Lewis Weil

It's a day late, happy Juneteenth. Growing up in Texas I have been familiar with Juneteenth and am glad to see it getting recognized nationwide. It's an important day to celebrate and to reflect on. As a kid it was shocking to learn that even after the emancipation proclamation that enslavement was still happening. And that it happened in my home state. I hope it becomes a federal holiday and that we continue to learn the truths of our history and actively work to correct the ongoing injustices.

I'm writing this as a reminder for myself and for anyone else in the same situation. During quarantine and going 100% working from home I am drinking too much coffee! I am drinking it out of habit, out of boredom, out of exhaustion, and to just have a prop in my hand for videochats. I am certain it is adding greatly to my anxiety and muscle tension. I need to stop drinking so much and I need to find something else to fill the gap of flavor and habit.

I really dislike advertising. I find it offensive. If someone wants something they can research and find it. Putting ads everywhere to inspire people to buy things seems so wildly inefficient. Google, one of the biggest companies on the planet is based on providing a service and tricking people into seeing ads. How wildly inefficient that seems. All that wealth flowing through advertisers should be staying with the business creating value or in the pockets of people. I wonder how much of global warming can be attributed to the energy that goes into advertising. How much light pollution blocking out the stars is from lighting up billboards. How much human effort has been poured into ads that could have been used elsewhere.

My meager efforts to live a post-capitalist post-advertising life include: * using adblockers and a Pi Hole to stop ads from reaching me * a VPN to limit how much of my information is being fed to advertising algorithms * using services like write.as and proton mail that i pay for instead of google and social media * not using Amazon and buying things physically from local shops * buying durable goods used whenever i can * shopping locally and with coops and B Corps * not buying advertising for my business

This is super nerdy but I try to live like I am in the federation from star trek tng. not for the sci-fi parts, but rather the humanist philosophy. Living like I am post scarcity and post-capital. I am in reality living in Austin TX in the 21st century and have a twitter account and consume a lot of diet soda. Bu I am trying to give my energy to expanding my own experience and knowledge and helping others. I try to get out my telescope and look at the moon often. I try to garden and make sure there are flowers for bees and nesting material for birds. And Try to limit my youtube time to slightly less than being constantly on.

testing to see if my blog linked to twitter

edit: it works!

All fall and into spring I have been working to add more wild space to my yard. This space on my sideyard is the last spot I had the materials for before shelter in place started. I smother the lawn and weeds with cardboard, and then add layer of mulch. All free materials. I don't use Amazon but people give me their cardboard and the mulch is free from the city. Its made from yard waste. It seems poetic to build native meadows out of the refuse of modern life.

This is very much an experiment. I'll share updates as the plants grow.

With everyone stuck at home there seems to be an increasig interest in sourdough baking. I have updated my sourdough cheat sheet with pictures! Let me know if you have questions of comments.

These are instructions for how I make bread. Every baker has their own slightly different approach. Including you!

email me with comments or questions to lewis.weil@protonmail.com

Ingredient Summary

Dough * 540g bread flour * 60g whole wheat flour * 400g water * 120g starter * 50g water * 13g salt

starter feed * 100g starter * 60g water * 30g bread flour * 30g whole wheat flour

dusting flour * equal parts rice flour + bread flour

recommended special equipment * kitchen scale! * dutch oven or cast iron combo cooker * safety razor or bread lame * bannetons * bench scrapper

Sourdough Dough

I do all my measurements on a kitchen scale in grams. This helps with precision and consistent quality. If you don’t have a scale water 1g = 1 milliliter of water.

Mixing Dough for Two Loaves

It is just as easy to make two loaves as it is to make one. So bake one for your household and give the other to a neighbor! <3

In a dry bowl combine: 540g bread flour + 60g wheat flour

(This all purpose flour is a high-gluten flour from Barton Springs Mill, if you are buying from a grocery store get bread flour if you can. I like King Arthur bread flour)

Measure out: 400g water

then add 120g starter

mix together

Add dry ingredients to the wet

mix together until no dry flour seriously get in there. scrape the side of the bowl. smoosh the dough around. dry flour forms unpleasant lumps in your bread.

Rest 30 min, gently covered

13g salt 50g water Smoosh into the dough with your hands. The added water will not absorb right away, that’s fine.

Rest 30 min gently covered

Turning Dough

This dough does not require kneading, instead of needing a technique called turning helps develop gluten structure. Turns mean grabbing the dough with your hand and stretching it. I stretch every side of the dough and then shape it into a ball and then let that rest.

Every 30 min give the dough some turns. Do this a few times.

It usually take about 4 hours for the dough to rise. This dough is just risen enough, it could have used another hour but this is fine. Sourdough is very forgiving.

Shaping the Dough

Prepare dusting mix with 50/50 bread flour and white rice flour. Rice flour is nice but not essential, it. does not scorch as much as wheat flour which helps with high heat baking.

Dust the counter with flour

Turn dough out onto floured counter

Divide into two even loafs. Yes I even weigh the two dough balls.

Fold like an envelope This technique is used to build tension in the dough. stretch and fold top to bottom

left to right

right to left

bottom and over

and pull it all into a ball and lay it seam side down. Repeat with the second dough ball.

Let rest on the counter covered with a towel or basket, seam side down, 30 min

Dust a proofing basket (banneton) or a bowl lined with a clean dishtowel with flour. If you are using a dishtowel coat it thoroughly with flour, otherwise the dough can get into the fibers messing up both your towel and loaf.

Dust the rested dough with flour

Flip over, flour side down Fold like an envelope again

Lay the dough balls seam side down and dust the tops to coat.

Put the dough top-side down into the proofing basket.

Pinch the bottom seam together to build more tension ![]https://snap.as/quesoetiquette/sourdough-cheat-sheet/MmRVQ5N

Cover and refrigerate overnight.


Put the combo cooker or dutch oven in the oven and set oven to preheat to 500F. Let the oven reach 500F and then let it stay at 500F for at least 30min. You will be tempted to cut this short but you shouldn't.

While the oven is preheating retrieve a basket of dough out of the refrigerator and proof at room temperature for at least 30 min

Get a razor ready. Carefully. If you don't have a razor use scissors. Scissors are better than a knife for scoring.

Leaving the dough in the basket lightly coat the dough with the dusting mix

Pull out the bottom of the dutch oven out and set down somewhere safe then flip the dough into the dutch oven

Score the top of the dough. Carefully.

Move that back into the oven and cover and drop the oven temperature to 450F don't forget this part! Bake covered for 20 min

Remove cover from the dutch oven and bake uncovered for 15 min. I leave the top part in the oven to help it stay hot.

Remove when dark brown. Like not quite burned but close. Darker than you think.

wipe the crumps out of the dutch oven.

Repeat the baking process with the second loaf or two combo cookers will fit in most ovens.

Eat with copious amounts of butter or other favorite toppings.

Feeding the Starter

I bake weekly and that's when I feed my starter. I use the starter directly from the fridge for making my dough. And while the dough is resting I feed the starter. Once it is has fermented for a few hours at room temp I put it back in the fridge.

60g water 100g starter

add water to the starter and mix together

60g feed flour mix (50/50 bread flour and whole-wheat flour mixed together)

add and mix together

starter right when it has been fed

starter that is ready to store or use

Wait about 4 hours for it to get real bubbly. Drop a little into a cup of water, it will float once it is ready to use. You can now put it away in the fridge and have it at the ready for when you want to bake.

I am a big believer in being focused on the longterm. Like years, decades, or centuries from now longterm. Longterm thinking is so important to me that i don't hyphenate it, it is a word to me.

Right now the world is losing its societal mind over coronavirus. It is an awful thing but I am almost oddly unconcerned about it. I am so unconcerned that that lack of concern is concerning to me. It is a disaster without precent in decades. And I am concerned about my mom potentially getting it. Many friends are directly impacted by it.

To me I can already imagine a time when this is just a thing that happened. I've seen enough natural disasters and other outbreaks of diseases that are all now just things that have happened but at the time were all consuming. My mind is already in the place where this will just have been a thing that happened.

And obligatory bird counting volunteer badge?

I watched Dr. Katz when I was a kid and I still think about this sea cow bit

My brother and I will still say to each other, “I have a layer of blubber to keep me warm in the water.”

Whatever sea cow.