High Altitude Baking


Posted by Annie in Activities, Organic on December 17, 2012

I’ve been trying to get a “mother” going for sour dough bread and trying to do it without yeast.  Easier said than done.  It gets all bubbly and full of gas but when I go to bake bread with it, either it doesn’t rise or no matter how much flour I use, it never becomes elastic.  It’s so strange but I haven’t give up yet.

A sourdough starter fermenting.

I did a search for “high altitude baking”. There is some good advice out there.

If you have kids, do visit: The High Art of Baking at Altitude.  They really know how to explain this.  I think it’s fascinating.

“Low air pressure has two main effects on baked goods: They will rise more easily, and lose moisture faster; liquids evaporate more quickly since water boils at lower temperatures at high altitude.”

I don’t know why none of these sites mention what I consider the most important thing: your pans.  Bright and shiny pans are not so good. I find that the darker they are, the better they perform.  So, if you’re having trouble getting your bread to bake, or cookies are inedible, try buying the darkest pan you can find.

Like this…

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Sweet Yam Casserole


Posted by Annie in Activities on December 5, 2012

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted.  Where does the time go?

no-knead bread  |  pan de fermentación lenta

No-knead bread

I’ve been busy baking, just about everything you can get your hands on.  I have a no-knead bread recipe that is really good. I bake it a couple of times a week.  Then there’s those cook books I bought at Cover’s Apple Ranch, in Tuolumne. There were four of them, one each for soups, breads, pies and cookies.  I’ve been working my way through the soups.  So far, we like the Chicken and Rice the best.

I’ve just got to share this wonderful recipe for yams that is really tasty.

Sweet Yam Casserole

3 c. mashed yam potatoes (do not use sweet potatoes)
1 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Mix all ingredients well and put in a large greased baking dish.


1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. coconut
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 stick butter

Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Though it says 20 minutes, I usually bake it for at least 30 minutes.  As for preparing the yams?  Easy. I peel them and cook them in the steamer, it takes about 15 minutes and they’re ready to go.

It’s been raining on and off. Still no snow.

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Labor Day Weekend!


Posted by Shawn & Annette in Activities, Outdoors, Twain Harte News on August 31, 2012

Wow! Where did the summer go? It’s already begun to cool off from the August heat. It could have been worse but to tell you the truth me and heat just don’t get along.

Make Ravioli

If you’re heading up for Labor Day weekend, remember to be careful – things are highly flammable right now. It’s very dry and the winds aren’t helping anything. Remember if you’re camping you’ll need a permit for that fire. And don’t forget to bring a sweater or jacket for those cool evenings. You’ll need it.

On your way up the hill why not stop in Sonora for something to eat? I tried Stuff It the other day and the food is absolute luscious. The ravioli was tender, the filling a perfect blend of cheeses, and the sauce, I could rave for hours about it. We liked it so well, that my husband and I signed up for ravioli making classes. I’ll let you know how that goes.

CHP will be in maximum enforcement again this weekend. They are looking for intoxicated drivers, noticeably missing from their list was seat belt enforcement. Apparently, last year saw an increase of 60 some major traffic accidents.  Maybe the CHP figured out their are worse dangers than drivers not wearing seat-belts.

The Myth of “Safety Belts”

At any rate, keep it safe – whether or not you wear a seat belt.

We are having some family over for Tri-Tip on the BBQ. Will you be traveling over Labor Day?

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