,(I use 450g) more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, (I use 380g)and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees F.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees F. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

I have enjoyed all of the loves that I have made using this method but I have had a problem with consistency so I have been working on a using weights for the flour and water instead of volume measures. After several tries I've settled on 450g of Flour and 375g of water. I'm also finding that I get a much better loaf using unbleached flour.

Link to NYT YouTube video:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BBC Wartime Farm Ep.1/8

Wartime Farm

History, War Documentary hosted by Ruth Goodman and Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn, published by BBC in 2012 - English narration


Wartime Farm
Historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn face up to the challenges of the biggest revolution ever seen in the history of the British countryside as they turn Manor Farm back to how it was run in the Second World War. When Britain entered the war, two-thirds of all Britain's food was imported - and now it was under threat from a Nazi blockade. To save Britain from starvation, the nation's farmers were tasked with doubling food production in what Churchill called 'the frontline of freedom'. This meant ploughing up 6.5 million acres of unused land - a combined area bigger than the whole of Wales.

1) Part 1 
In this first episode, the farmers find themselves in a new location, a new time period and with a new team member. There is a new farmhouse to modernise, strict new rules to abide by and air raid precautions to contend with. The team begin by reclaiming badlands to grow new crops. Peter works with a blacksmith to design a special 'mole plough' to help drain the waterlogged clay fields. Ruth and Alex get to grips with a troublesome wartime tractor - and must plough through the night to get the wheat crop sown in time. On top of farmers' herculean efforts to double food production, their detailed knowledge of the landscape also made them ideal recruits for one of the war's most secret organisations - the 'Auxiliary Units', a British resistance force trained to use guerrilla tactics against German invasion.

Hydroponic Harvest

Harvesting, cooking and eating some of the hydroponic greens and a look at the seedlings in the light garden.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

sap collecting

Back in the Hoop House

At last the door to the hoop house thawed out and I'm inside looking around at how things came through the winter and doing some of the early season chores. Both of my fig trees survived but the one that I didn't cover is in much better condition so next year I will just leave them alone to do their thing. The grape vines are in great shape and starting to break bud. I moved the wires that they have been climbing back a few feet so they will be growing flat up against the back wall this year, fingers crossed for some grapes and figs this summer.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Coleman Camp Stove

Hooking up my Gas Colman Camp Stove. I decided to use a 20 pound propane tank rather than the little disposable ones. This way the tank itself can be outside of the cabin which I think is much safer. I was amazed at how much heat it produces,it boiled water in no time. I also used my Colman oven to bake some muffins.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March in like a Lion

March first and another snow storm. Short update on the hydroponics and aerogarden which have both put on considerable growth, and a look at the seedlings that I have started for this summers garden.