With my son at home and my activities limited by social distancing, a forgotten element of my day to day life has come roaring back to the front burner: Time. I get up, fix breakfast, see my essential employee wife off to work, get my son up, fed and organized for his on-line learning and then, well, time. I have begun planning menus and recipe testing. I have contacted vendors that I haven't seen in weeks. I have begun recording and posting "how-to" cooking videos for our TLS family and friends on various social media platforms. Without a commute, after school activities, practices and a social life, my schedule has gigantic chunks of time filling the void social distancing has created. Healthy at home has cut out all of my impulse grocery runs, movie theater trips and dinners out with family or friends. The pressure I felt to entertain my son, friends and, truthfully, myself has been forcibly removed from my life.
So I baked some bread. First, a soft, sandwich style loaf that my son loved and said was as good as his grandmother's bread. That warmed my heart and I baked a sourdough loaf that blew out the side and was a mess. So I baked another loaf. Then I mixed enough to bake two loaves and experiment with different baking containers. Then I had too much bread so I gave a loaf to some friends (wrapped and delivered with appropriate social distancing measures). All the baking and the joy the baking brought made me wonder why I didn't just always bake our bread. Time.
I was able to purchase a bone-in pork shoulder and I fired up my smoker. I tended the fire, spritzed the roast and enjoyed delicious pulled pork after 10 hours. Time. I made my own mayonnaise. I made tortillas. I roasted a whole chicken. I made fresh pasta. I made chocolate chip cookies. Time. All of these projects kept my inner cook satisfied but it made me appreciate all the the things I enjoyed but would acquire through impulse and sacrifice quality, community and cost just to save time.
I have been inspired by the feedback on some of the content I have produced. Folks are filling their time with food and family and that makes me happy. I am inspired to continue developing this new found value. Not to create technically complicated entrees to impress others but to make the simple and staple foods that only require that which I had lost but have found again: time.
TLS Sammi Loaf Poolish 4 oz bread flour 2.5 oz water 1/8 tsp yeast 1/8 tsp salt Ferment for 1 hour at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Final Dough 8 oz water 1 TBSP Molasses or honey 2.25 tsp yeast Poolish 13 oz Bread flour 1.5 tsp kosher salt 2 TBSP butter
1.Add poolish, water, molasses and yeast to mixer fitted with a dough hook. 2.Add flour and salt and mix/knead for 8-10 minutes. 3.With mixer running, add butter a little at a time until thoroughly mixed. 4.Cover and let ferment for 1-1.5 hours. 5.Pre-shape dough into a semi-loaf and let rest for 15-20 minutes. 6. Shape into loaf and place in a buttered and flour bread pan. 7. Let rise in pan for 45 minutes to an hour. 8. Score the top of the loaf and bake in a 380F oven for 25 minutes. 9. Remove from pan and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the internal loaf temperature reaches 190-200F. 10.Let cool completely before slicing.