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The Summer Lull

Greetings, folks.

No, I haven’t abandoned the project — I’d like to think that’s far from the truth.  I had my 8 and 5 year-olds’ birthday parties within 3 days of each other last week… and it was fun.  Tiring, but fun.  My oldest has a sleepover, for which I did a Pikachu Pokemon sheet cake with a marshmallow fondant and decorations and I whipped up a 4 lbs batch of dough for make-your-own pizzas; it was all wildly successful.  My 5 year old was much more laid back and I did a batch of my high-ratio yellow cake cupcakes with a strawberry buttercream (topped with Hello Kitty topper rings ;p) and a batch of dark chocolate cupcakes paired with a decadent cinnamon buttercream.

Now that my “summer rush” has calmed down, I’ve been trying to relax a bit — get more into bread making which is quickly becoming my enemy.  I’m starting to realize that, being the picky eater I am, I may enjoy what I make in the baking side more than I ever will on the culinary side.  I mean, what’s not to like about carbs?  Hah!

In all seriousness, I want to be well-rounded, so I picked up a 2 lbs pack of yeast and I’ve been trying breads of various sorts.  I did an awesome focaccia.  The pizza dough was so-so, it didn’t brown up like I expected, maybe should have brushed the crust with some oil now that I think of it.  I did a rustic wheat loaf and round which came out really dense and I did some white/wheat sandwich loafs which also came out dense.

I’ve recently learned that the amount of whole wheat can affect the formation of the gluten matrix and ultimately make the bread turn out to be dense, so I’ll need to watch my ratio of wheat to bread flour in future trials.

That being said, I’m hoping to return to the podcast soon — I’ll see if I can’t take some notes on the next chapter tomorrow and bang out Episode 7 of Sanitation on Saturday.

Thanks for your patience!

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