Finally, Wedding Stuff!

music is NSFW

then I PROMISE never to write about it again!

THANK THE LORD IT’S OVER!!

(if you need any of the “pre-show” please click this tag: “wedding“)

Before this, there were two gigantic shopping trips for supplies. I also made aprons for my bridesmaids, the pattern was from this site, Molly’s Sketchbook and they were very easy and stunning! Let’s begin at the week of…

Day One, Monday: was to pick up my amazing and ridiculous maid of honor at the airport. She is from Florida! After showering me with gifts of flamingo related items (I collect flamingos, really, it’s pretty epic) and getting her to my home, I settled her into the guest room. We went to my aunt’s house, my aunt married us. She is ordained and goes by Ordained InterFaith Minster, Priestess. She’s all around amazing. We discussed final plans for the ceremony (here is a picture of some silly/not my style vows) I think we all got entirely too drunk later on in the evening. Aw, shucks. My dear maid of honor also gave me this STUNNING crochet blanket. Fitting as she is the crazy lady who taught me!

wpid-20140706_140916.jpgthis is half of it, it’s huge!

Day Two, Tuesday: We spent the day with my maid of honor’s parents, a little bit of shopping, I got some amazing earrings (more on them in a future post, I’m making a matching necklace), she got a beautiful bracelet, we had lunch, swam in her parents pool and a delightful dinner. We managed not to drink too much. We were good girls. Also I started the preferment for the bread. Which was like, baby heavy. Like, heavy as a baby.

Day Three, Wednesday: COOKIE APOCALYPSE. My girl and I worked hard and made eight dozen cookies. 4 dozen chocolate chip, 4 dozen sugar cookies. The recipe was from the JoyofBaking.com and were absolutely amazing!

wpid-20140625_071409.jpgwhole lotta cookies goin’ on. that lovely betsey johnson purse on the stool was from my now husband. i love her purses!

wpid-20140625_071343.jpgthis is the insanity that was my kitchen…FOUR POUNDS OF BUTTER. WE WENT THROUGH FOUR POUNDS OF BUTTER.

It went rather smoothly, we kind of worked out a system and just kept banging cookies out. Immediately after they cooled, I put them in the freezer. We sampled a few, obviously. That day, after all of that, we had the bridesmaids over for lunch and I gave them their aprons. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take pictures of them, because, well, I was sort of busy 😉 After that was the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. Everything went smoothly and I apparently kept apologizing to the waitress that I was “hosed” as in very drunk. Which, I was, granted. Momma needed to drink to keep from pooping herself!!

Day Four, Thursday: BREAD APOCALYPSE! Oh my baby Jesus. I literally borrowed every bowl and pan I could get my hands on. Every single one. Also I went through every kitchen towel we owned.

wpid-20140624_101755.jpgthis is just the preferments, BEFORE THEY GREW.

It was insane. You see the picture above, of the island in the middle of my kitchen? Imagine that, FILLED with cut up preferments. We did 10 batches of bread, that made about 16 rolls each batch. I did a regular french bread, just yeast, flour, salt and water.

wpid-20140626_111953.jpgI numbered each bowl of dough separately so I knew what order to bake them in. Sometimes I am clever. This isn’t all of them, by the way.

After the first few rolls, my maid of honor got the hang of shaping rolls. I did write about shaping rolls, well actually I was making pitas, but same procedure without the rolling pin. So we did about 160 rolls, which looked something like this:

wpid-20140626_145721.jpgI think we filled three gigantic bags, maybe four. I don’t remember. Those are the JUMBO bags, not the measly regular gallon bags. Also, those bowls are every single person who has a bowl, loaned out to me.

Immediately, they went in the freezer with the cookies. I wanted them to taste as fresh as possible.

Day Five, Friday: Food. Lots and lots of food making. We made a romaine salad, a chickpea salad, and the boys made potato salad(s) and coleslaw(s). The tent went up.

wpid-20140627_121648.jpgtables, chairs, lots of them!

Later on, I got a semi-surprise bachlorette party, I mean I knew everyone was coming over, but I didn’t know they were bringing, um, well you know. Lots of phallic looking gag objects. I got all beaded up and we got rather silly. It was pretty much amazing. I have the best friends. Not to brag or anything.

DAY OF, SATURDAY: I threatened that one of my bridesmaids needed to carry a bucket in case I pooped myself. Also, last minute I realized I forgot to sew a part of my dress, LOL, and pushed that sucker through the sewing machine at high speed. My brother arrived to practice the music, which he wrote. Our bar, apparently a gift from one of the groomsmen, made by himself, arrived. We thought we were just borrowing it!

wpid-20140627_121620.jpgobviously we cleaned up in here before the event. And by “clean up” I mean threw everything in the garage. We covered the pink floyd poster, it was to throw us off the trail.

Everyone arrived pretty early, I was still in a tank top and jeans. Can you tell by the choppy way I am writing this, it’s all kind of a blur? Truly, it was wild toward the end there. So let’s get to the HAND MADE WEDDING DRESS…

wpid-20140628_161412.jpg.jpegin my very messy dressing room.

wpid-2014062895161550.jpg.jpegsorry, it’s blurry, I was freaking pretty much out.

I wore my grandmother, June’s pearl bracelets and ring. Earrings from the husband and necklace as well.

There are a ton more pictures, but I don’t want to post pictures with other people in them, just out of respect for them. Well, ok, one. Only because I got permission. Express permission, as he just told me:

188we’d rather be drinking…

Isn’t he a handsome fellow? TAKEN! 😀

Trust me, it all went flawlessly as I could hope, I did not cry, I did not poop myself and I drank a pile of booze. The plant hoard served as the BEST centerpieces ever, there was a lot of ohhs and ahhs over my beloved hoard. And they were essentially free! Everyone had a great time, there may or may not have been streaking (not by myself!) and in all honestly, it was so much fun, so relaxed I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

I hope you enjoyed all the pre-show, this wild ride! I am personally, very happy and very glad it’s all over so I can get back to crafting stuff! Thanks for reading! I will not be changing my name on here, so I can have some semblance of internet privacy, so it’s still bmaryglaser.wordpress.com!

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The Beer Yeast Poolish

If you recall, the wedding beer was quite lively and gaseous.

wpid-20140324_081203.jpgGURGLE GURGLE GURGLE *RASPBERRY*

Loud enough that it startled me several times. In the picture above, you can see a measuring cup with some blow off yeast in it. Well, waste not want not!

I decided to try and make bread out of it.

wpid-20140326_205624.jpgrather unpleasant looking, i’d say

I hunted around the internet for any advice and mostly saw “don’t” and “it makes dense bread”. Well, screw you, INTERNET, you can’t tell me what to do!

I decided to start off with a poolish. If the yeast was lively, it would grow.

wpid-20140326_205921.jpgagain, unpleasant looking

Sure enough, within a few hours we had:

wpid-20140327_101445.jpgIT’S ALIIIIIIVVVVVVVVEEEEE!!

Perplexed with what step to take next, I put the poolish in the fridge for two days while I thought about it.

wpid-20140327_135145.jpgPoolish Day Two: imma gonna eat ur refrigerator…

A dense loaf, like sourdough, was what what the INTERNETZ told me to expect. So I decided to do an italian bread with sugar and to use milk instead of water. Unfortunately, I had to go to work so my lovely fiance was charged with shaping, final proof and baking. I left him with sage tips, such as, “if it turns into a taquilla, call a priest.”

wpid-20140329_093606.jpgi swear, i am not a taquilla! what is wrong with you?

I came home to…

Drumroll…

No, seriously, drumroll…

wpid-20140329_174849.jpgpretty sure that’s bread…

Not too bad for a first time shaping!  I’ve done worse! Seriously. Well done! Now what about the taste? If you recall, the wedding beer has raspberries in it and the yeast did have a slight raspberry smell. So we cut that bad boy open:

wpid-20140331_181809.jpgnot dense. ok, well i (bmary) am dense, but the bread isn’t

The flavor was slightly sweet and very good. It was not dense at all. I think the reason for this was that the yeast used was very fresh and the INTERNETZ was mostly discussing spent yeast, like from the bottom of the a beer after it brews. That I could see being considerably less lively. Regardless, this made very good bread! If you wanted to use spent yeast from a home brew, I would suggest feeding it much like a mother starter until it was fully awake and bubbly.

Screw saving a piece of wedding cake, we’ll save a beer thank you.

Fun With Francine – Baguettes!

Francine and I had another play date! Whoo hoo!

wpid-20140210_073632.jpgit’s a yeast party

I decided to try again with baguettes, as I tried in this post, only correcting some of my mistakes. Less whole wheat flour, more room temperature time. Again, this is loosely based on Pain a l’Ancienne from Peter Reinhart. This time, even looserly based.

wpid-20140222_080348.jpg“looserly based” – phrase made up by BMary to describe adventures in making a mess and ignoring better judgement of others

As this was a real fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants adventure, I feel that it would be okay for me to post the recipe. It’s not even close to the original.

wpid-20140223_105858.jpgcertainly worked though. yeah, baby, you eat that bowl, ya bad yeasty beasties.

Obviously, you would need a mother starter for this. If you don’t have one, well, you should make one. It’s not difficult, promise!

Francine is a whole wheat mother starter. There are as many varieties as there are types of flour. But they are basically wild yeast that you collect from where ever you choose to leave the flour/water mixture at. Don’t me intimidated. It works pretty flawlessly. Just be patient.

wpid-20140223_110034.jpgon the counter! this is like the best lazy person’s bread ever.

wpid-20140223_110347.jpguse a bench knife to cut it into strips. no shaping required!

wpid-20140223_120105.jpgbaked up decent, probably could still tweak it a bit.

wpid-20140223_134454.jpgwhat’s on the inside is what’s important.

Ok, so here we go:

2 and 1/4 C Water

3 and 1/2 C Bread Flour (or AP, whatever)

2 C Whole Wheat Flour

2 tsp Salt

1/2 C Mother Starter (that has been left at room temperature overnight)

Put water in bowl. Put starter in water in said bowl. Mix flours in gradually in said bowl. Add salt somewhere in between. Mix until consistent. Set on counter until the bread dough attempts to eat the bowl. Might be a long time. If it’s too late to bake, just chuck it in the fridge. Let it warm up an hour before you bake. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Like really, preheat that baby. Pull out dough onto well floured workspace. Stretch dough (try not to degass it!) into a rectangle shape. Cut with bench knife into long strips. Put onto a greased pan and allow to rest while oven preheats. Put bread in oven. (NO WAY!) After two minutes, turn down the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for another 7ish. Check to make sure bread is baking evenly and has not turned into a calculadora. Rotate if it is not baking evenly and bake another 7 minutes, or until bread is at 205 degrees and brown and delicious looking. If it turns into a calculadora, call the oven repair person or your local priest. Try to wait ten minutes before consuming all loaves. Don’t burn yourself.

This version is much less bitter than the last one, due to the reduction in whole wheat. I think my next attempt will be a boule which is fancy French speak for shaping dough into a ball. If I do attempt that, I am probably going to have to modify the proofing times. We’ll see what happens!

Results from Francine a l’Ancienne!

Finally Francine got to work for me!

wpid-20140218_095833.jpgi’m awake!

If you recall yesterday morning we were here:

wpid-20140217_072927.jpg

WIP

So I was pretty thrilled that we got Francine a l’Ancienne to wake up. Next time, I will probably feed her and leave her out overnight before I mix up another batch.

wpid-20140218_100040.jpghappy mess

wpid-20140218_100443.jpgnot my prettiest work, but this dough is wet.

wpid-20140218_100739.jpgit’s okay, i’ll eat the ugly pieces.

wpid-20140218_110444.jpgbaked up, my new gigantic cooling rack.

wpid-20140218_111102.jpgholy moly!

Well, I definitely scored on the crumb! I gave it a taste test and unfortunately, we do need some improvements. Too much whole wheat made the bread a little more bitter than I would like. It will be great with soup or to scoop up sauces in, but it could be better. I had planned on using more bread flour in my ratio (I think I ended up with 70% whole wheat and 30% bread flour) but the dough firmed up before I got to the ratio I was planning on, which was six cups of flour, not four and a half or so. So lesson learned for next time, however I don’t think there’s going to be a problem getting this bread eaten!

While Francine was baking I went out and fed the wild birds and scooped a poop zone aka turdundra for the greyhound. I don’t know about you, but I would not like to poop up to my elbows in snow. I took a few snaps so you could see how snowy it is here!

wpid-20140218_102455.jpgdoesn’t do it justice

wpid-20140218_102642.jpgsad flamingo

wpid-20140218_102600.jpgi almost had to borrow some huskies to get over to the tree

wpid-20140218_102631.jpglast years hops

It needs to warm up here before I go crazy!!!

Francine a l’Ancienne

Good morning everyone!

wpid-20140210_073632.jpgpet yeast. it’s weird around here.

Francine and I had a play date last night. I decided to try using her as a starter for a delayed fermentation bread. I loosely based it on Peter Reinhart’s Pain a l’Ancienne from his book, just to get the proportions right. Ok, not even. I can’t even pretend that I used the book. Let me rephrase, I used experience from making the former described recipe and threw my hands in the air like I just don’t care and I might have farted at caution.

wpid-1392214955324.jpghave you met me? i do that a lot. my motto is “f*ck it, send”

Basically, I started with about two cups of water, a half cup of Francine, enough whole wheat flour to thicken, a couple teaspoons of salt and enough bread flour to make sure we have some structure. I used about a cup or a half a cup less than I would normally use, because I intend for this to be a very wet dough and hopefully (!) it will make a beautiful crumb. I wanna see more holes than Ron Jeremy. Ok, that was awful, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t come up with a better analogy.

So, I am sure you’re all dying to know, WHAT HAPPENED?

wpid-20140216_190849.jpgwater, salt, Francine and stuff

wpid-20140216_191040.jpgi figured i would mix Francine in first

wpid-20140216_191221.jpgbefore the bread flour

wpid-20140216_191748.jpgafter the bread flour…

Then I put the whole thing in the fridge overnight. This morning we have:

wpid-20140217_072927.jpgstuff…just sit tight…

Ok, my bowl doth not overflow. I am going to leave her out until I have to go to work and see what happens, if she rises a bit more. I mean, it obviously rose a bit, but not as much as I was hoping for. So I am going to give her some time. Francine likes to take her time, that is for certain and I don’t mind. If I have to bake her tomorrow, tomorrow I shall! I’ve got plenty of shenanigans to keep me busy.

Today I have to FINALLY make some calls for the whole wedding thing I am going to go through with on June 28th, of this year. God help me. I hate wedding planning with a severe passion. Everything is lined up, but I haven’t made arrangements. We’re going to have it in the back yard, so we need chairs and a portajohn or two. Also I need someone to officially make it so. And I need to call and order a pig for the pig roast. All the other food we are going to make, just salads and sides. It’s a picnic wedding! Ice cream and cookies for dessert. Screw cake, I don’t like cake. And I have never baked a cake, but I can bake cookies! Plus I have to get some of my grandmother’s jewelry fixed up, get to making my dress (groan) and probably 20 other things I have written down somewhere on the Great To Do List. Ugh, I am so glad I am not having a “real” wedding with a banquet hall, crappy catering and a fondant cake that tastes like cardboard. Do you know how much that costs? A lot. A whole disgusting lot. For what? Chair clothing? Can you see it? “Ma’am, I see you’ve refused to spend $5000 on coverings for these banquet chairs and therefore I am leaving.” Ha! One of these days I’ll post the Great To Do List, when I get some done!

all dressed in red, always the bride, off with her head, all dressed in white, off with her head

courtney sings the blues

The Mother Starter

Good morning everyone!

My mother starter is finally ready for use! Hurray!

wpid-20140125_083543.jpgpet yeast

wpid-20140125_083533.jpgfrom above

Finally! I was worried in the beginning because my starter took a very long time to get lively. Over a week of babying and watching and feeding but finally, we have a healthy group of wild yeast to bake with! I created the starter with instructions from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads.

Mother starter, from baby starter to momma:

wpid-20140110_163210.jpgnot dreadfully exciting yet

wpid-20140122_173217.jpgstarting to rise up a bit, after I mix:

wpid-20140122_173306.jpgdeflating down. smells delicious and tangy!

After about a week of all that, rising, mixing, feeding, rising, mixing, feeding, I was ready to make an actual mother starter. Here she is when I first mixed her up:

wpid-20140124_081738.jpghappy little yeastie beasties?

wpid-20140125_083533.jpgvery happy little yeastie beasties!

I’m going to make the basic whole wheat loaf on Monday, so I will of course update you all then. Today, I am going wedding dress shopping with my friend who is getting married (I am going to make my wedding dress, so no temptation there, but maybe inspiration!) then off to an old school no cell phones allowed dinner party. Can’t wait! Busy Saturday!

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone! I look forward to seeing what you’ve all been up to! 😀

Italian Bread: IS THIS A BREAD SWEATSHOP???

wpid-20140118_135802.jpg

My fiance is in the process of moving out of his music studio and moving it into the basement until he finds another place due to flooding.

In January.

In the midwest.

Go figure.

It’s Illinois, what do you expect? We still hold onto Pluto being a planet.

wpid-20140105_104724.jpgone of two flamingos for the ark

Anyway, his band friends are coming over for dinner after moving. We decided that feeding them might be nice. I suggested lasagna, which my fiance makes from scratch and is excellent. He agreed. We then decided a salad and why the heck not, garlic bread! So, it’s a bread sweatshop up in here. I swear, I normally don’t bake this much. Usually it’s about once a week. So, here is the Italian Bread, from biga to end.

wpid-20140118_084420.jpgwpid-20140118_085558.jpgwpid-20140118_085756.jpgwpid-20140118_085837.jpgwpid-20140118_090002.jpgwpid-20140118_091220.jpgwpid-20140118_092040.jpgwpid-20140118_114436.jpgwpid-20140118_115514.jpgwpid-20140118_130254.jpgwpid-20140118_134117.jpgsorry i’ve run dry of stupid jokes, wait, there’s two loaves, is one male and one female? call noah. this is the worst joke ever. #yolo #punchesself

Hope you guys all enjoy and have a productive and wonderful day!!! 😀

Ciabatta Bread (on a busy day!)

wpid-20140118_080019.jpg

Yesterday I made ciabatta and I apologize for not posting it. While it was going through it’s stages, I was fiddling with the Athena 2000 and after about 3 hours into fiddling:

wpid-20140117_095159.jpg

GUYS I MADE A KNOT WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

wpid-20140117_100815.jpg wpid-20140117_094917.jpg wpid-20140117_094801.jpg wpid-20140117_094717.jpgwpid-20140117_094658.jpg “throw your arms in the air like you just wanna drop kick a machine!”

I just couldn’t take it anymore and had to take her into the shop, the closest one being 30 miles away. So I got a bit sidetracked and I will post about that later. Onto the ciabatta!

wpid-20140117_080111.jpgcoffee. step one is always make coffee. all my blogs should start with “today i arose from mine bed and went forth and made coffee” -sayeth brittany

First thing I had to do was pull the poolish I had made the day before which you can read about here out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for an hour.

wpid-20140117_072852.jpgit looks like the moon but it is not made of cheese

Then I assembled together the final ingredients.

wpid-20140117_080518.jpgthe actual step after this was “drink coffee”

Let me assure you, dear friends, this was a heck of a time to mix. I had to add more water than I thought, which I DESPISE doing. I always try to add less flour in the beginning because it is so much easier to add flour than water. I blame it on the fact that we are under an arctic chill here in Illinois and the house makes the desert seem humid. It’s so bad, I have to water some houseplants twice a week.

20140106_145403[1]sure, that seems like a reasonable excuse. clearly, it was ALIENS!

Anyway, I had to fight with that dough to get the right consistency and it was not exactly my favorite thing ever. But eventually, it started to behave.

wpid-20140117_084341.jpgthis is a sticky ball. stop giggling. this is serious.

wpid-20140117_092006.jpgstretching and folding

wpid-20140117_103629.jpg an hour later we’re bursting at the seams. yeast cells are such little piggies

wpid-20140117_103951.jpglook at that bubble. that is a delicious bubble.

wpid-20140117_104046.jpgsetting up a couche, or as i like to call it, a towel that is bunched up so the dough doesn’t stick

Right about

HERE

is when I finally called around about the sewing machine. Being that the place closed early and was forty minutes away, I decided to rush things a wee tiny bit. I originally was going to use my peel, like I’m fancy or something, and bake them two at a time directly on the stone. To save time, I put all four on sheet pans and just rotated them for baking.

wpid-20140117_114321.jpglooking good, kiddies!

wpid-20140117_122421.jpgand….delicious! can you see the hole? that was where the thermometer went.

The bread turned out very tasty, but still not as hole-y as I would like. The crust was beautiful. I mean, spot on A+ crust. But…oh, the crumb. It was good, but just not quite there.  Again, I am blaming the low hydration. Something I am going to have to play with. I might try again Monday…

Have a wonderful day, everyone!! 😀

P.S. this is what the inside looks like:

wpid-20140118_123422.jpgnot holey enough!!! needs more holes!!