January 22, 2011

The Miracle of Yeast

Mike and I spent the last 3-day weekend up at Papa and Sharon's. We were looking for a chance to get away, relax and work on a few of our projects. While I sat in front of the woodstove working on some new hand-sewing projects, Mike hung out in the shop with part II of our mantle, and part I of our built-in shoe storage.

When it was time for our first carb-fix, Papa and Mike helped me make some soft pretzels. We made a double batch, with the second set made out of 4 cups spelt flour and .5 cup wheat flour. Both batches turned out very good, but I've learned that I need to be a little more heavy-handed with the salt.

On Saturday Papa baked many, many loaves of bread (sourdough white, sourdough spelt and sourdough with sundried tomatoes). We followed the bread up with some fresh pizza (carb fixes 2 & 3).

On Sunday we helped Papa bottle up his latest homebrew, a Widmer W-10 clone. He's got a great brewing system set up in the basement, and with Mike and I as assembly line workers we got the 5 gallons bottled up in no time.

Sterilizing apparatus

Gravity bottling system

Bottle capper

We left Sunday with a 6-pack of home brew and 3 loaves of fresh-baked bread... that ought to last us a week.

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