Birthday run

I woke up early on a Sunday morning to get a run in before it became too warm.  Somewhere along the way I went from sleeping in really late (especially in college) to waking up early without any alarm.  Nowadays I wake up automatically around 5:30 am on workdays and between 6 and 7 am on weekends.  For my birthday I knew that I wanted to get an outside run and for that I had to get up early.  I have been mostly logging treadmill miles because of the heat wave that has been plaguing Sacramento.

Once outside I came across a momma turkey and two poults (young baby turkeys).


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Brioche – loaf and minis

Brioche – loaf and minis

I thought I’d give another shot at Brioche since it is too yummy and the wife likes it.  Last time I made small cupcake size brioche rolls and this time I figured I’d try my hand at a regular size loaf.  In the end I had enough dough to do both a loaf and the mini cupcake size ones.

The following is double the recipe of the minis I made previously.

  • 500 g AP flour
  • 200 g butter, melted
  • 140 g water, room temperature
  • 4 eggs (235 g)
  • 100 g honey (recipe said runny honey, I just used the honey I squeezed outta my container)
  • 10 g salt
  • 6 g yeast

As before, I first whisked the wet ingredients together (butter, water, eggs, honey) for about 60 seconds.  Then I added in the dry ingredients (flour, salt, yeast).


Since this was a no-knead version, after mixing the dry and wet into a homogenized mixture I let it sit for about 2 hours.


This created a fairly wet dough mixture that I then proceeded to do about 3-4 stretch and folds.

After stretch and fold

And that’s really the extent of manipulation of the dough until it is ready to form. I placed the mixture into the fridge to sit for anywhere from 24-48 hours.  I started the process later in the weekend so I ended up only letting it sit for 24 hours covered in the fridge.

This gave me a chance to have a beer.


For those not familiar, Pliny the Elder and its much more rare sibling Pliny the Younger is a well-known craft brew out of the Russian River Brewing company.  Being in NorCal, we are lucky enough to have it on tap at a few establishments and bottled in local stores as well.  I was out with some colleagues the other night at Capitol Tap Room and happened to get the above.  Good stuff.

Back to bread.  After 24 hours in the fridge, the dough came out looking like this:

After 24 hours in fridge

The key here is to work and shape the dough quickly while it is still cold, otherwise it gets sticky and messy.  I created a loaf with 4 round to pill-ish shapes and then had a little extra so threw that into the loaf pan as well.


Then I formed 6 small balls and placed them in the cupcake pan.  As I was forming the last of the balls, the dough definitely started to become more tacky and difficult to work with.


I allowed the cupcake sized doughballs to rise for about an hour.  The loaf I let rise for about 2 hours and 15 minutes.  For both, I used an egg wash (scrambled egg with water to allow for easier spreading).


I set the oven for 375 F initially.  I baked the mini brioches for 8 minutes at 375 F and then turned the temperature down to 320 F for an additional 19 minutes.  This created a nice golden crust and the internal temperature was around 190 F.


The insides of these smaller brioches came out perfect.


The loaf brioche rose quite nicely after the 2 hours and 15 minutes.


I baked this one at 375 F for 10 minutes initially, then at 320 F for an additional ~20 minutes or so.  I was pleasantly surprised by how it all came together.



It came out nice and buttery and not dry.  Overall a nice bread loaf and mini brioches.

We had some fun visitors this weekend.




Turkeys! Bikes! Celebrities!

On today’s 5.5 miler, I ran into a rafter (yes I had to look that up) of turkeys.  Apparently some people will refer to  a group of turkeys as a “gobble” or a “flock.”  I like rafter.  That’s a neat term.  Anyway, we have a ton of turkeys in the greater Sacramento area and there are usually multiple different rafters that I run into on my travels along the American River (and also sometimes in the residential neighborhoods surrounding it).  I was near the Guy West Bridge again by Sac State when I at first spotted 2 turkeys coming from the river to the berm.  As I approached them, more turkeys started showing up and they kind of surrounded me on the berm’s paved trail.  I know sometimes turkeys get a bit aggressive so I snapped off a few pics and kept going.


Last year I invested in a bicycle, my first bike that I purchased on my own.  I have intermittently biked over the last 12 years or so since finishing college.  During grad school I biked to work/class/lab on a regular basis.  The bike I purchased was the 2014/2015 Giant Roam 2.  My intent was to use the bike for general biking as well potentially some longer distance rides (for me, longer distance is like 10-20 miles).  I went to my LBS (Local Bike Shop) and they helped me out.  I did feel like the guy helping me maybe wasn’t as helpful as I was expecting from an LBS.  People always talk about with bikes that it should be a dialogue between you and the bike pro about what you need and they also help fit the bike to you.  I realize now he maybe wasn’t as helpful because D recently bought a bike at the same shop and a different bike pro helped her and was much more informative.  Admittedly I didn’t ride much over the last year.  Now that D has a bike, I know we’ll be doing more rides together.

I’m always interested in how things work as well as DIY.  So now armed with two bikes, I am learning and reading up on how to do regular bike maintenance myself.  I went to the library yesterday and checked out Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance.  The plan is to learn how to do basic bike maintenance to keep our bikes running well and maybe even do some more advanced stuff, we’ll see.

So that’s a new hobby of mine.   Plus it has the added benefit of providing some health perks.


A few things about NYC that I forgot.  We saw one celebrity and one pseudo-celebrity.  While on our way to the Beautiful show, a double-decker tourist bus was rolling slowly down the street with music blaring from it.  When I looked up, I could see a film crew on the top deck and some guy standing and dancing, with a bunch of other people sitting and dancing.  Every few minutes, the guy on the bus would shout to all the pedestrians walking “What’s up New YOOOORK!?!?”  Someone walking near us pointed out that the person was Jason Derulo.  That was the celebrity.

The pseudo-celebrity that we saw is/was on the show  Million Dollar Listing: New York.  Ronita is the assistant to one of the realtors (Luis) on the show and she’s featured in a lot of the episodes because that is the only assistant he has working for him.  She basically organizes and runs his life from what the show depicts.  Anyway, we were just walking along near Grand Central when she walked by us (we were walking on opposite directions).  After she passed, I turned to D and said “she looks familiar!” and then I said “that was Ronita” from the show.