Archive for the 'memes' Category

How to Use a Flipping Board: Video

The folds of a couche (a piece of stiff linen) are ideal for cradling and supporting proofing baguettes and batards. But how do you transfer the proofed loaves onto a peel so you can get them into the oven?

Flipping board to the rescue. A flipping board is nothing more than a narrow piece of wood onto which the loaf is gently rolled off the couche, and from which the loaf is then either rolled or slid onto the peel.

In the video below, I use a 27 x 4-inch board to transfer baguettes onto a piece of parchment on my plywood board “peel.” (I will slide the parchment, loaded with three baguettes, onto the baking stone in the oven.)

These baguettes have been proofing seam-side-down in the couche, and I want them to wind up seam-side-down on the parchment. To do this, I lift the edge of the couche to roll the baguette onto the flipping board, so it’s now seam-side-up. Then I roll the baguette off the edge of the flipping board onto the parchment, so it’s seam-side-down again.

(If you can’t see the video here, view it on YouTube.)

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My Golden Arch

After way too much fretting that the corners of the firebricks for my oven hearth aren’t perfectly square (and how many things in life are perfectly square?), there was only one thing to do: get over it and get on with it. So task number one yesterday was to lay the hearth no matter what. It’s a little gappy at those pesky corners, but it will do.

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Facts About Me

Helen (Food Stories) tagged me for “7 Random Facts” a few weeks ago. Then Laura (The Spiced Life) did the same for “5 Facts.” Thanks, both of you, for thinking of me. I hope it’s not considered cheating to combine the two. And despite my educational training (see #3, below), I’m letting 7 plus 5 equal 7 today.

  1. I have the world’s best dog. Yes, this is a fact.
  2. My Boston terrier

  3. I wear sandals year-round. True, I would probably not do this if I still lived in Vermont. Even so, northern California winters are rainy and cool, and people ask me if my feet aren’t cold. No, they’re not. My hands do get cold pretty easily, though.
  4. My undergraduate degree is in mathematics.
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Fantastic Four On A Not-So-Fantastic Day

After six weeks or so of indulging my sweet tooth and my fat tooth in the name of holiday permisiveness, followed by a relaxing week-long post-Christmas vacation, I’ve been looking forward to getting back into the kitchen and on track with some nice savory, healthful breads.

My immune system, it turns out, had other plans, and the bread’s just going to have to wait until this nasty whatever-I’ve-got sees fit to decamp and I’m free to leave my bed.

In the meantime, have a meme: I was tagged for Fantastic Four by Zainab and Meedo, the sisters behind the fantastic Arabic Bites. I had a lot more than four choices for most of the answers, and why I picked the ones I did I cannot explain (I’m delirious, after all).

Four Jobs I Have Had:

  • Mathematics tutor/teaching assistant (in college, when I could still differentiate between differentiating and integrating).
  • Software engineer/systems analyst/academic computing consultant.
  • Hand weaver.
  • Nurse practitioner.

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A Culinary Meme (Me-Me)

Lewis of Table Bread tagged me for this, my first meme. Am I the only one who thought “meme” was pronounce “me-me,” as in “it’s all about me”?

My answers are completely ad lib, just the first things that popped into my head, in no particular order. If you asked me the same questions tomorrow, chances are my responses would be completely different.

What were you cooking/baking ten years ago?

I was a full-time graduate student with a long commute so I don’t think I was cooking or baking much of anything. Or if I was, I don’t remember it. The only thing I can say with 100% certainty is that I made candy cane cookies, because I know I’ve made those every holiday season for at least twenty years. Skipping them would lead to extreme domestic unrest.

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  • Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures.
    --Lionel Poilane

  • a few of my baking books

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