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It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Santiago Calatrava’s architectural style.  If I could, I’d visit and photograph every single one of his structures around the world.  I finally made it to my second of his beauties during my last trip to New York.  The Oculus, “it’s a magnificent boondoggle” Calatrava referred to it.  I have to say it is something.  I do love the structure, but it does seem oddly placed sitting among giants.

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Joined Julie and Ellen, owners of Hewn Bakery and Cesar, co-owner of Sketchbook Brewing, tonight for some beer drinking and bread making! Ellen and Cesar spoke so passionately about their craft and may have actually inspired me to try my hand at bread making .. But on the other hand, Ellen already makes the best bread in town .. Either way, we had a great time learning and Ellen was so entertaining, you can tell how much she really loves what she does! Here are some shots of the evening.

Ellen telling us about real yeast “starter” and her simple recipe for bread making.  She believes in making bread by hand and every loaf they produce is made fresh daily from this same starter. Mixing the ingredients for beer bread : starter, equal parts water and beer (wet ingredients first then add the starter) then flour – they use all locally sourced stone milled flour for their breads – a combination of white and wheat.  Gently mix and let rest for 30 min. (Go drink beer!)
  
After 30 minutes your dough should look something like this – add salt and a splash of water to integrate the salt in several batches to make sure you don’t have pockets of salt in your bread.  Then let it rest for the next three hours or so turning every 30 minutes or so during that time.
   Once the dough is ready, divide using as few cuts as possible (you don’t want to break down all those beautiful bubbles), shape and score. Now the shaping is much harder than it looks – you want very little rice flour and for the dough to still be slightly sticky so that it will shape properly. Once shaped, gently turn into lightly floured bowls. (for home she recommends dutch oven)

Processed with VSCOcam with s1 presetAfter second rise, turn out of bowl, score and bake. They use very high heat (485º for around 30-40 minutes) For home dutch oven – bake with lid on for about 15 minutes – remove lid and continue to bake

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