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Bagels

I’ve been making a lot of bagels lately.

Here’s my basic recipe for doing so; it is more of a starting place than a strict recipe. Sometimes I use some sourdough starter…I’ve been experimenting with the exact quantities of sourdough starter to normal yeasted dough.

Dough

  • 1 tbl instant yeast
  • 4 c flour
  • 2 tea salt
  • 1 tbl brown sugar / maple syrup
  • 1 1/3 c warm water

Bath

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tbl brown sugar
  • 1 tbl molasses (if you can get your hands on malt, that is gnarly)

How

  • Activate yeast by soaking in warm sugar water
  • Make dough by combining all ingredients
  • Knead dough for 10 mins (15 mins if by mixer)
  • Let dough double in size, ~ 1.5 - 2 hours
  • Divide risen dough into 12 equal pieces
  • Make each piece into a long snake, and then make bagel shaped by pinching the ends together
  • Let rest for ~ 30 mins
  • Preheat oven to 425 f / 220 c
  • Bring bath to boil
  • Boil each bagel 2 mins (I usually do ~ 6 bagels at a time)
  • Remove from bath and place directly on to baking sheet (if you have a silicone mat, I’ve found those helpful to reduce sticking)
  • Top with whatever seasonings you wish (if you do this fast enough after the boil there is no need to egg wash/milk wash the bagels — I do this to keep them vegan)
  • Bake for 20 - 25 mins, rotate after ~ 15 mins

Heavily dithered screenshot of a zoom call with many participants, each seated at a table.

Scenes from a Zoom seder.

A mother and child sit together at a table with a computer in front of them sharing a meal.

Scenes from a Zoom seder.

In lieu of a more in-depth update from this self isolation here are things I’ve learned about making faux tortillas and flat breads:

  • The thinner the better
  • Hot pan is good. Dry pan even better
  • If needs be, oil the uncooked tortilla instead of the pan
  • Many many many recipes call for baking soda — I have no clue why. Almost none of those same recipes call for any acid. Without an acid to activate and/or neutralize the baking soda the tinny, acrid taste hangs around. No bueno. To counter act this I’ve tried adding a wee bit of lemon juice, but best I’ve found is to completely forego the ingredient altogether
  • I’ve been kneading mine by hand for 4 minutes, dividing into golf ball sized parcels, allowing to rest for a few minutes, and then rolling flat with a big old (like 100+ years old) rolling pin

The rolling pin I use is supposedly one of the only things my great grandmother’s family brought with them from Europe when they fled to America.

Would you like to watch me hoard articles about covid-19 and panic in real-time?

I’ve got an rss feed for you!

A child stands on a rock by the sea. Teal slip on shoes in frame.

Everything feels little. Lichen on rocks by the sea.

Social distancing

Generally speaking I’m pretty anti-social and work from home, so the bulk of my normal IRL social contact comes from pre-k drop-off and pickup, the occasional errand, and trips to the gym. I guess I’m going truly digital native and all in on the family-man thing.

Now that school are closed for at least 2 weeks, this weekend was a dry-run for the days to come:

Beside sneaking some work in whenever possible, I started a new project, ran around in the woods (far from other people) and caught a bunch of Pokemon in Pokemon Go with the kiddo, watched Frozen 2 (3 times!?), read many children’s books, listened to, or overheard many children’s podcasts, cleaned and cooked…a lot.

Covid-cooking so far:

  • Vegan waffles
  • Flat bread and red curry
  • Vegan chocolate chip cookies
  • Miso soup
  • Dozens of bowls of oatmeal (we really like oatmeal)
  • 1 other meal that I’ve completely forgotten

Wash your hands and take care of each other!

Quarantzine

Quarantzine seeks to document this moment — a collection of responses to history as it happens, as well as a collection of resources to help us through.

Please share, contribute, and let me know if you’d like to help organize or curate the first issue of the zine!

Photo of Stranded Magazine.

I was stranded in England in April 2010 because a volcanic irruption in Iceland. I contributed to a magazine to commemorate the moment — all proceeds went to a cause.

Anyone want to contribute to a covid-19zine?