Geeky Baking

Stollen proofing by the heat of a workstation and some LAN equipment

Stollen proofing by the heat of a workstation and some LAN equipment

Saccharomyces do their best work at slightly warmer than room temperature.  Here, some S. Cerevisiae are hard at work on the lactose from some scalded milk, kneaded into a ball of Stollen dough.  Their heat source in this case is reused waste heat from the Sun Ultra60 workstation, the switch, and the cable modem.

UPDATE:  Have you ever wanted to celebrate Passover and Christmas at the same time?  Well, now you can with my brand new Matzo-Stollen!

What happens when you don't bring enough snacks to the party

What happens when you don't bring enough snacks to the party

It’s the fun, unleavened German sweet bread that the whole family loves!

Except it’s not.  It kinda sucks, actually.  Looking back over the recipe, I saw that the yeast would quickly exhaust the pitiful amount of sugar in the 1/4 cup of milk and subsequently starve to death, which is exactly what happened since the recipe didn’t add any other sugar at any point.  So I now have this hard, doughy, dry concrete full of candied fruits, raisins, and walnuts.  Anybody want it?

At any rate, I decided that the recipe book I got this one out of is really full of shit.  I got a better recipe from the Food Network that actually activates the yeast first in warm water with a bit of honey, then adds more honey, flour, and warm water to the milk, and THEN adds the activated yeast.  Here, the yeast eats the sugar in the honey and gets a chance to multiply a bit and get a good energy level before we dump them into the dough.  I’ll try that one either tomorrow or Monday and let you know how it works out.

UPDATE 2:  I used the Food Network recipe (that doesn’t starve the yeast to death) and this time it came out just plain awesome.  Sadly, I also didn’t use the computer heat to proof the sponge – it wasn’t hot enough.  Yeast likes to have 110 degrees to ferment so I used a heating pad instead.  I think it worked quite well:

Aside from the crack, it's perfect!

Aside from the crack, it's perfect!

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  1. #1 by VisualHierarchy on December 1, 2009 - 11:15 AM

    This is awesome/delicious in so many ways!

    • #2 by Joshua on December 1, 2009 - 11:20 AM

      Well, show up on Thursday for Chadowrun and you can have some. There’s more than enough (about 1.5lbs).

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