· Blazing Saddles, Ovens, & Skillets: A Summer Cookin’ at the Ranch

At some point or another, someone has probably asked you, “what were some of the best times of your life?” I know I’ve found myself stumbling and asking the question right back, given that this is a tough one to answer.

Infinitely subjective and relative questions are nearly impossible to answer if you think about them too hard, but you can usually think of some time when you felt truly alive. For me, the two summers that I spent working at the Laramie River Ranch, a dude ranch in north-central Colorado surrounded by pungent sage brush to the east and the verdant Rawah wilderness to the west, definitely qualifies.

IMG_1117

How does this relate to baking? Continue reading

Advertisements

· My New Bread & Butter

Olive oil, a slice of bread, and a frying pan. That’s all you need… Well, that isn’t exactly bread and butter, but one could argue that this savory toast is an even more delicious and versatile combination.

Up to this point, we’ve explored several different methods by which the home baker can make yeasted and sourdough breads using flour, water, salt, and yeast. While making your own bread is an incredibly fun and rewarding activity, eating it is just as good. In fact, the concept in this post doesn’t require any mixing, folding, or fermenting – all you need are some basic cooking skills and a loaf of bread.

IMG_5461

Continue reading

· Crust or Bust?

Who doesn’t look forward to pizza night? I sure do.

There are some foods that many of us take for granted. I would consider pizza to be one of them. To be honest, I often forget that pizza is actually bread with a bunch of stuff on top, though perhaps that is an oversimplification. But still, what do so many of us love dearly about pizza? The crust.

IMG_6634

Continue reading

· Butterflies

are what I feel in my gut when I bake bread.

IMG_5257

I read somewhere that the average blog reader spends only 96 seconds on a post and readers in general only comprehend about 60% of what hits their retinas. Blog writing is something new to me, and therefore, I will keep the intro short and sweet! Despite a fond love of baking from a young age, creating anything that required a leavening agent other than baking powder or baking soda never really crossed my mind – until four months ago. I’d always loved eating bread, and since I was at a point in my life where I had time to explore this new realm, I thought to myself, “why not?” I began with pan breads and then moved on to hand-shaped loaves leavened with commercial yeast. Now the rapture I experience when creating a fermented loaf using a wild yeast culture has me dreaming of crust and crumb.

IMG_5483

As a greenhorn bread baker, I’ve come to fully appreciate the notion of stepping out of my comfort zone, which is continually evolving and brings about reflections regarding why I bake and how it is a form of creative expression. I will post more about this later. There are many fantastic blogs out there through which passionate bakers share their experiences and relationships with bread. After debating about whether or not to start one of my own, I’ve decided that whatever it is that breaths life into these butterflies is worth documenting – pausing at moments to enjoy a journey that has no specific destination ·