I've just never been let go before and this whole thing is sorta scaring the crap out of me. I've also learned that one of the government requirements to sign up for unemployment is, apparently, shame. Oh, and judgment. It's in the fine print, I believe.
How am I filling time now? Lots of volunteering at other amazing nonprofits, writing, cooking, and catching up on a few books I have meant to read. Oh, and job hunting. (Probably should put that at the top of the list, right?) We're still looking for a house as owning is actually the cheaper option right now and we're still in a darn good place to do so.
Yay being money smart.
Summarily, it's a fabulous book. It makes homemade bread making a lot quicker and more accessible so for those of you who have nearly zero time on your hands this is a great resource that actually does what it claims. The recipes are easy and forgiving so if you botch it up by letting it rise too long, forgetting about it, or you have a tendency to mis-measure then you're still going to get great results.
After cutting my teeth on some of the beginner recipes I went ahead and developed a pretty simple winter wheat bread based off the basic boule: lots of whole wheat flour, some salt, and ground up cocoa nibs and cardamom pods. It's a dense, earthy loaf that posseses a tinge of bitterness that you can grit your teeth on. When you smell it baking it reminds me of the smell of the air when I used to pass by wheat fields when I visited family in Kansas. Smear that bastard boule with butter and a snowfall of good salt and you are in for a lovely treat that pairs well with chai tea.
While I still want to take some classes to polish my skills this book is a fabulous start for the meantime. My winter boule isn't in the book but if you make it and like it then I promise you that this is a book you need on your shelf.
Now, back to the grind of resume writing and cover letter development. Ugh. Pray for me.
Hardy Winter Wheat Bread
Makes 4 1-pound loaves
This recipe uses ground cardamom and cocoa, but if you have a spice grinder then use whole pods and cocoa nibs for better flavor.
2 packets of yeast (use whatever yeast you choose)
3 cups lukewarm water
4 1/2 cups of 100% whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1. Place the water, salt and yeast in a large bowl, tupperware, or pot with a lid but that isn't airtight (the lid can be just ajar if need be to accomplish this). I do mean big. Mix together the flours, cardamom, and cocoa in a bowl and dump it all in at once. Mix with a spoon until it all comes together. You don't need to knead. Just bring it together until it's uniform.
2. Cover with the lid (not airtight) and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then pop it in the fridge to rest overnight or for at least 3 hours.
4. Cut off a grapefruit sized chunk and form it into a ball, the rest can be stored for up to a week (you should get about 4 loaves). The best way to do this is to grab some dough from the top and pull it to the bottom. The ball will become smooth-ish and the bottom will look like a top-knot of sorts. Place the ball down on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal and allow it to rest and rise for 40 minutes.
5. 20 minutes before baking preheat the oven to 450F with a baking sheet or pizza slab inside it.
6. With a quick jerking motion slide the risen ball of dough onto the hot pan in the oven. On the lower oven rack place a roasting pan with some hot water (this will help you achieve a crackly crust). Bake for 30 minutes. Rest bread on a wire rack until cool to the touch.
Other Recipes That Don't Suck
Honey Wheat Bread - Two Peas and Their Pod
Tangzhong Wholemeal Loaf - Christine's Recipes
No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread - Leite's Culinaria