Sunday, July 12, 2009


Ahhh, bread. Bread is the best. Today I made bagels. I was inspired by the bagel recipe from smitten kitchen. I made a small sponge (6 tsp water, 6 tsp flour, 1/2 tsp yeast) last night and let it sit at room temperature, and did everything else this morning. After kneading, I let the dough rise for over an hour (to compensate for being in the fridge overnight) and then proceeded to bagelize. I let the shaped dough rest for about 5 minutes, then boiled them for 2 minutes per side, baked for 6 minutes, rotated, then another 4 minutes or so.

Ingredient-wise, instead of barley malt, I used honey. I didn't have bread flour or high-gluten flour, so I used all-purpose. And I substituted one cup of it for whole wheat flour.

So... now that I look at the changes I made, I realize that it's not really the same recipe at all. Hmmm. I'm notorious for not following recipes.

However, the texture of these is just great. Mmmmm. After having both NY and Montreal-style bagels, I've decided I like something in between. Somewhat chewy on the outside - Montreal-style, but soft and moist inside - NY-style. It may be sacriligious to say this, being Canadian, but I find the truly authentic Montreal bagels overbaked for my taste. They always seem to veer towards being dry. (This includes the ones I ate in Montreal.)

My only issue with these is that they're faintly yeasty. I wonder if I put in just a little too much yeast... In total, I put in about half a package, which was somewhere between 1.5-2 tsp.

Next time, I want to experiment with adding some buckwheat flour. Does anyone have experience baking with this ingredient?

The Weepies

I'm always on the lookout for great music. Recently I found out about The Weepies. I was at the library and their latest CD was sitting there staring at me with a whale on the cover, so I checked it out. Yep, the whale sold me - ha!

I really had no idea what the music would be like, but as it turns out, their songs are sweet, mellow, and enjoyable. The way the two of them harmonize is just sublime. Great melodies and great lyrics, too.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shirts for sale

My friend is selling some of his shirts so I helped him take pictures of them. We had a fun photo shoot. And at no point did I tell him to "work it," though I initially told him to give me his best Blue Steel. It wasn't pretty, so I stopped.

Skool is kool... or, and now, for something completely different!

I'm going back to school in the fall. I know this strikes a chord of dread in most people, but I actually quite like being a student. I discovered that I really like feeding my brain and knowing... things. Random things are okay too. I've developed a habit of Googling anything remotely interesting pretty much immediately. (Having an iPhone is awesome for this addiction.)

Anyways, the market being what it is, and being not too excited about work but having no good other job opportunities, I figured it was a good time to do this. It's a giant step in a completely different direction, but I think I'll be all right. I'm confident that my brain can handle it, though I'll admit, math and science don't come to me as easily as writing. But I've decided that learning things is just a matter of practice - you just have to make those connections in the brain and keep 'em firing.

Befriending the superbrains, profs, and tutors probably won't hurt, either. :)



I'm not sure what I'm going to talk about yet. But it may include some of the following:
  • thoughts on books
  • baking adventures
  • back to school adventures
  • dancing