Monday, January 14, 2013

The Official Baking Test.................

Dateline - Snap Fitness / Saturday Afternoon

I don't know....maybe it was around 3 in the afternoon.

And there goes Klecko strolling across the floor of the gym.

Saturdays are a great time to get your workout in since most of the worlds young people are out either attacking their desires, or simply laying on the couch recovering from the previous evening.

On this particular day, it was "Vanity Day" for me.

This is comprised of an entire workout souly dedicated to Bi's-Tri's and Forearms.

Throughout my workout, I lifted in silence, and paid attention to what my muscles were saying, but for whatever reason....I was having trouble gaining my focus.

The derailment started when I noticed the only other people in the gym were woman.

There was 3 of them.

Their ages ranged (I'm guessing) from between 25 - 40.

Each of them were pretty fit.

Each of them shared simular body types.

But the thing that kinda staggered me is each one of them wore black work out pants, and turquoise shirts.

2 of the pants were pants, and 1 of the pants were shorts, so it wasn't like these ladies came together after bowling practice, but their shirts....they were T-Shirts, but not in the sense of T-shirt that guys were.....

They were "Girl T-shirts", you know...the kind of shirts guys don't know how to describe because they have nothing like this in their closets.

You know, those T-shirts that almost appear blouse like.....

Only 3 women in the gym, and they are wearing almost the exact same thing.......

What are the odds.

After awhile I made my way to the dumbell rack and started doing a ladder system of hammers.

I started at 35#'s and worked my way down in 5# increments.

While doing this, my mind now drifted to ealier in the morning.

Eventhough it was my day off, I ended up waking up around 5:30 because I had to do some chores and then head over to work to set up for the first instalation of 2013's Saint Paul Bread Club meetings.

I think we've been getting together quarterly now for over 10 years, so sometimes it can be a challenge to come up with concpts that are both informitive and fun.

But sometimes the obvious has a way of eluding us, doesn't it?

I had this thought not to long ago, that as a guy who is months away from turning 50....I may be one of the last people that lived in a world where people (such as my generations granddparents) baked w/o recipes.

Back in the 70's it was not all that uncommon to be playing with your Lite-Brite or Vibrating Football game while your grandmother milled around in your peripheral - baking world class masterpieces w/o the assistance of meassuring cups, Kitchen Aid mixers, meassuring spoons, digital scales or recipes.

Just a handfull of this, and a pinch of that.

If you ever witnessed this as a kid, I'm sure like me, you probably never stopped to appreciate the genius of this process.

It seemed so natural,

But I think its safe to say....this method was taken for granted by most of us.

But then time passed......

The world changed........

People changed.............

And now, for whatever reason, almost nobody bakes like that anymore.

These days I watch young mothers with expensive baking gadgets scrolling through their I-Pad's or smart phones with their kids to find recipes from the Food Network.

Listen to me peeps, I'm not knocking a world of progress.

I'm not trying to say the old ways were better................

But they were LOL.

And if you are my age, I am willing to bet you will agree.

But now that I have nicked up my younger readers.....I will move on.

The bread club meeting takes place in my production facility, so on our work benches, I set up th following

1 50# bag of High Gluten Flour

1 50# bag of Patent Flour

1 50# bag of Medium Rye

1 50# bag of Whole Wheat Flour

Then I also had recepticals filled with Salt, Sugar, Yeast and I even made Soy Oil available for those that wanted to embark on lean dough concepts.

Everybody who came had been told to bring a small mixing bowl, but that was the extent of their instructions.

After a few club annoucements I informed my clubmates.....

Today you are going to make some bread.

You can use my proofbox, and you can use my oven.....but you'll need to meassure out your ingredients w/o a scale or a recipe.

1/2 the room balked in dismay......

while the other 1/2 smiled and seemed intrigued by the assignment.

Anyways....there is so much more I could say about this retro bake session, but I'll just report that it went really well.

Out of more than 50 loaves, there honestly wasn't a clunker in the bunch.

I really thought we'd run into some trouble, but the club members really attacked this project, often times asking each other for help in certain areas of expertise that they lacked.

When the meeting came to a close, most of my friends had a little glow hovering over them as they left.

Not just because their bread turned out, but also because they had an oppurtunity to return to a special place in their life.

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