Garden Update 4.22.18

Turned over one bed of winter rye to make room for cauliflower and broccoli planting. Had a lot of trouble with bolting last year, trying direct seed earlier this year to see if any difference.

Also noticed that a majority of the asparagus crowns have shot up new shoots by now. I should have kept a better record of how many there were when I separated and replanted them a few weeks back to see how successful. Judging by the number now visible, working well! This will be their second summer, so possibly a few harvests, but next year will be the real payoff.

Garden Update 4.16.18 – more flower starts

Planted another large flat with a combination of later flower starts, and some additional tomatoes and herbs to bolster some weaker looking seed starts. I let one tray get a bit dried out, and those starts have really suffered as a result.

All of these starts went into a 50/50 mix with pittmoss as before. Its a really neat product that seem to be working well, the earlier flat of flowers is over 50% germinated already. Definitely helps with moisture control.

Garden Update 4.12.18

Small update, have reached germination of about 50% on seeds planted at seed swap. Certainly achieved faster using an actual starter mix.

The most recent flower starts were in a 50/50 pittmoss and regular soil mix. Will compare those results as well.

Earlier starts have reached almost complete germination, so I feel good about the odds of these more recent ones, especially with better soil conditions.

Weather is looking up in the forecast, hoping for some direct seed planting soon!

Garden Update 3.23.18 – post seed swap

Seed swap had small turn out, and was mostly planting our own seeds and talking about it while drinking beers. So … successful.

Planted some flower starts there, along with a few more herbs. Doing more flowers today, some of which are to be shared with Bobby. I had a helper too! Having never done flower starts, curious to see how timing works out, and if better than direct planting in a few weeks when less frost danger.

 

Piroshki

For the conclusion of our Russian Winter TV Club’s watching of the BBC’s War & Peace, I decided to make this classic stuffed bread. Haven’t dabbled much with stuffed breads before, so figured start with one with very thin crust surrounding the filling to reduce chances of it being under-baked.

Ingredients:

  • 482g AP Flour
  • 113g sour cream
  • 57g soft unsalted butter
  • 113g warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 25g sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons yeast

Mixed together and kneaded for a few minutes. Set into a bowl and allowed to rise until nearly doubled in size, about an hour. Separated into 18 or so even sizes (bout 40-50g if memory serves…) and rolled them all fairly thin, probably 3-5mm in thickness. I let them relax a bit as I rolled, and probably say another 10-15 min before putting in the filling.

Made two fillings – one with sautéed mushrooms, the other with faux beef crumbles. Each were mixed with a large amount of onions, some garlic, and salt and black pepper. The mushrooms got a cheddar cheese mixed in, the ‘beef’ more of a parm/mozzarella mix. I think each mix ended up being around 200g total…

Egg-washed the rounds before placing the filling in the middle, and then folding over, like a pierogi. Crimped shut and then let them all sit for 30 or so minutes after filling to allow a secondary proof.

Baked at 400 for 20 minutes. Rotated sheets top to bottom and flipped front to back halfway through. They were quite delicious!

Breadtry 3.8.18

A different dough, but dough all the same.

2 1/4 cups 50/50 blend of AP and Bread flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. instant yeast

3 Tbs. olive oil

3/4 cup luke warm water

Mix together the dry ingredients and then add water. Slowly add olive oil after dough comes together, and continue kneading for 4-5 minutes, until silky smooth.

In this case, let it rest in the fridge for almost 9 hours, removed and let come up to temp for an hour and a half before rolling out. This makes two 6 slice pizzas, we covered one with a garlic sauce and mozzarella and Parmesan with mushrooms for a white pizza. The other was some pizza sauce from scratch with mozzarella, tomatoes and spinach.

Since I don’t own a peel, improvised with the back of a baking sheet. Used cast iron griddle instead of baking stone, seemed to work alright. Oven was preheated to 500 F with cast iron already inside.

Delicious!

Breadtry 3.2.18

Another round of french bread. Baguettes again? Maybe a more fun shape.

Starting with pâté fermentée as follows:

142g bread

142g AP

5.5g salt

1.5 SAF instant yeast

184g yeast

Kneaded for 5 minutes after coming together in bowl. Back into a probably overly oiled boil for 18-24 hours.

Returned 20 hours later and added the remainder ingredients (which is just the same as the fermentée a second time over…). Paid careful attention to proof times, and gave extra care to transfers following secondary ferment.

Decided to use this batch as an opportunity to practice some scissor scoring methods, attempting an Épi and some spiky boules. I didn’t cut at quite the right angle, or far enough into the loaf on the former. The latter could have used deeper cuts, but I was worried about degassing. Maybe change angle for a larger slice but with less puncture into the loaf?