Bread Machine at Altitude

My baby is a Zojirushi BB-PAC20. It does everything you’d want and a few things I’m not sure I’d ever need. Bread, cake, meatloaf, jam…you name it.

The one problem is that the altitude adjustments in the Zoji cookbook aren’t very helpful or clear. I had mixed results with them, so I did some experiments. I’ve already said the key is to use fast rise yeast on the regular rise setting in another post and I swear to you that is the fastest way to make sure things come out light and fluffy.

BUT there are some other things you need to do to ensure your recipes come out. First and foremost, you need to reduce your amount of yeast by 1/4 to 1/3, depending on how high up you are. I’m in Denver, and if a recipe says 2 1/2 tsp yeast, I put 2 tsp or so. I also put in a little less sugar or honey. More liquid is also a good idea if you’re in a very dry climate like I am. Finally, I almost always add a whole egg. The extra protein and structure REALLY helps to keep everything lofty and chewy and delicious. I crack my egg into my liquid measuring cup and then add more water or milk to the line.

If you’re using sourdough starter, I HIGHLY recommend feeding it the day before and keeping it very very runny. It seems to really help.

Without further ado, here’s my basic Zojirushi bread recipe. I’ll add some more as I get them perfected, but this one WORKS. If all you have is active dry yeast, I suggest using the regular dough course and then letting it rise a little longer before throwing it in the oven.

Basic white bread (for a 2lb bread machine)

1.25 cups water/milk (or watery sourdough starter if you’re feeling daring)
1 egg
4.25 cups bread flour
3.5 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Dry Milk (omit if you’re using actual milk)
2 tsp Salt
2.5 Tbsp butter
2 tsp Rapid Rise Yeast

Use the regular basic setting and let ‘er rip. I keep an eye on everything as it mixes, and add a little more liquid if it doesn’t look wet enough. If you can’t watch it, err on the side of more liquid and just add a tablespoon or two of extra water or milk. Too wet is better than too dry in my experience.

The machine will do the rest, but if you want a more evenly shaped loaf, you can muck with it a bit after the final rise. You can also remove the paddles if you want a prettier loaf, but I don’t care enough to bother with that crap.

Avengers Infinity Gauntlet Challenge 2015

Disneyland

So. This was the first year that Disney has done the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge. And really it was wonderful overall, but I think I still prefer Disney WORLD. I haven’t done any other Disneyland races, so I don’t know if the half marathon route is the same for the other races through Anaheim, but I have to say I wasn’t super impressed. There was a lot of running along a drainage ditch, and for all the wonderful cosplayers and encouraging spectators…it didn’t really change the fact is was a bleak and sad area with random homeless encampments that were mysteriously vacant? Did Disney off the homeless people before the race? Who knows. Angels stadium was cool, and the WWII re-enactors were amazing, but the miles of sand and empty trail…ehhhhh.

The merchandise…was just bad. We won’t discuss the awful colors or the bad designs or any of that crap. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed. I did buy an Infinity Gauntlet running hat because I needed a new hat, but if you want swag? Stick to the Princess.

Dancers WW2 Avengers

The whole thing happened right after the Paris attacks, so there were delays that I’m quite sure were related to the dozens of bomb dogs running around everywhere. No complaints there, I get that Disney was trying to keep everyone safe.

The Captain America 10k was fantastic, and I LOVED the route, so if you are looking for an excellent shorter race? DO THE 10K AND DON’T HESITATE. The medal for that one was also great.

Avengers Medals

The Infinity Gauntlet medal…well let’s just say there were some structural failures on the gems. They fell off pretty much instantly. That’s fine with me since it looks a little less gaudy without them. I got my Coast to Coast medal as well and THAT is stunning and wonderful and I’m so glad I had the chance to run both places.

On an aside…Disneyland was just packed to the gills and I can’t say I was impressed. Disney needs to either ban large strollers, or limit the numbers allowed in. I felt like I was being crushed multiple times, and nearly got run over a few other occasions.

NO MORE HUMVEE STROLLERS.

All in all? The races were both worth doing once, and if you want your Coast to Coast? TOTALLY WORTH IT.