Easy Chicken Curry

Here is another placeholder post. I’m borrowing this recipe from Michael Ruhlman. I’ve been hankering to make gumbo with all the brown roux and gumbo ingredients. Today’s plan was to go to the big box store and pick up the missing parts, until I came across this simple recipe. This I need to try.

Except it won’t be like his. I don’t have 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and I don’t want to buy that much. I do have a frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast that is a about 1lb. (I can get three meals from that and a cup of dry rice). I’m going to make the full amount of sauce because you can’t have to much and it can be frozen.

I’m going to brown and partially cook the chicken breast in the pot instead of roasting over medium heat. Remove. Add the onion and carrot and oil to that skillet to soften/brown on med/low. I might add a clove of crushed garlic towards the end of the veg cooking.

My curry powder lists Tumeric as the second ingredient. I don’t seem to have any Tumeric either. I thought I did. OK, I’ll just some extra curry (or not). I might use sriacha instead of cayenne.

Half a pork butt

Obviously, this is not an active blog anymore and I’m just taking notes so I can find them later.

I bought two boneless port butts at Cash & Carry. $1.39/lb and 20lbs which means two super pig butts each around 10 pounds. Yesterday (Monday, June 11, 2012) I trimmed the fat caps off and divided each butt in half. Depending on how you cut them, some or all will need trussed up. That was two for me. I wrapped and froze 3 halves. I rubbed down 1 trussed half butt. Maybe 3.5 to 4 pounds in weight.

I rubbed a trussed butt with cheap yellow mustard and applied a rub of

  • 2 Tbl ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbl turbinado sugar
  • 1.5 Tbl paprika
  • 1 Tbl kosher salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Nothing earth shaking in the rub. I wrapped the half butt in plastic and put it in the fridge for overnight.

Today (June 12, 2012) I started up the Weber Smokey Mountain with the minion method. I put enough charcoal in the ring for a 6 hour session – 2/3 full and the cooker was up to 225F by 10:45AM. Meat on with 3 chunks of apple wood and after some venting adjusting, I keep it running about that temp for 4 hours. At 2:45PM I put a probe thermometer in the butt (169F). It stalled at 176F for several hours and at 5:30 PM I noticed the water was low the fuel was low. I refilled the water basin and gently tossed several hand fulls of unlit briquettes in the ring. I also lit up several handfuls of briquettes in the chimney starter. No I didn’t count but 20 of each is a decent guess and opened the bottom vents a bit.

I mopped it with some apple cider every few hours. That might matter. Might not.

That got the cooker up to about 260F or so and at 7:30PM the probe measured 183F. Tweak the vents down and at 8:40 it reached 197F on the probe so I pulled it, put in foil and in a cooler. I shut down the smoker.

That was an hour ago as I write this paragraph. Of course I tasted a little bit of the bark stuck to the grate. It don’t suck at all on my scale, on your scale it might be really good. I’ve paid more to get less at some restaurants but the full truth will be in the pulling, the first sandwich and the left overs.

An hour or two later, the half pork butt is pulled. Most of it is in the fridge for another day (freezer soon). Some of it is heating in a sauce pan with some BBQ sauce and a fair bit was consumed by the cook. Always taste along the way.

I’m happy. Serious bark flavor that is just strong enough, melt in your mouth fattiness but you have to grind your molars to get the full flavor. I call it a winner.

Sourdough Hamburger Buns

I have no idea if this going to work. I had some fresh sour dough starter: 4 oz Bread flour and 4 oz water, 100% hydration in my counting system. I was going to make my normal go to, never fail baguettes when I decided I really should make hamburger buns (rolls) because I don’t have any buns and I will need some. I still need baguettes but I can them without thinking.

Of course the first rule to observe is that sour dough doesn’t behave as commercial yeast so toss out the time lines. Secondly, “rolls” have a high amount of butter, milk, oil and sugar and a egg or two. In the margins of my cookbook I had scribbled, “too sweet” on the yeasted recipe I last used. Dial back the sugar.

I don’t use a stand mixer. It’s just the way I roll. Mix and knead by hand, stretch and fold every 30-40 minutes until it feels right. A dough with high fat content? I’m not certain what “feels right” is. That’s not quite true. I know what I think is right but only baking and eating can tell if I know’ed it enough.

Sandwich bread, rolls and buns don’t have big open holes. Hydration seems to be around 55% and the fat in mix is going work against the gluten strand formation. Still you want enough gluten so it doesn’t look like a flapjack when baked.

  1. 8 oz of happy sourdough starter 100% (equal weights of flour and water, 4 oz of each)
  2. 10 oz of bread flour
  3. 3.5 oz of water (not a typo)
  4. 1/4 C to 1/3 C of powdered milk.
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1 Tbl sugar
  7. 2 Tbl melted butter
  8. 1 beaten egg, medium size

Mix that up by hand. That turned out to a very stiff dough until I remembered to add the egg and then it went to way too wet to knead. Let sit for 20 minutes and try kneading vigorously with a 1/4+ C of bench flour for a few minutes. Much Better now. I did a stretch and fold after 30 minutes and set the timer for another 30 minutes.

18 minutes later I went to the kitchen for a beer and checked on the dough. It was ready for another stretch and fold and when I did that I realized it had to be balled up for a nap in the fridge. I was not expecting it to develop that quickly, but it was very active sour dough and stuff happens. How did I know it was done hours before I expected? It’s the mythical touch. This dough can not, won’t or should not build more gluten. You have to fail a lot to get the touch.

I said “into the fridge” and that is not accurate. The gluten was developed as much as I think it should be. I let it rest on the counter for another hour while I wrote this. Now its acting like sour dough. Slow to rise. Do I know when to put it in the fridge overnight and how long to let it warm up the next day before shaping and baking? Nope, no way, no sir. I can not tell you how many minutes or hours.

If you make enough bread, you just know when and what to do and even then you’ll be half way maybe mostly correct.

[Next Day]

I made 9 rolls/buns out that batch. Should have done 6 or 7. Shaping is not my long suite. Bake at 400F for 12-18 minutes (closer towards the 18 mark, IMO).

The buns tastes fine but there really isn’t any sourdough flavor left under the layers of milk, butter and egg. Dialing back the sugar was the right idea, though. For what it is a fat laden white bread, it’s pretty good. Not more better enough to do the sourdough slow dance but we learn when we try.

AP Pizza Dough?

had to buy some AP flour the other day. It’ll take me years to use 5lbs of All Purpose, two tablespoons of gravy or breading at a time. I had a conscious choice between Bleached (aka evil) and Unbleached (not quite as evil). I bought bleached (boo).

The recipes on the back of the bag are for cookies and muffins, not what you would use for bread or pizza. Still, the protein level is somewhere near 9%. I’ve used AP before in the bread machine, back when I didn’t know much about the details. It didn’t suck. I decided to do a pizza experiment. I used my normal dough pizza recipe and reduced the water from 8.5oz to 8oz which is kind of “a lot” for bread bakers. That was my best guess, 7.875 or 7.75 might be more better in a less is better way.

It’s a soft dough I’m not used to. No, gluten development to speak of. Yes I could have done 50/50 with bread flour or add some whole wheat flour (and not reduced the water as much). No problem. I’ll turn out something serviceable and I’ll learn things. That’s the point — learning.


[updated with taste tests, 2010/09/20]

I was sitting in front of the computer when a van with a logo slowly drives into the cul-de-sac. Maybe the neighbors called a repairman? Nope. A guy walks up to my front door (so it’s sales or information that he’s seeking). He’s just delivered some sea food to one of my neighbors (his claim) and he’s got just a little bit more beef or chicken he’d offer for a good price, because he’s in the area. You know, I’ve heard this story before and I know how the game is played. Let’s play.

He brings in two larger boxes of flat packs. Individually wrapped steaks (and hamburger patties, of course). Guaranteed for 1yr, yada.. “Choice Grade”. And it actually had a fricking USDA choice stamp on the box! The chicken is just wrapped chicken breasts in various marinades. I have no interest in that. But USDA graded beef? Of course, it had too much hamburger and Filet cuts which make price comparisons difficult if you don’t believe the myth that Filet is super best. He wasn’t particularly hard sell though and the price kept coming down the longer I talked about what I didn’t like about Filet “I’ll double the amount of beef – two boxes”. No room in my freezer for that amount. As he starts boxing it up to leave. I said, “Have you ever run across YummyMeats? I’ve got a post on my blog about them that still gets some attention”.

Of course he knows about them but he’s reluctant to admit it, “I’ve taken some sales from them”. but he doesn’t want to trash talk competitors. Perhaps there is a gypsy like code of conduct for door to door meat salesmen? The price for that box of USDA graded Choice beef dropped immediately though “to win me from Yummy”. That’s sales BS of course. But, I actually bought the box, seriously discounted from list price and the $/lb is still too high for my liking. Obviously, it wasn’t too bad and for a single person, the individual wrapping is worth something. As I took out the check book, he said “I’m independent, so make the check out to me”. OK, I’m liking this honesty.

While he’s loading the flat packs into the freezer he noticed the YummyMeats flat pack of ribeyes that I got a few months back. “May I look?” Sure. “This looks pretty good – they really don’t grade their meat?”

There’s a lot of ways you can parse that tiny interaction. He doesn’t know what Yummy sells seems obvious. Or you could believe his quick inspection and comment suggests it’s as good or better than his. Or both. Or neither. I’m not complaining, yet. If I have a reason to, I will.

[Update: Sept 1, 2010]
Marinated steak – OK
Something that looked and tasted like Sirloin but had a different name – very good.
Steak burger patties – pretty good when you get heat high enough to put a serious sear on them.
Ribeye – Very nice, even if you overcook it.

It still costs too much (IMO), but it’s quality meat as promised.

[Update: Sept, 20, 2010]
I took out something from the Fillet box that was round like a Fillet Mignon. After defrosting, I had no idea what it was! It was more wedge like than round and the higher end was much stiffer than expected for Mignon.

The height difference means one part is going to cook faster than the other and that’s what happened. Both parts were really good, but I don’t think it was a Fillet Mignon and that’s a problem because it’s misleading, no matter how good it tastes.

Dos Okies BBQ

I was in Port Townsend Wa, last week and took Mom to lunch at Dos Okies BBQ. It’s absolutely every thing you expect from a BBQ joint. Concrete floors. Wooden tables. Seriously outgoing counter person with an accent. It’s a dive and right on the message. I had a serious jones going for Brisket but it was off the menu because they think it costs too much and they don’t want to raise their prices (on the whiteboard). So we went with the $9.00 pulled pork sandwich and the $9.00 ‘piglets’ plate. Both include slaw and beans.

I’m not a cole slaw lover but this one didn’t suck. That’s about the highest rating I’ll give for cole slaw. The beans are freaking awesome!. The pulled pork was missing any hint of bark. Mom wanted it to be runny with sauce (on the table) so she rated it down for not being down her way. The ‘piglets’ are twice rubbed and smoked pork shoulder chunks. Damn near a smoke ring to the core. Tasty and yet somehow, there was no bark. Good but missing something.

I ate half of mon’s pulled pork, trying both the mild and hot table sauces. They both missed. IMO. Sauce is a personal thing so your opinion will vary from mine. I think the Q was ‘milded’ down for their customers demographic. Which is the right way to stay in business.

Did I mention their beans are freaking awesome? Not $9.00 awesome and I think I can replicated them since it’s not much different from my BBQ beans. It’s a worthy goal for me.

A second round with Yummy Meats

Long ago, I posted about an encounter with Yummy Meats. That old post still gets a comment or two a week. You should read it and the comments for background. That thread is getting a little long in the tooth. You can add your comment on it or here.

You would have thought I was on a black list with YM – never knock that door. If so, someone missed the memo. I told them I was a previous customer, barely satisfied, that I ran this website and the comments weren’t all that positive. That did not stop them from trying to talk past any objection. This time, I knew what the game is so I let it go on. I may know more about their business than the sales force does.

This guy said ‘all natural’ means hormone free and few other things. No claim for organic or feed choice (grain, grass, corn, etc). That’s good! There’s no way to verify the hormone free claim, but it was explained what “Natural” is. They also said “It’s Prime or Choice”. I asked if YM had paid to have it graded. They talked past that question, “oh it’s graded…” and I could check on some website or another on how to grade beef at home. Yeah, right! I pointed out that there are no grade markings on the box or the packages. We tried to negotiate a price. At the right price, I might try again. It did look slightly better than my last box and there were some different cuts and names. The thin cut bone in rib steaks are replaced (yay!) with Tenderloin Medallions which I was told are the trimmings off the narrow end of the Tenderloin and would be just perfect of Kebabs. The hamburger patties are now 90/10 so they don’t shrink. That’s the wrong direction for good tasting hamburger, IMO. I don’t think Tenderloin be they, steaks or “Medallions”, is worth the money at any grade, but that’s just me. All in all, it wasn’t a compelling offer.

We did several dances around on the grade issue and variability, box to box, order to order along with the promises of returns (which he and my commentators admit happens). He tried to sell me just one pack of Ribeyes to win me back as a customer.

I said no, not today. Write your name on the brochure and if I decide to buy, I’ll call and ask for you. That pushed him into a another pitch. Sigh, OK, Fun’s over. “I said one of the biggest complaints on my website about YM is the aggressive sales techniques, like door to door salesmen which is what you are. I’m sensing that here. You’re not listening to me.” Yeah, that was bit harsh on my part, but 100% accurate and it wasn’t going to end if I didn’t end it firmly.

They made another half hearted attempt as they packed up. I managed to drop Amanda’s name a few times during the long conversation, one to show them I’m informed about them and also to see what would happen if they called the mother ship. No harm, no foul. I could have said ‘no’ when I opened the door and I did apologize for wasting their time.

An hour later, the guy shows up at the door with a pack of ribeyes, “I apologize if you think I was too pushy so I want you to have these” He said some other things to soothe me even though I wasn’t annoyed. It was clear that he wanted this visit to be really short and I should forgive him so he doesn’t get more unknown to me grief. Did the mother ship send him back to deliver a peace offering? I report, you decide.

In my rating system. by definition, any free steak is a good steak! I’ll test one in a day or two and report back. And if I rave or rant, you’ll know the history and that there is a possibility of a “paid for” bias. Full Disclosure. Oddly enough the box was slightly damaged like it had been closed too firmly and too often (salesman sample box) or in anger as if a salesperson was commanded to cherry pick the best steaks (of my known preference). That would be rank unfounded speculation on my part of course. I’m not saying that’s what happened. K?

I’m just reporting my observations, uninformed speculations and opinion. I don’t hate YummyMeats. or the people who own it or work there. I don’t love them either. I do dislike bullshit hard sell sales games.


Out of the defrost water bath. It weighs 12.25 oz, including the packaging. Call it 3/4 lb.

Ready for the charcoal grill along with a piece of corn.

Out of the grill at 120F, left to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. I was trying for medium rare, but it came out rare. The corn really was a disappointment but that’s a different problem. Rare is a good way to taste a steak. The outer lip was medium rare and IMO, it’s the best part of a ribeye (or prime rib). Also note that the 1 thick steak spread out to be half an inch when it meets the grill. Not complaining, I’m just noticing.

It was an OK steak. Didn’t suck. It didn’t wow me, either, and as noted, my price was right. When I had half the steak finished and half the potato, I had to decide which half to finish. Sorry, YM, but the potato won the contest. I’m looking forward to tomorrow though when I slice the left over steak into thin strips and saute with a jalapeno and sliced onion for a nice taco or two.

Cecils Tortilla Soup

I should post more. Here’s a recipe in progress. It won’t break new ground in the foodie universe. It’s an exercise in using ingredients at hand (already paid for). I defrosted a container of my home made chicken broth/stock yesterday, and I should use it for something, soon. I’ve also got 20 or so old tortillas near they sell-by date (different from the use-by date that isn’t printed on the package). I’ve also got a bit of oil in a small skillet from when I last fried tortillas even more days ago. Would Tortilla Soup be possible?

Not according to the many Mexican cookbooks I own. I’m not saying they are wrong, but I don’t want to source all the other ingredients – that costs money. Inspecting the pantry, I have a can of Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeños. It’s a generic store brand and it is 1 year past the Best-By date on the top of the can. Perfect! I took out 1 bone in chicken thigh that I put in the freezer a coupe of days ago to defrost. Said thigh came from a whole supermarket chicken on sale that I cut up and froze just because it was on sale.

Serves 2 people.

Brown and cook the chicken thigh in the soup pot (10 minutes or so) in a little oil. Remove from pot. Add 1/2 small onion, chopped. You may need more oil. Add a finely diced carrot and one stalk of celery to sauté along with the onions. When the veg is soft (10 minutes) then add one clove of smashed garlic.

Add the 14.5oz can of tomatoes (with Jalapeños) to the pot. Bring to low simmer and add the chicken stock (around 4-6 cups for me) to the pot, bring to simmer. Taste and then add some seasonings. Chili power and ground cumin, probably with a light hand on both. I used a cup of leftover Enchilada sauce and that was all the seasoning I needed. Obviously, you have to taste it to know that. I put the stick blender to it to make a smoother sauce. Simmer slowly for a while (30 min? or more if you need to reduce it).

Meanwhile shred the cooked chicken thigh, discarding skin, bone, and other ugly bits you don’t want to eat. Don’t put the chicken in the fridge or the soup since the tastes will go off (IMO). Cut two tortillas into thin strips and fry in the oil until crispy. Drain on a paper towel.

In your soup bowl, put some fried tortilla strips, a portion of the shredded chicken and fill the bowl with your soup. If you’ve got some other garnishing veg in the fridge like green onion, radish, parsley, cilantro, chives well this might their moment. I didn’t bother garnishing.

According to the cook books, this is served with crusty bread.

Now for my judgment: Damn, that’s tasty!

Frankly, the shredded chicken chicken didn’t add much, so it could be left out. This recipe goes into my file of do this again. I’m always making chicken stock for the freezer and this a good way to used large amounts. Would it be better if I had blackened ripe tomatoes and re-hydrated dried chiles and used the best and freshest spices and herbs? Probably.

You can only get perfect tomatoes at one time of the year. You’ll also spend a lot more money than that can of tomatoes with jalapeños cost me. What I created was a fine knockoff that you can make at home, on the cheap. Clearly you can fancy it up. Enchilada sauce build the hard way from dried chilies is superior to my Tex-Mex chili powder sauce. I that because I’ve done both, many times. I also how long it takes, what it costs and when good enough is good enough. This recipe for Tortilla Soup is good enough.

The enchilada sauce recipe (aka chili gravy): Make a light colored roux of 1 TBL lard and 1 TBL flour. Then add 1 TBL of pure chili powder, let it toast up for a few seconds and then add chicken or beef broth slowly, whisking it some. Just simple gravy making. Add a pinch or two of oregano, possibly another 1/2 to 1 TBL of chile, maybe a tsp of ground cumin. The smallest pinch of ground cloves you can get. You can thin it out with more stock or water as needed or simmer to reduce if you added to much. You can use all water instead of broth but it’s going to be different. I only use lard because I think it adds body and the right flavor and once you buy the box or tub of lard, you might well find uses for it.

Another pizza experiment

I tried Reinhart’s sourdough pizza recipe (augmented with commercial yeast) and it was pretty good and yes I did eat it all over a few days time. Not as good as his yeast only recipe. That offends the sourdough gods, so I’m trying again with his sourdough only recipe. I made his stiff preferment (naughty baker speak, oh my) last night, Feb, 4. 2010 — 1oz starter, 3oz water, 4oz bread flour. Let it make more starter, covered on on the counter top for 12+ hours. The recipe says 8, and it was ready, but that didn’t work for my schedule. Sourdough starter growing is very forgiving.

Tonight (Feb 5,2010), I mixed up the dough — all the starter above (8oz @75% hydration), 12oz of water, 18oz of bread flour, 2tsp salt, 2Tbl of EV olive oil, and 1Tbl honey (recipe says 1.5Tbl, my bad). Large bowl, wooden spoon, mix it until bored or tired. let it set for 15 minutes. Using a flexible plastic scraper, I did my best to fold the dough in the bowl for a minute or two. It’s a wet dough and I’m not using a stand mixer, so more stretch and folds will be needed, IMO. I’m kind of off track from the recipe. 2o minutes later, I put a few Tbl of EV olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan. I scooped the dough onto the pan in the center and dipped my hands in the EVO in the pan and did a stretch and fold. Put the pan in a plastic tall kitchen bag (pay more for food grade if you like). Two more stretch and folds, 30 minutes apart. I could have done more stretch and fold sessions and if baking bread, I would have but with all the olive oil used, it’s never going to get that bread dough strength, nor should it. I rolled the dough into a tube on the pan with oil and cut into fifths. I cut a few bits from the bigger one to add to the smaller ones until they were mostly equal in volume. Yes, I could have weighed them but that requires more clean up than I want. It was easy to shape the 5 balls into rounds with all that the EVO in the dough. After a couple of hours more on the counter in the garbage, I decide then first rise was complete. I can’t explain how I knew that. I could be wrong but it’s roughly close to what the recipe calls for. A final shape into balls and into the fridge.

Tomorrow, I might bake a couple. I might not. I went looking for parchment paper which would good for this application instead of the unwieldy peel. Not to be found in two stores. I’ll have to use the peel. This time, I will not use bread flour to lubricate the peel — that didn’t work for me last time and I can’t recommend that.

Reinhart’s Pizza Dough

Yeah, I got mentioned in the back of Peter Reinhart’s latest book “artisan breads every day”. I tested a few recipes for him. That’s all. I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t think he was onto something that needed some “published” authority to make it mainstream. It’s a lovely book. Really. It’s the right level to convince bread machine bakers to cross the line. So yeah, I’m predisposed to like the book, but there are new things in there for me to learn. I only tested a few recipes of Peter’s. The pizza dough recipe with commercial yeast has some new to me twists and a friend tweaked me into trying pizza dough without a bread machine.

I’ve got a half recipe rising in the fridge, to be baked tomorrow or the day after. I don’t use a stand mixer for kneading and it’s a little too wet for hand kneading so I did a couple of stretch and folds of the soft sticky dough in the bowl, 10 minutes apart, more or less. Low and behold, it became a manageable dough without too much dough sticking to me. I divided it into sandwich bags (3 for the half recipe).

Two days later (Jan 12, 2010), the dough doesn’t appear to have risen much in the fridge. That bothers me. Unless it grew and then fell and that would be a different problem. Never the less, one must continue. I took my 3 dough pancakes and shaped them into balls for the 1 1/2 hour rise. There was some gas bubbles on the surface so there was some rising in the fridge and they are holding their shape fairly well. Those are good signs.

OK, truth be told, I pulled one baggie out yesterday for a few hours of counter squatting and it did nothing. So I put it back in the fridge. So I have two bags that didn’t deviate from the recipe and one that did. It was obvious when I shaped one into a pizza, and the next into a calzone and the wrong fellow into a calzone. I topped the pizza and baked it and appearance wise, it’s a winner. The first calzone baked up kind of OK – I want a new recipe for calzone dough. The bad dough calzone was indeed a mess to work with. Looks OK when baked and I’ll eat it but it’s not right.

That means Reinhart’s pizza recipe works. For pizza! calzones? maybe. The pizza was very good. Really, it was very good! Best pizza I’ve ever made. Crisp crust, not too thick or too thin but with chew and some texture. Around here, it’s artisan quality pizza. Boise happens to be home to one the few certified Neapolitan pizza makers in the US and mine (Reinhart’s) was almost as good as theirs. With a wood fired oven of my own, and some practice it might be close.

The first calzone isn’t going to be of that quality. The second calzone, the one I dinked with probably won’t be either. I didn’t say they will be bad. I’m using the Foodie measuring stick which only has 3 ticks: Perfect, Nearly Perfect and You Fail. That’s the foodie scale and thats the measure that is used in a lot books and internet posts. You can eat eat very well in the “You Fail” zone but the foodies don’t want to admit that.

Did I mention it was the best pizza I’ve ever made and almost the best pizza I’ve eaten!? If I spend 3 times more on ingredients it would be in the Perfect zone. That wouldn’t be cooking cheap, though. Nearly perfect at low cost is fine by me.

[Jan, 14. 2010]
I didn’t freeze the baked calzones. I just wrapped them in foil and put them in the fridge, like you would with left over pizza. Heat the oven to 350 and warm them up for lunch(es). Damn, it’s still good bread. That means this recipe has to replace my bread machine easy but sucks recipe. It takes an over night nap in the fridge so it’s two days long (or up to 4 days he says) which is fine by me. Sometimes I start something and change my mind about eating it that night.

I suppose you could use the bread machine for parts of it but why bother making the timing harder? You don’t need a stand mixer either. You need a bowl, a wooden spoon, some sandwich bags and fridge space. A plastic dough scraper will reduce cursing and a digital scale will help even more. It’s a wet dough. The difference between 67% hydration and 70% is a different bread. Depending on humidity and room temperature, it’s going to be different. 65% in a humid area is just barely manageable, 70% in a dry area feels differently. You’ll never know with out scales. OK, really experienced bakers who produce a couple of hundred loaves a day would know “the feel” (hint: they have scales)

Sourdough has a long rise time so it’s actually more forgiving on timing errors than commercial yeast. You should buy his book but I will share a short version of the half recipe I used and procedure I used.

In a medium size mixing bowl, add 8.5oz of luke warm water. Add 1/2 tsp yeast, 1 tsp table salt, 1 Tbl of honey, 1 Tbl of Olive Oil (a decent EVO you like) Stir it if you like. Add 12oz of bread flour and with your wooden spoon, mix it a lot, until you get bored (a couple of minutes). Let rest 10 minutes. It’s a sticky mess. With the dough scraper fold the dough in the bowl onto it’s self from all four sides, scoop underneath and invert. Do this stretch and invert two more times, 10 minutes apart. The dough will become less sticky. With oiled or watered hands, divided the dough into thirds on the counter. Spray some cooking oil into 3 sandwich bags and put the dough chunks into the bags and refrigerate them for a day or four (2 for me worked). I know you think that can’t be right. It is.

Next Day (or so), remove the dough bags from the fridge and the dough from the bags. With oiled hands shape them into balls on the counter and cover with plastic for an hour and half. (they won’t rise as much as you are used to). Preheat your oven to as high as it goes (might take an hour) . After 90 minutes of rising, shape it – make a pizza round, top it lightly and bake until well browned (10 to 20 minutes), perhaps with burned spots on the puffy parts. It’s actually very easy and it’s unlike any yeast recipe I’ve used before. I baked on parchment paper on a sheet pan, but my oven has a pizza stone (cracked in half) for thermal mass and my oven might go to 550 at the top. Might not.

One final note to add. This is very wet dough. It is hard to shape. Expect a failure or two.
Since I wrote the above, I’ve made this with a bread machine and it was fine (slightly different) and a stand mixer, also slightly different.