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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Trying my old Magic Chef toaster oven because I still have not gone shopping

Two days ago I tried that shipping delivery service. Big snafus there. It turned out not to be fully set up here. I can always make a mini bread on my stove top. Got brave though and tried my old toaster oven, (that I’ve always been scared of). Made a quick yeast dough for a flat bread. I don’t understand how the 15 minute timer works for the oven. So this flat bread dough went in on a cookie sheet at an unknown temp. I did the timer a few times, perhaps a total of 25 minutes? At least I would not forget it and really burn it. No smoking or flames. Did it get hot enough? No way to tell that I knew of. I had flipped the bread halfway through, so both sides were light brown. I cut the bread in strips and sliced the strips open. The dip, of which I did not make enough, was just some mashed kidney beans, seasoning from oriental ramen noodles, vinegar and olive oil. ...the flat bread was pretty good but I’d used sugar for the yeast to feed on, so it was too sweet.

I’m looking for instructions on how to use this toaster oven - how do the temp controls work? The 15 minute timer for the oven or what?

And, uhoh, now that I can use this oven - it does not burn as easily as using my stovetop does since I don’t use a timer there - I can really get away with having no bread in the house. I could bake a proper loaf but that means all that proofing time...and I like a sourdough - that really takes a long time...We’ll see!

Later that evening I set up a dough to proof overnight

Pictures are out of order, as I cannot easily move them around when editing from my phone. One pic gives a relative idea of the size heaping cutlery teaspoon of flour to the container I scooped that flour into and the total amount I used for this. Oh boy, 6-7 of these measures.
c. 1/8 t. Active instant yeast
c. 1/8 t. salt 
Mix together well
Splash (?) extra virgin olive oil
Mix that in well with a fork 
Make a cup? water hot and let cool til it’s hot/warm but you can easily touch it
Start splashing it into the dry a few spoons at a time, distributing quickly. Don’t mix too much. You have just keep adding a bit at a time until it forms a dough and pulls all the flour from the sides of the container. If you can get a feel for this you won’t have sticky hands or a sticky bowl. 
I think in this case I ended up using 11 cutlery teaspoons. These of course cannot be heaping spoons of water! It will always be the right amount of water relative to how much flour you have. Can you repeat this exact taste? No. Just think of it as being a different recipe each time. Over time you would learn by feel. I just hate having all those measuring spoons to wash, so I stopped messing with them. I do most everything by eye and feel.

Cover the dough with a piece of plastic wrap so it’s outside won’t dry up overnight. I put that whole thing into a little paper bag for overnight. I hoped it would sour a bit. Perhaps 12 hours later(?), I gently let the dough roll out from the container onto the little baking sheet. I had sprinkled oats and cornmeal onto the sheet first. It was a small loaf and not a flatbread. With a knife I tried to make those diagonal slits along the top. 

I still don’t understand how this toaster oven works. I set it for 350° because I’m afraid of a 400° in that tiny context. That’s not really good for a quick initial expansion of the dough. I had to reset the timer every 15 minutes. It never really browned but made a very crunchy crust. I’m so busy writing this etc. that this is all still waiting for me to eat properly.

I had frozen chickpeas that I mashed up and made some kind of hummus with. I’ll put mayo on the little bread slices. I also cooked up some frozen cranberries and blueberries with sugar, water, and cinnamon. Makes a nice quickie jam(?)

Hope I can get these pics in order later. Now on to dine!

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