Today I was gonna try to make a full-rye bread. I used my own sourdough starter, and let the dough ripe overnight. Stirring and firmly mixing the dough of a pure rye dough turns out to be fairly exhausting. The consistency is super gluey and it's more like fresh concrete or grout.
Anyways, after mixing I gave it a third rise by using some fresh yeast (10g yeast per kg dough) and let it rise for another hour before baking. So in total, there were 3 rises (sourdough, mixed ingredients, and with yeast), the first one being overnight, the other once roughly an hour.
Ingredients for this bread are: rye flour, water, salt, sourdough starter (from my own culture) and a little bit of fresh yeast.
The taste is very good: It has it's own aroma, coming from the sourdough and the rye and does not necessary need additional spices. It tasted very nice on it's own and with butter and does not become boring like this. I can see this bread to be very nice together with some blue-cheese and honey.
Summary: I'm satisfied with the result for a new recipe and the first try of it. Looking forward to tomorrow's breakfast!
Refreshingly simple recipe with a strong taste. Consider adding fresh peppermint and a lime
Peel and cut the Ginger into stripes. Put the Ginger into the water, add the juice of the lemons and cook for 5 minutes. Still in the hot pan, blend it using a hand blender. Then add the sugar and cook it for another 5 minutes. Put into bottles. Recommended to use within half of a year.
I just found a new book to work with: "Brotbackbuch Nr. 1" from Lutz Geißler (in German) and love it from the beginning. Every recipe is listed with the effective and absolute time it needs, and apart from the recipies it also incorporates a lot of background informations and craftsmanship knowledge. I came to this book via the (also German) podcast Chaosradio Express, or more specifically, episode 213 - "Brot".
But enough waffle.
My latest creation is the most basic recipe from the book: The "Landbrot"
The recipe is very basic but because I cannot find it publicly at brotbackbuch.de I have to assume it's under copyright. Still some notes about making this bread
Plan it well ahead, on the baking day you will need up to 4 hours. Don't start at 8, otherwise you will bring your bread out of the oven at 12. Accelerating bread is not possible or at least not recommendable.
I didn't spend the recommended 1 and half hours of the "Stückgare". The result is still a very good bread, but could be a bit more fluffy. Again: don't try to haste bread. That will not work
The result is amazing. Very easy to make bread with potential for everyday usage. But I'm still at the beginning
I ate a full quarter of it in one morning. It was really good!
This time I was trying myself on a very simple sourdough recipe, for a tasty bread without any yeast
The recipe is really simple, and split into two parts: The sourdough and the actual bread:
100g flour, 100g water, 10g sourdough starter
I fed an took care of the sourdough started for about 4 days, until it was active enough to get to the bread. Then take out 10g and mix all ingredients together. Let them stand for about 12-16h at 25 degree.
Sourdough, 400g flour, 200g water, 10g salt
Mix together, and let stand for about 30 Minutes. Then knead it by hand for some minutes. Let stand for about 6 hours at at 25 degrees.
Bake at 200 degrees for about 40 minutes.
The result. The form is not so round because it was to gluey for the bread form, resulting in half of the bread sticking there and consecutively ending up in the sink 🙁
Initially I declared the other half on the baking tray as failure, but because the oven was hot and I wanted to try the taste I was anyways going to bake it. Turns out, that the bread was kind-of self-healing. Lesson learned: Bread can excuse small (and big) mistakes pretty well. At least this one 🙂
The inner part of the bread has very nice pores and tastes fluffy. Pretty much impressive for a bread without any baker's yeast! Nature gives you all you need, you only have to know how to use it. And it takes it's time. You can't hurry a good bread.
Taste-wise I am a bit disappointment. The bread has many aroma, especially in the crust, but the interior is a bit too sour. The reason is probably, that the sourdough started had too many sour-bacteria and too less yeast cultures, but something that I can make better the next time by selectively feeding the yeasts before starting the sourdough (so called "Hefeführung"). And let the bread-dough stand for not so long, not even to peak height.
Well, it was a try, and for now I am happy with the result. Especially after I wanted already to declare it failed after half of the dough sticking to the bread basket.
Yesterday I started to work on my Infragram camera that I bought some years ago from Adafruit. I never got it really running and at some point I just put it away. Until yesterday.
Infragram by Public Labs is a citizen science project that allows you to visualize plant health. It is based on a multi-spectral satellite imaging technique from NASA - the NDVI analysis.
In simple words: It takes the near infrared and the visible light spectrum and runs some (pretty simple) math on them. We come to that in a second.
Although infragram.org provides a online analysis tool, I found that pretty much unsatisfactory. At the end of the day I want to run those things on my own devices. Since I couldn't find useful tools, at some point I decided to write my own.
Luckily there is enough documentation on the Infragram Wiki, that I was able to do that.
Let's start with the basics.
The informations of this section are based on the NDVI wiki page on Public Lab. NDVI stands for "Normalized Difference Vegetation Index" and is a technique that monitors how much photosynthesis is happening .
See the example picture, taken from 
In a nutshell: NDVI is a technique to monitor the photosynthesis by differentiating between infrared and visible light pictures. The math behind it is pretty simple
The output is a value between -1 and 1, where higher values indicate high photosynthesis happening.
Of course, this is only valid for light being reflected by plants, reflective surfaces like lakes or the sky do not match the assumption.
The following picture shows a example output of the NDVI technique
Since I couldn't find any native tool that directly supports Infragram on Linux, I decided to write my own tool. The aim was a easy-to-use zero-knowledge tool to just start. At the end of the day all I want to do, is to connect the Infragram camera to my laptop/raspberry pi/NanoPi Neo or whatever and take NDVI pictures. So I designed it to work in the following way
# Take a picture and write it to NDVI.jpeg
# Take a picture using /dev/video1 and write the NDVI to 'NDVI.jpeg' and the camera picutre to 'CAMERA.jpeg'
./infragram-i/dev/video1 NDVI.jpeg CAMERA.jpeg
I wrote the tool and played a little bit around with it
In the daylight, the camera is wayyyy to oversaturated. The resulting picture is not really meaningful. So let's take the plant indoors, where it still gets indirect sunlight.
Ok, looks already pretty good! The chosen colormap is not really good, that's something I have to work on. Now, let's see if the output is actually reflecting how good the plant is in health. I put a piece of paper in front of the plant to cover the IR emitted light.
So, how does it look in the end?
Ok, I can see the piece of paper but on the places where the leaves are pretty close the IR emission seems to penetrate. This is actually a good sign, because it reflects the nature of the IR emission. Next, I want to try how it looks if I thicken the paper
With the folded paper as emission blocker, let's have a look at the picture of the Infragram camera
Hmm, I still can see the paper, but the expected behaviour (sharpt edges and cut-out paper) did not happen. Maybe the paper itself is a good in IR emission of the scattered ambient light. I don't know for sure, but yet, the results are OK for the first tries.
I now have a working prototype that runs on my Laptop and can start to further dig deeper into the topic. At least that's something very nice! 🙂
The provided tool is a working prototype, but the colormap and the NDVI technique are not yet fully utilized. As of now, this might be a good starting point for some other people, but the software is not yet as mature as it can be used for anything but playing around.
Yesterday while doing a small walk I passed by a garden with something interesting in it
It's an Innsbruck Corporation called i3-Garden, that offers those fancy boxes where you can grow your stuff.
I like the concept and it may be of use for someone who wants to grows stuff on the Balcony or on places, where the access to soil is limited. They also offer products for indoor growing.
I don't want to promote this product, I don't own it, but I like the idea and find it worth spreading. This is a "nice thing I once saw and appears to be useful for some people" and not a "this is a must-have for the upcoming Zombie-apocalypse in order to grow your food that you don't starve"-post 😉
News of the day: Hot chocolate out of an orange cream cup tastes better
According to an article of 2013 based on an empirical study on 57 participants, it tastes best if it comes out of an orange cup. White cups were the worst.
Also, cream cups are making chocolate slighlty sweeter with a bit of a better aroma.
The colour of the recipient where you serve food and drinks can enhance some of its attributes, like flavour and aroma. There's no fix rule to tell which colour enhances what food. This varies depending on the type of food but the truth is that the effect is there. Companies should pay more attention to the recipient because it has a a lot more potential than what you imagine.
Well, you can decide for yourself what is the take home message of this article 🙂 If unsure, I suggest a field study en detail with the delicious Dutch Bensdorp chocolate.