Wednesday, August 21, 2013

An excellent toasting bread

OK, this one starts out as a basic three-grain bread, and it just gets better from there.

1 1/8 cups milk. 2% is OK, whole milk is even better.
2 tablespoons safflower oil. Or, sunflower seed oil. Or, a good light olive oil. If you use olive oil, try getting small bottles from different sources. A Greek oil will give a different flavor than an Italian or French oil, for example, and there are variations within national sources too.
2 tablespoons molasses
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1 cup rye flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal, or better yet, polenta
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon gluten
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons SAF yeast, or 2 1/2 teaspons bread machine yeast

That's the basic recipe. Now here's what we do to gussy it up.

We use honey instead of molasses, and double it, to 4 tablespoons.

We double the cornmeal.

We add a quarter cup of wheat germ, and a quarter cup of dark flax seeds.

We add a quarter cup of rolled oats.

Yup. Of course you have to keep an eye on it during the first knead cycle, as with the addition of the wheat germ and oats especially, it is going to need a bit more milk. Usually another 1/8th cup, for a total of 1 1/4 cup, will do the trick. If you overdo the milk and get a squishy dough ball, you can add a bit - not much - of rye flour or bread flour. Or ... in our case, a tablespoon or two of that IKEA Brötmix Flerkorn rounds it out very nicely.

This is for a 1 1/2 pound loaf; set the machine for the Whole Wheat cycle, medium crust.

This is a great toaster, with peanut butter and orange marmalade.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Colorado Springs getaway 08.09.2013

 This weekend we went up to the Springs.

We visited the Asian Market on Platte on Friday afternoon.

Leece has been wanting to visit the Flea Market, also on Platte near the Asian Market, so we did that Saturday morning before our hike at Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

Friday evening we stayed here, the Crescent Lily B&B. Holden House has been our favorite B&B in the Springs area, over near Old Colorado City, but Holden now requires at least a two night stay.

We had some doubts about this one initially, as the aerial shots on GoogleMaps seem to show it as being in a rather stark commercial area, but that wasn't the case. It's actually just behind Boulder Crescent Park, in a quiet, well-kept neighborhood.

We were cheerfully greeted by Lin, the hostess, given a good briefing on How Things Worked, and how to reach her upstairs if we needed anything. We were then left to our own devices. That's not a negative observation; we were attended to quite well; we just didn't have anyone bugging us.

The house was quiet. We didn't even know two other groups - a couple and a family - were in the place till next morning at breakfast.

Crescent Lily is quite tastefully appointed with the usual antiques you'd expect in a Victorian, but also lacked a lot of the clutter Victorians often present. According to the owner, the woodwork/trim had never been painted. We really liked the ceiling in the front parlor.

We didn't use TV's - I'm not even sure there was one in our room - and since it was a 'getaway' we did not use WiFi.

The place was extremely well-maintained, and quite clean. The owner has some of her weaving wares displayed and for sale. These are nicely crafted items and well worth checking out.

Breakfast was a simple presentation of scrambled eggs, potatoes au gratin, a nice fruit and nut bread, and ... Rocky Ford cantaloupe and kiwi fruit (not from Rocky Ford), all nicely plated. The dining room has individual tables rather than the typical large common table. It was a good start for the day.

There had been a spectacular thunderstorm as we were on our way to the B&B Friday evening, so much so that we had to pull over only a few blocks away to wait for the rains to abate. It wasn't till the next morning that we heard of the flooding, destruction and deaths over in Manitou Springs.

Yep, we'll stay here again, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice place to stay.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Big Dog Brag Colorado Springs 08.03.2013

We went up to Colorado Springs on Saturday for the Big Dog Brag.

Here's the gallery:

Big Dog Brag Colorado Springs 08.03.2013

Michael, Tana Jo, Tayler, Katie, SteveO, and Ethan all participated.

Here are a few shots:

It's Knapps time!

Knapps Farm Market, at the intersection of US 50 and CO 71 just west of Rocky Ford, is our favorite farm market.

On today's visit, Leece found a very nice Rocky Ford watermelon, plus some delicious squash, pepppers, green beans, tomatoes, and some red onions.

She forgot the peaches.