ceviche



An individual who I know very well is a partner in a business with another individual who I never met. The unknown party likes to go fishing all the time in Alaska. He always comes back with more fish than anyone can reasonably consume so he loads up the freezer there at the business with the expectation that the employees will make it disappear. Unfortunately, nobody there cares for seafood. 

¿

This confuses me massively. The entire sales staff refuses seafood when it's offered to them free. The partner who I know offered it to me so I came home with about 15 LBS of halibut steaks, cheeks, and a few salmon fillets, all of it freezer wrapped as they do in Alaska for convenient shipping. I don't know. I didn't weigh it. It was a lot, thrown into a shopping bag and it was quite heavy to carry. Now my freezer is filled with halibut. 

This ceviche was originally intended to use one of the halibut steaks and all of the limes that are turning old in the crisper (I'm eager to clean them all out and bleach the crisper). But then I tossed in a few shrimp and yellowfin tuna into the ceviche for variety. Then ten or so limes, three lemons, one medium onion, and the seafood which all together produced two of these quart-size mason jars of ceviche.


* 1 large halibut steak
* 2 small yellowfin tuna fillets
* 10 jumbo shrimp
* 1 medium sweet onion
* 1/2 bulb garlic broken into cloves gently crushed to open
* 10 squeezed limes
* 3 squeezed lemons
* 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
* 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper corns. 
* water to fill the jars. 

The sauce here is soy sauce diluted with water and sugar to balance the saltiness. 

cucumber


Cucumber grown on balcony vines. To my dismay, the cucumber was the most bitter I have ever tasted. I do not know why. It was sliced and soaked overnight in water with vinegar with sugar and onion. The taste is altered completely, the bitterness completely knocked out of it. Plated and salted. I considered soy sauce instead. So it amounts to a delightful little salad or perhaps a relish. Whatever it is, it's worth it. And I do love those vines out there with their large leaves and flowers growing all over the place. 






cheesecake


I did not make this. If I had, it'd be better. FACT! This is too fatty, too buttery, even though it might not have all that much butter. I thought it would be light, but it's actually quite heavy. But I ate it all like an insatiable grazing cow. You know what would fix it? Ricotta and additional vanilla, more thoroughly beaten egg whites, a touch of almond extract. And of course, cocoa, but then it would be this and this

I am describing, not complaining. No, I must not complain. It was given to me for free by the lovely people at Del Frisco's. I will add they packaged it beautifully and carefully  too. They didn't just dump it into a styrofoam box. The other take home box was equally well prepared. They wrapped each individual item in aluminum foil to keep them separate, even the bread, and Man, did it ever hit the spot the second time around. 

Del Frisco's, Denver






Del Frisco's steakhouse 8100 East Orchard Road, Greenwood Village, CO. 

Apologies for the poor quality photos. The only excuse I can offer is that when I am immersed in the company of my engaging companions, to be frank about it,  photography is  very low priority. There is simply too much else going on. It's bad form to devote attention to the camera anyway and then start snapping pictures like a tourist. (I am quite  easily annoyed myself when people take their attention from me in favor of their cell phones.) The light is purposefully kept low at these places and I neglected to adjust the camera's ISO  which has impressive range and could have fixed these shots right up with very little sacrifice to graininess. These photos were taken at 1.4 aperture at very slow 10 shutter speed, which means extreme shallow depth of field and extreme hazard of movement. Given all that, this is the best you're having. 

Valet parking. Cheerful employees everywhere. Obsequiously friendly attentive service, a bit over the top actually. We joked amongst ourselves about the days when people smoked. A guy would pull out a cigarette and immediately a waiter would appear seemingly from nowhere with a flick of a lighter and then just as quickly disappear into darkness. It's like that at Del Frisco's but without the cigarettes.  For one real example, a friend mentioned this dinner was actually supposed to happen the previous week to celebrate my birthday. The waitress lit up and joking asked if I would like them to bring out the sombreros and mariachi band, which of course do not exist. Realizing we were already finished and so not interested in cake right then, she offered a slice of birthday cheesecake to take home. 

The place is crowded, all tables seated,  and the air filled with conversation that is buffered by carpeting and by furnishings. One would have no sense of economic recession whatsoever if gauging by the activity Del Frisco's. 

The menu is actually very brief. 

STARTERS
CHILLED SHRIMP TASTING
CRAB CAKE
FRIED OYSTERS
FRIED CALAMARI
AHI TUNA TARTARE
DEL'S SALAD
CAESAR SALAD
TOMATOES & ONIONS SALAD
LETTUCE WEDGE
SEAFOOD SOUP
'TURTLE' SOUP

SALAD ENTREES
STEAK SALAD
CAESAR SALAD
GREEK FARMERS SALAD
CHOPPED SALAD

STEAKS & CHOPS
FILET MIGNON 8 OZ
FILET MIGNON 12 OZ
PRIME STRIP
PRIME RIBEYE 16 OZ
VEAL CHOP 16 OZ
PRIME LAMB

They also have a category called LAGNIAPPES. This puzzled me. I mentioned that I looked up this word before but the definition I found would not apply to menus where prices are listed. If I recalled correctly, the word refers to little items that are given away free as a prize or a reward for opening an account or the like. A baker's dozen as it were. A little extra something. Emphasis on gift, or free, not on a little something. But that is how they are using it there. Little extra things similar to the main things but smaller and costing less. Like things to taste. It's a pompous sounding word at any rate.

The bread is a single miniature loaf, warm, light airy crumb with delicate crust. One has to just grab it and tear it apart. Whipped butter at room temperature. Turtle soup was available, an unusual item for restaurants this far inland. I didn't have any but the people who did urged me to have a sample, but I was  satisfied to focus on finishing my own house salad. The ribeye steak that I had was outstanding. It seemed seasoned on the surface and grilled perfectly. A side of spinach was served separately that was so good that I brought home the extra. 

From where I sat ↓ within the first row of tables at the back with another row of tables perpendicular behind my chair with a space between that formed the chief high traffic avenue for the whole room. Usually I do not care for that situation but I allowed it this time because there was enough room for it not to be bothersome. 


Looking out into the room. ↑ This guy's back and head reminded me of my Dad. It was like receiving a series of little jolts. Finally I just pretended my Dad was there too at another table. 


The shelf ↑ at head level when seated to the immediate right that divides the bar area from one of the dining rooms. 

One of the Western style bonze statues placed around here and there. This one among Magnum size bottles of wine. I don't know what their purpose,  both decoration and to show you what is available I suppose.  The wine list is ridiculously extensive. 


chicken thighs


Thighs seasoned and fried in vegetable oil. Frozen corn and peas marketed separately, heated in butter sweet onion, seasoned with salt/pepper/cayenne. 

quesadillas


Little cheese things, this version with meat obviously. 

Quesadillas are Mexico's cheese sandwich snack food. Melted Mexican cheese inside a folded tortilla. The tortilla can be either flour or corn. The cheese needn't be necessarily Oaxacan. They are generally enhanced with chicken, chile, diced onions. They can be folded in half and then heated in a pan, or formed with two tortillas and then cut as a pizza, I've had them served simply cheese melted onto a corn tortilla and then rolled, but that was on a beach where the idea might have been to keep out sand. 

Masa rolled in preparation of being flattened ↓. 



I didn't have any fresh or tinned tomatoes so I used sun-dried tomatoes instead.


Diced onion and diced chile pepper mixed with ground beef.



Cheese melted in a table-top oven rather than in a pan. 






flounder with hummus, eggs breakfast


One would imagine that flounder this small would be illegal to keep, but there it is. It takes two of these undersize frozen flounders to make an ordinary fillet. The flounder cook in hot olive oil in less than a minute cut up into two-inch pieces. 

A portion of the hummus from yesterday is thinned with chicken broth and jazzed up with a speck of cumin and additional salt and used as a sauce. What madness it is to combine fish fillet pieces with thinned hummus! The combination is surprisingly good. Every now and then I stupidly stumble on something that I really like. 

Frankly, hummus scares me, as does anything constituted substantially of beans. An unfortunate incident with seven-bean soup put me off all legumes, pulses, whatever they are, for a decade until one day I tried this stuff ↓ which works very well for me with beans, which is what it is designed for. The thing is, the liquid form of Beano is marketed in ridiculously tiny squeeze bottles so I just pick up three or four at a time at the grocery store, and then the whole Fabaceae world is open to me.  Some of the reviews on Amazon for Beano are hilarious. One person bought it for their cat but is mad at the cost increase. Another reviewer is dissatisfied because it didn't help with problems associated with stomach ulcers. Another person just cannot be helped. For some reason that I do not understand the tales of discomfort that are explained on Amazon cause me to revert to perverse prepubescent light-headed silliness. Boys are incorrigible on this point. There is something about it that is so funny that it must be videoed and uploaded to YouTube, and it's universal. There are thousands of videos on this, and they're all boys with BIC lighters cracking each other up. Search "feuerfurzen" on YouTube to see for yourself what I'm on about, you'll get similar results in any language you enter. 



cheese crackers, hummus


Crackers are the ultimate anarchist's recipe. The hardest thing about crackers is cleaning the processor, and if you mix flour and fat and water by hand then it's even more simple. 

Flour + fat +water. Roll out. Bake. 

Cheese can replace oil or hard fat. Pretty much any liquid can replace water. These crackers were lightened slightly with a scant 1 teaspoon baking powder. 

Any flour will work. It is not necessary to develop the gluten in wheat flour for crackers, so here is a chance to experiment with greater percentages of whole wheat, or rice, corn, masa harina, or any ground beans. All dry beans can be milled in a coffee grinder. Percentages are completely arbitrary. Add the amount of any type of fat that you decide you want to go with the amount of dry flour you decide to use. Then add water in increments until the flour/fat combination comes together into a dough. Season to your hearts contentment. A dough that is slightly more wet than dry is easier to roll out and to trim.

See what I am telling you? You choose the main dry ingredient or combination by impulse. You choose the type of fat. It can be liquid fat, solid, plant, animal, cheese, or any combination. You choose the liquid, typically water. You can include any spice at all or any addition you desire to have. Good choices are rosemary, oregano, dry chile pepper, salt of course, diced sun-dried tomato, to name just a few. You can mix the spices in the dough or you can press them onto the surface of the rolled dough. 

I resist even providing a recipe because my stronger urge is to leave it all open to your own unbound imagination, but I've learned through comments here that some readers are just so concrete. So very well then, here you go:

Preheat oven to 375℉/190℃, arrange rack in the center of the oven.

* 2 cups all purpose flour
* 1 cup whole wheat flour (in this case Kemet milled at home)
* 1 + 1/4 cup grated cheese (two wedges of cheese were unlabeled, 1/4 cup was Parmisiano Reggiano. The cheese can be anything. Cheddar is wonderful, blue cheese are great,  blends are best of all.
* 1+1/2 cup water added in increments up to 2 cups. This batch took 2 full cups water which is unusual. 
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 level teaspoon cayenne chile pepper
* 1 level teaspoon baking powder

Roll out the dough onto a Silpat or parchment paper cut to fit the baking tray you use to exactly  1/8" thickness. <--- kidding. Obviously thin crackers will bake more quickly and be more fragile when done. Thicker crackers will take slightly longer to dehydrate in the oven.  

Score the dough in the shapes and sizes you desire for your crackers. I use a bench scrapper and press nearly all the way through the dough. 

Dock each cracker with the tines of a fork. This allows air to escape each individual cracker as it bakes and prevents them from puffing into little cracker balloons. If you want puffed up fragile balloon-like crackers that are unsuitable for dipping, then by all means, omit the docking step, those are fun too.  

Bake for 10 minutes. 



Okay, here is where you have to use your *gasp* judgement and your *sweat* intuition. You baked your first batch. Tilt the baked crackers onto a cooling rack. Assess their crispiness. Not dry enough? Need more baking time? Should they be thinner? Too dark? Enough salt? Sufficiently seasoned? Flavor need adjustment? Oven hot enough? Too hot? Dough too dry? Too wet? Make any adjustment to the dough, or to your rolling, the oven, or the timing that you feel is necessary. As it turns out, these crackers were perfect on the first batch *buffs fingernails on shirt *. 


Just like crackers, hummus is a nearly blank slate upon which are written your impulses. There are a hundred trillion variations. <-- forgive me, I've been listening to the budget speeches and I've lost the ability to judge when magnitude is outrageously exaggerated. 

Since the crackers are already heavily flavored with cheese and with cayenne, then the hummus is made plain as hummus comes. Usually one would include sumac for authenticity or at least cumin, but I omitted all spices except pepper, even omitting chile pepper because I didn't want to double up on it. So, most out of character, I made this hummus particularly plain as far a hummus goes. 

I wish more people would take up this technique of milling dry beans in a coffee mill. It simplifies things and speeds things tremendously. There is not even a need for a processor. 

Crushed garlic is lightly toasted in olive oil then the frying action squelched by the addition of chicken broth. I added the full amount of chicken broth that I imagined the chickpea powder would take, which turned out to be an underestimation by at least 100%. The milled dry chickpea powder was added and whisked in then water added in increments to the desired thickness. The milled chickpeas with its garlic and olive oil kept taking up more and more water. Pepper was added, but not salt because the commercial chicken broth is fairly heavily salted, tahini, lemon then mint to finish. The herb needn't be mint. Parsley is the customary herb of choice, basil or cilantro are both fine. 

* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves
* 1 + 1/2 cup commercial chicken broth
* 1 cup dry chickpeas milled in a coffee grinder to a fine powder
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 + 1/2 cups water, up to 2 or more cups depending on how much the chickpeas take up and how thick or thin you want your hummus. 
* 1 tablespoon tahini. Honestly, in mixture there is very little appreciable difference between tahini and peanut butter.  It wouldn't bother me at all to substitute. Sesame seed oil has a more distinct sesame flavor than all the commercial tahini that I've tried. The best tahini I ever had were the two I made at home, one husked and the other unhusked. The unhusked version absorbed an amazing amount of olive oil. Ultimately, though, it isn't worth the bother. 


Of course you can use chickpeas in a tin and process them with a portion of the liquid. You can also soak and cook dry chickpeas then process them. Tins. Processing. Bother. Milling to powder in a coffee bean mill. FUN! 


I don't know why I thought that 1 cup of dry chickpeas would produce 1 cup of hummus. By the time the powder stopped absorbing liquid there was close to three cups total humus. It kept growing and GROWING and GROWING and GROWING!

This hummus has an amusing  bouncy spongy texture that I never saw before. You know what would be great mixed in with the rest of this hummus? Onions. Raisins. Nuts. Artichoke hearts. Tomato. ¿Pineapple? Pine nuts. More cheese. Avocado chunks. Banana. Brown sugar. Honey. Golden syrup. Maple syrup. Red bell pepper.  I wonder if wine or some kind of alcohol would go in it. 

miso with sole


This is a fiercely flavorful and satisfying soup. It includes scant vegetables, scallion, broccoli, and napa cabbage. Flavor elements enhance the tofu and vegetables then one meager teaspoon of miso is blended in. The heat is cut off and the fish fillet is gently cooked, changed slightly is more like it, by residual heat.

* 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 scallion diagonal cut
* 1 small piece broccoli cut to spoon-size bits
* 1/2 cup sliced napa cabbage
* black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon mixed dry chile pepper flakes
* 1/2 carton tofu, cubed

So there's that. Notice there is no salt. Soy sauce and fish sauce will take the place of salt.

Now for the broth. Ordinarily the impulse would be to use bonito flakes and dry komu seaweed to produce a typical dashi but that would be light and thoroughly seafood and this soup will be more robust so commercial chicken broth in a carton is used instead.

* 1/4 cup rice sake
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon Three Crabs fermented fish sauce. (A single smashed anchovy can substitute)
* 3 tablespoon sweet mirin
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (tamarind)
* 3 cups commercial chicken broth

* 1 sole fillet.



lox on sourdough, scrambled egg


A while ago I discovered by accident a technique for creamy scrambled eggs that surpassed anything I had previously. This was quite an epiphany because I come from a egg-abusive household. My family's idea of scrambled eggs is to fry them so thoroughly that all trace of moisture is evaporated and the eggs tighten up so firmly they amount to another vulcanized substance altogether. The sequence goes like this:

raw --> cooked --> overcooked --> impossibly overcooked --> ridiculously abused --> done. 

This approach is on much lower heat and whisked continuously so that cold butter is slowly incorporated, as melted butter is slowly incorporated into a Hollandaise sauce except a lot less of it. It is finished with the addition of crème fraiche which provides the acid portion that lemon provides in an actual Hollandaise. The trick, and there is a trick, is to continuously remove the pot from the heat as soon as anything noticeable happens. The whole point is to avoid the formation of curds. You can see this happening as you whisk so pull off the pot and continue whisking off the heat so that the egg solidifies as a sauce and not as a pile of curds and then return to the heat and continue the thickening. The sequence goes like this:

raw --> sort of perhaps a little bit thicker --> seems like it's thickening --> yeah sure, it's getting thicker --> by golly we're on to something here --> well I'll be doggone, this is actually working --> this would make a good sauce --> hey look! I can control how thick this gets --> it's starting to stand up on its own --> I can probably stop now --> done. 

Save for the finish, salt, pepper, tarragon, chervil, basil, chives, whatever. Especially salt. Salt early in the whisking process can cause the eggs to stay liquid, so save it for last. 

I looked at a dozen YouTube videos searching for something that matched this approach. All I can say is, there are a lot of truly horrible scrambled eggs out there. I weep for my country for they know not what they do. Even the chefs are creating egg curds on excessive heat. And then at length I encountered my nemesis, Gordon Ramsay. Finally! One person out of all those housewives, husbands, cooks, and chefs, describes precisely the technique I landed on by accident -- a failed sauce. Here is Gordon Ramsay on too much coffee and on YouTube describing scrambled eggs. I urge you to try this method, it will change permanently your scrambled egg life. He also shows you a very simple and quite elegant vegetable accompaniment. I notice he prefers sourdough too, although he toasts it, which I never do to mine. Amusingly, he burns his toast. Oddly, none of the commenters over there pick up that this is basically a very thick sauce, specifically, a Hollandaise variation. 

Denver sourdough


Imagine. You are a yeast cell. Along with trillions of other cells, thousands of species, as well as bacteria organisms also varying in the thousands, you are all suddenly dislodged from your happy warm and damp environs by a hot Santa Ana wind. You are switched automatically into emergency mode in which your contents shrink inward tightly into four discrete segments and a protective shell forms rapidly around yourself as you are lifted higher into the freezing cold atmosphere. This will get rough. You are buffeted brutally clear across the ranges of mountains in Nevada and in Utah, lifted higher and colder until suddenly you dip slightly while sailing the valleys of Western Colorado. You are skirted across the Western slope and then forced further downward by pressure as you sail through a constriction of layers of swiftly moving air formed by high pressure, losing still more altitude, by wind not by weight, quickly skimming the Morison foothills, flying right over the landscape contours, buffeted by gusts, and wending through pockets of multi mini climate areas like a high-speed pinball, and then suddenly you find yourself shoved directly into a slurry of warm water with the food of wheat flour and a touch of refined sugar, quick carbohydrates, like a fast-food station, oddly sitting there invitingly on Chip Ahoy's balcony bench.

Heaven. 

You must take advantage of this fresh opportunity, it is programed into you to do so. The warm liquid erodes the protection provided by your own material, and the four portions of yourself burst forth like chickens hatching, which immediately use the food present to bud copies. The copies bud further copies until chains of clones are formed. Finally portions of clone formations encounter corresponding portions of similar chains that are not portions of yourself and you procreate by means of your alternate diploid duplicating ability by combining duplications of your combined selves, as you continue to bud chains of clones. You are nothing if not brilliant survivalists.


This is a thin slurry of flour and water with a trace of sugar. I never did it this way before. Usually I make a slurry about as thick as pancake batter, but this time I didn't. It's hot outside, and I didn't want to have to keep adding water every few hours. The bowl was set outside on a balcony bench. 

The next day the water stank quite strongly. I could have used it at that point, but for some reason I wanted to keep on collecting yeast. It dried as expected so I added water. Twice, over a period of three days. Finally I brought it inside. 

I did not use all the slurry. I did not protect the slurry with cheesecloth while collecting and there were tiny specks of debris also blown in. I couldn't pick them all out. I used only two tablespoons of the stinky slurry and two tablespoons of fresh filtered water. Then fed the refreshed slurry with a scant one level tablespoon of flour. 

And this is the problem: flour also has yeast attached to it. Yeast is on the grain that is milled. Producers do not irradiate grain or milled flour so those organisms are still there. It is possible to begin a culture directly from the flour or from the grain without bothering with a collection slurry. If the slurry is stinky as this slurry is, then it is fairly certain the new organisms within the slurry vastly outnumber the organisms carried on the flour (and on your skin, and in your kitchen air). But since I used only two tablespoons of stinky slurry, I cut down that number of collected organisms considerably. These new airborne organisms will compete for available resources with flour-carried organisms and I am not certain which ones will win. 

The second thing is, I am not providing heat to cultivate the culture. They must procede at room temperature. For that reason the process was protracted by days, but weaning them from heat was avoided. 



The starter was neglected for full half-days. It was watered and fed. It formed a few bubbles. Watered and fed. Few bubbles. Watered and fed. Few bubbles. Reduced, to keep the sample small. Watered and fed. few bubbles. It wasn't doing much of anything at all for three days. For this reason I lost confidence that it was the airborne organisms that produced the few bubbles that arose in the refreshed slurry. The amount of time on the counter without heat was the same amount of time that would take flour to form bubbles without an inoculation of balcony bench stinky slurry. 

Each addition of water and flour doubles the mass.



Then again, another doubling. I stopped photographing the feedings because so little was apparent. At three days I questioned the whole effort. I began to believe the collected organisms were having no affect at all, that this culture would be from the flour alone. 


Finally, an amount of bubbling that indicated the culture was breeding. 

The thickened refreshed slurry is really sticky when the bubbles are knocked back. 


One last addition of water to double the liquid portion. 


Now, enough flour to form an actual dough, not just a slurry, along with salt which will both flavor the bread and buffer the yeast activity. Isn't that a shame? All that trouble to get the yeast colonies going strongly and then purposefully slow them down by adding salt which they can barely tolerate. 


I misjudged here. I made the dough ball too stiff. I calculated in my mind that the dough ball would produce CO2 and alcohol as a byproduct, the alcohol tending to loosen the dough. 

The yeast activity will retard in cold storage. But it takes awhile for something so much like insulation to actually chill, so there will be further activity in the refrigerator, even though salt is retarding activity and so is the cold. This is what I misjudged. The dough did not loosen as much as I anticipated. The dough ball is small compared to most of my sourdough batches so it chilled more quickly than usual. 


The various species of yeast cause air bubbles in the dough. The species of bacteria impart various flavors that combine with the alcohol produced by the yeast along with an acidification of the dough. All of that together comprise the characteristics of the baked bread that are unique to each geographic location. Mind, if the yeast in the flour won the resource war with the stinky slurry, then the geographic location will be the mix of locations that were the sources of the blended grains. Only a boutique mill would make flour from single-source grain.


Three days in cold storage allows the bacteria to breed within the dough while the yeast cells sleep. They're light sleepers. When finally removed I can tell this will be a dense heavy bread. It's more dry than I prefer, but I resist adding moisture. 


Turned out onto the work surface and stretched. This is where moisture could be added by spraying the stretched dough or by carrying moisture over on wet hands. I do this all the time, but for some reason I decided not to do it today.

Had I held off on salt so that it wouldn't buffer the dough during cold storage, then now would be the time to sprinkle it onto the stretched dough. 


The loaf is formed, but it will flatten as it rests before being placed in the oven.


The dough rests while the oven reaches temperature. A clay cloche is heated inside the oven chamber. The oven and the cloche will become as hot as the oven will go. 

DRAMA !

I find it convenient to cover the dough with an upturned storage bin while the oven and cloche heat up. The unsuspecting yeast cells and bacterial organisms know not the fate that awaits them. They're happy as clams in miniature even though they are living with salt. They probably think that they have all eternity to carry on as they do, if they think anything at all. I almost feel sorry for them and a little bit sinister, for about .00001 of a second. 

The loaf is stretched slightly one last time as it is lifted into the rocket-hot cloche and then covered, a veritable oven within an oven. The moisture inside the dough is contained by the cloche which keeps the dough surface sufficiently elastic and allows the air pockets trapped inside the dough to expand as they heat and the dough to stretch as those air pockets expand, and to be kept sufficiently wet until full expansion is achieved and then quickly wicked out by the hot porous clay. The hot clay cloche assures that the form of the loaf sets hard at the peak of expansion without the chance of collapsing. 


Twenty-five minutes of high-heat torture and most of the organisms are dead. 

The lid of the cloche is removed and the bottom with the loaf returned to the oven to brown.

We baker-types look for three-tone coloration in our artisan loaves, pale tan, light brown, and nearly burnt highly caramelized black edges. 


ARTS ! 

The crumb of this loaf is dense, the crust is exceedingly chewy. The flavor is extraordinarily sourdough and quite strong. You can never buy sourdough this powerful. Period. The bread is amazing. I do not think children would like this at all. People with dentures would be stymied. 

I did not reserve a portion of raw dough because I can initiate another starter any time I wish and I'm a little bit tired of babying them all the time. 

It is not the best bread for sandwiches, way too heavy for that, nonetheless, that is how I will have it today. 



I almost forgot. If you are interested in more photos and descriptions of various types of sourdough bread, you can use Blogger's search feature up there in the corner ↖ . It will produce the dozens of posts that I wrote on this subject. 

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