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21  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Bread Issues! on: July 06, 2009 05:58:51 AM

By far, the easiest bread recipe around these days is the http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html, if for no other reason than the technique.  I've amended the recipe somewhat: 15 ounces flour, 10 ounces water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 instant (also known as rapid rise) yeast. 

Like all skills, breadmaking and kneading have to be learned through trial and error.  Just relax!  Eventually, you'll learn to recognize by touch and sight.  In the meantime, try mixing the ingredients and let them sit overnight to let the gluten form naturally, about 10 to 14 hours.

Scrape dough onto floured surface, flour your hands and knead maybe 15 times....that's it.  Shape it anyway you like or put in loaf pan.  Bake according to directions.  (I bake mine the same way the original recipe says, in a cast iron dutch oven, but you don't need to do that.) 

Once you see how easy it is and what wonderful results, you'll be able to gain more confidence and bake whatever you like!
22  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: Contact paper on windows. Is it REALLY removable? on: June 22, 2009 04:00:55 PM
FYI, to remove glue left on surfaces by contact paper, stickers, adhesive tape, masking tape, labels, etc.,  rub  in a circular motion a few times on the glue either some mayonnaise, vegetable oil or peanut butter.  Wipe clean with a  rag or paper towel.  It should come off completely, leaving no trace. 
23  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / Re: anyone know any cheap(free download??) to photoshop on: June 07, 2009 04:12:49 PM
Gimp: www.gimp.org is the photoshop clone.

Let me add my praise for the Gimp.  The learning curve for the Gimp is the same as it is for Photoshop.  I've used both.  Apart from being free, the Gimp doesn't need as many computer resources as Photoshop needs.  The Gimp is a fantastically sophisticated program....much more so than Paint.Net, which I've also used.

24  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Please weigh in on your favorite vintage sewing machines... on: May 17, 2009 07:49:49 AM
To tjr1, just sent you an email. Grin

Here's the info just in case anyone else needs it. 


Marie was very helpful and friendly. 
25  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: No-Knead Sourdough -- Finally Success! on: May 01, 2009 09:14:38 AM
It was delicious Grin  Some of the best I've tasted. Thanks for asking!  Grin

I used to live in DC where I could get decent sourdough in the supermarket.  Here in NJ, it's just not available anywhere. Now I can have it anytime!

As a matter of fact, I'm waiting for one to rise right now.

The only thing I've noticed is that sourdough doesn't rise as predictably as regular yeast. It needs a few more hours.  I allow for at least 24 hours for the first rise; and the second rise has taken anywhere from 3 hours to 6 hours. 

When I feed my starter, I can't bear to toss any and no one I know wants to bake their own, so I've begun making sourdough waffles whenever I feed the starter. They are amazing too.  I feed the starter and make a sponge of what I would have ordinarily tossed.  I've adapted a regular waffle recipe.  It makes about 8 Belgian type waffles, most of which I freeze.  Whenever I want waffles, I  pop one or two in the toaster.

26  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Craftster Chat: I Has It on: May 01, 2009 09:05:22 AM
There's never anyone in there!  The first day, Hellga and I chatted but that was months and months ago.  I think people communicate here this way, via messages.
27  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Nid help.. on: April 12, 2009 11:16:04 AM
There are plenty of online resources and videos.  Here's an introductory sewing course http://www.craftandfabriclinks.com/sewingbook/sewbook.html.  You can start there.  Youtube has several videos.

28  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / No-Knead Sourdough -- Finally Success! on: April 10, 2009 12:32:47 PM
Finally,  Grin a no-knead sourdough that succeeded.  I've been trying for weeks to eliminate the yeast entirely and make a no-knead bread with sourdough.  Nothing worked.  They were either too wet, didn't rise at all, or were hard, inedible disgusting pancakes. 

I was determined to succeed.  I finally did.  This is what worked for me.

Instead of measuring flour by volume in measuring cups, I broke down and bought a scale that measures in both grams and ounces so I could measure flour by weight.  Instead of trying to make a starter from scratch, I broke down and bought one from King Arthur flour.

I purchased this starter: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/classic-fresh-sourdough-starter-1-oz  and followed the directions exactly.
I used this recipe:  http://sourdo.com/recipes.html#no-knead
I measured the flour with this scale: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10098024, and I baked it in this dutch oven: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5716476

The proof is in the results:

Now all I have to do is taste it....but it is so beautiful I can't bear to take a knife to it! Grin
29  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Every thing I sew...Stinks! on: March 25, 2009 07:30:11 AM
I've been sewing for several decades  Grin AND I still sew some real doozies!  I agree that you're being too hard on yourself.  For years, I wore all of my mistakes.  I didn't care.  I figured they were my own personal "design details." 

You're probably just a perfectionist.  Give yourself a break!
30  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: no knead bread on: March 16, 2009 05:02:36 PM
Funny, you should start this thread.  I've been obsessed with the recipe ever since it was published in 2006 but hadn't got around to actually baking it until a few weeks ago when Mark Bittman did a followup on a quicker no-knead version.  No-knead is as good as any bakery bread I've ever bought.

I baked mine in a makeshift Dutch oven made out of a cast iron frying pan and a ceramic casserole, but I was so delighted with the results, I finally broke down and bought the 5 quart Lodge Cast-Iron Dutch Oven at Target last week for $30.  I thought about getting the enamel version for $65, but they both do the same thing and Target didn't have it in an enamel color I liked. Walmart has the Tramontina enamel cast iron dutch oven for about the same price as the Lodge.

Next, I'm going to experiment with a sourdough version of no-knead bread.  My starter is bubbling away in the kitchen as I write this.  The recipe can be found here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html  There are videos on Youtube.  Just search for no-knead bread.
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