Boing Boing 

Jason Weisberger

Jason Weisberger is Boing Boing's publisher. Nemo is Jason's Great Pyrenees. You can find Jason on twitter at @jlw

SF Bay Area: Sunday March 1st, Give Me Fiction short story reading show

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This Sunday at Lost Weekend Video in San Francisco, a group of comedians and writers read original short fiction at Give Me Fiction, the literary series hosted by Ivan Hernandez.

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Simple sourdough loaves

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With my sourdough starter active and friendly, I've been baking some fantastic bread. I figured you may need something to do with all that starter, while you wait for second recipe in the fried chicken and waffles duo.

Each day, when I feed my starter, I have to do something with about 1 cup of it. Some days I make pretzels, some days I make waffles and others I just bake some bread. I've learned about half of what I know about bread baking from the King Arthur website, and the other half from the Tassajara Bread Book. The recipe I'm sharing with you below is simple, and almost never fails the patient. I do come from the school of "patience and time are more important than tenth of a unit measurement by weight" for baking. If that's not how you roll, you should probably stop reading this post now.

First addition ingredients:

    Day 1:
  • 1 Cup fed Sourdough Starter
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup warm water
Mix together 3 cups of flour with 1 cup starter and the water. I alternate between bread flour, all purpose and blends of all purpose and whole wheat. You can really use any damn flour you want, mixed with at least 30-40% all-purpose, the loaves pictured have a lot of whole wheat in them. Some combinations would benefit from added gluten or need a bit more water. Just add things in smaller amounts than you think necessary and build up to a consistency you like. This should be a lumpy mass of flour, water and yeast. Try to mix it until it approximates "mixed up really well" but don't stress. You are now going to cover and leave the mass of dough in a bowl big enough for it to RISE. Put it in a warm place, 75-85ºF is preferable. Cover it with plastic wrap over the bowl (best), or a kitchen towel (fine) and leave it alone for 6-8 hours. Feel free to check and see how it is rising, but other than that there is nothing you can do but sit and trust your yeast minions to get to work.

After 6-8 hours of sitting in a warm spot I am going to ask you to do something crazy. Put the bowl in the fridge over night. Just stick it in there, all covered up. Why, you ask? Because the sourdough culture will make more sourness if it finishes the rise cold. I remember reading something once about how the lactobacillus make more acetic acid in one state and more lactic in another. Cold makes it more sour.

Second addition ingredients:

    Day2:
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 2 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt

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The following morning, take it out of the fridge and let it sit in a warm spot. As the sponge, as it is now called, comes up to room temperature you'll want to mix in 2 more cups of flour, the salt and the sugar. You can use a standing blender with a dough hook or just your hands, but give the dough a good solid knead. You want it a single, homogenous mass of dough and easily fall/tear off the dough hook without leaving much if any stuck and behind, or cleanly off the walls of the bowl you are mixing in. Form the dough into a single ball, put back it in a bowl that'll let it double in size while rising, cover and let rise at room temperature for at least two hours and up to however many hours you need to feel the dough has risen enough to bake. This is where patience and time come in. Don't worry about it, just leave it alone. If 6 hours or so have passed and you don't think it'll rise any more, bake it anyway. Check and see if it feels warm to the touch or cold. If its cold, put it someplace warmer. If it is warm, heck... bake it! See what happens. I got surprised the other day by a loaf that looked like it had turned into flat, liquid-y batter but when baked had huge fluffy windowpanes in it.

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Gently split the dough into two balls and shape into whatever sort of loaf you'd like. I go for round balls and then let them do a final rise in these lovely bread proofing baskets. They leave lovely patterns of flour and indentations in the loaf, as it finishes rising, that add a nice touch. Once the two loaves are doing their final rise, I'll preheat the oven to 425F. I bake directly on my pizza stone, so I'll let the oven sit for 5-10 minutes after it indicates it is preheated, just making sure the stone is consistent with the oven.

I dust my pizza peel with flour and flip the proofing baskets over on it. I score the loaves with 1/2 deep cuts to allow them to vent without splitting, then I spray them down with water and slide the loaves onto the stone. After 5 minutes I'll quickly open the oven door and spray the loaves and oven with water again. Trying to keep the oven slightly humid so the bread can keep expanding and stretching before a crust forms. I give the loaves 20 minutes at 425ºF and then turn the oven down to 375ºF. I give loaves this size about another 40-45 minutes at 375º. You can always pop bread back in the oven at 325-350ºF to freshen them up.

Baking with sourdough is fun, and simple. Waffle recipe coming.

Previously on Boing Boing:

How to make sourdough starter at home

How to make the absolute best Buttermilk Fried Chicken ever

Music: "The Bird," Morris Day and the Time (1983)

"I pledge allegiance to the Time"

The Year's Work at the Zombie Research Center

The Year's Work at the Zombie Research Center (The Year's Work: Studies in Fan Culture and Cultural Theory)

The Year's Work at the Zombie Research Center is a hilarious collection of short essays and stories about Zombie cultural significance.

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Music: "Mr. Groove," One Way (1984)

Whenever Pesco tells me he is speaking at an event I imagine this is his walk on music.

Maraschino cherry plant used as cover for drug ring

As marijuana slowly becomes legal across America, a New York cherry magnate has shot himself in the head as law enforcement uncovered a large stash of weed, cars and cash hidden in his plant. Gawker has the story.

"Underground, it was really 'Breaking Bad,'" said the astounded law enforcement source.

Star Wars Millenium Falcon-scene car shade

Plasticolor 003700R01 Star Wars Accordion Sunshade

"That's no moon. It's a space station." immediately popped into my head as I drove past a parked car displaying this fantastic Star Wars window shade.

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Which rock is classic?

538's Walt Hickey helps us understand what America calls classic rock, today.

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Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain

Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain

A humorous take on the YA superhero novel! Penelope wants to become a superhero, just like Mom and Dad, but things don't quite go according to plan in Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain.

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Music:"Boogaloo Down Broadway," The Fantastic Johnny C (1967)

"Come on baby, it ain't hard to do, You've been doin' it ever since you were two!"

German panel on anti-semitism fails to include jews

"'In retrospect, that may have been a mistake,' State Secretary Guenter Krings said, before indicating the government may seek input from Jewish organizations." (via FOX)

Bell Bullitt TT, one year update and new paint schemes

Bell RSD Bullitt

I've been riding with my Bell Bullitt TT for just about a year, and I still love it. Bell recently released this fantastic new paint scheme with Roland Sands Design.

I love the fit and finish of this Bell helmet. The TT, in addition to getting me lots of comments, compliments, and questions, has some of the nicest suede-y interior and shiny bits I've had on a helmet. Nearly 8k miles of riding and the helmet really looks very close to new. It feels fantastic. Still a snug fit that doesn't wiggle as I turn my head about, but certainly broken in.

I've swapped the clear bubble shield to the tinted version, and back, a number of times. I am tempted by the orange gradient shield. They are fairly simple to swap, requiring only that you look at how the notches all line up on the parts. Swapping won't mark up the helmet if you use something plastic to turn the bolts, I use a flat heavy guitar pick.

The helmet isn't the quietest I own and is not my choice for long freeway runs, a flat shield would change that. The bubble creates some wind buffeting when you turn your head at speed. It is, however, fantastic for most of my daily running around town. The helmet just feels better with the shield a bit father from my face.

I'm also, still, happy with how the helmet vents. It vents a lot of air and I like that.

The Bullitt is one great looking helmet, and I absolutely love the new Roland Sands Design paint scheme. If I didn't already have the red bullseyes of the TT, I'd want that helmet. I really like RSD's jackets as well, they make nice stuff. Tough leather with good armor that looks fantastic.

Previously:

Bell Bullitt TT: first impression helmet review

Further thoughts on my Bell Bullitt TT

Music: "Who Stole the Hot Sauce?" Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band (1996)

A favorite.

How to make sourdough starter at home

waffle

Buttermilk waffles go perfectly with fried chicken. I've been perfecting my waffle recipe for years, but in order to make them like I do you'll need a sourdough starter.

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30-Day Guitar Workout

30-Day Guitar Workout

In addition to the oddest cover design ever, 30-Day Guitar Workout offers great exercises and has improved my playing.

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Music: "Dance Across the Floor," Jimmy Bo Horne (1978)

Evidently KC and the Sunshine Band with Jimmy Bo Horne. (Thanks, Electric Disk!)

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Thundercats logo t-shirt

Thunder, thunder, thunder

This simple Thundercats logo'd t-shirt subtly states "I watched a lot of TV as a kid!"

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Music: "Draggin' The Line," Tommy James and the Shondells

Song almost saw me name my dog Nemo, Sam.

Music: "Polarized," The Ernies (1999)

"Just a swirling mass in charged dance..."

CRUMBS, a surreal post-apocalyptic film from Ethiopia

Check out this surprisingly twisted and odd trailer for CRUMBS, a feature length science fiction film from Ethiopia.

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Music: "Stomp," The Brothers Johnson (1980)

"The heat is on and the funk just won't leave us alone!"

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Apocalypticon, a hilarious post-apocalyptic novel

Apocalypticon

Who says post-apocalyptic fiction has to be dreary? In Apocalypticon the end of the world is absolutely hilarious.

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Throwing beer and yelling racial slurs at kids? Disorderly conduct

The families injured feel disorderly conduct is a light charge for the racist jerk who ruined a hockey game for some Native American kids, spraying them with beer and yelling racial slurs.

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Sterling Archer Draper Pryce

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Sterling Archer Draper Pryce is a fantastic tumblr, blending the wit of Archer with the images of Mad Men.

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Star Trek communicator and dog waste bag dispenser

Star Trek Communicator Dog Bag Dispenser

This $8 Star Trek bag dispenser is dangling off Nemo's leash, ensuring I am ready to clean up after he has boldly gone.

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Music: "Dream Police," Cheap Trick (1979)

"They live inside of my head"

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Bra holster misfire kills Michigan Republican delegate

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"'She was having trouble adjusting her bra holster, couldn't get it to fit the way she wanted it to. She was looking down at it and accidentally discharged the weapon,' said St. Joseph Public Safety Director Mark Clapp." (via MLive)

BJ and the Bear

Classic Movie Themes claims this show is a cult classic. I just somehow remember it as being really good. Here is the pilot episode.

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Brushing out massive amounts of shedding dog hair

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Winter is drawing to a close in California, and that means shedding time. I use a combination of brushes to keep my home, and my Great Pyrenees, manageable.

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Music: "Do You Know What I'm Talkin' About," The Downbeats (1965)

"I'm not a raisin' my voice..."