A Day in the Life of a Bread-Baking Twitter Addict

So, it’s pretty obvious by now that I’ve had a hard time updating Pinch My Salt since our move back to the United States. Each time I write a post, I think that I’m finally back in the groove. Then a few days pass, then a week, then a month.

But I miss blogging. I know I miss it because lately I’ve been tweeting like crazy. Yes, that’s right. Tweeting.

Alright, for those few people left in the world who haven’t yet been introduced to Twitter, I’ll do my best to explain it.

Twitter is like blogging in short bursts, without actually having to maintain a blog. It’s a a way to share your immediate thoughts with the world in a very laid-back and casual way. It’s a way to get to know your friends better and a way to peek into the lives of people you admire. It’s a way to have a conversation with the world.

It took me a long time to understand Twitter. At first, it was fun to blurt out random thoughts to a group of strangers. Then it was fun and challenging to try to squeeze my thoughts into the 140 character limit. Then, on day three, I got bored.

But I went back to Twitter, and that’s when the fun began. It had caught on with the food bloggers and all of a sudden I was following the lives of people who genuinely interested me. It added a whole new dimension to my Twitter experience.

Twitter had turned into a conversation.

Now I follow real-life friends, family, virtual friends, NPR news, and even Barack Obama on Twitter. It’s become a source of entertainment, news, and an outlet for an overactive mind. And, it’s become an addiction.

So when I sat down to write a blog post about sourdough today and realized that I had a serious case of writer’s block, one of my twitter pals jokingly suggested that I just post a recap of my twitter activity for the past month. I laughed at first but then wondered, “why not?” In a way, I have been writing a lot about food lately. You just didn’t know about it!

So, without further ado, here is a quick introduction to Nicole on Twitter:

June 10

7:27 am About to be elbow deep in flour…time to knead some sourdough!

9:33 am Eating ginger snaps and vanilla ice cream for breakfast. Is that so wrong?

11:07 am It’s allliiiiiiiiiiiiiiive! Only two hours after first feeding, the new sourdough starter has started growing! Much sooner than I expected!

11:08 am Just put together some dough for whole wheat sandwich loaf. Yes, I really am in the middle of three different batches of bread right now.

12:17 pm Thick, strained yogurt is a great substitute for mayo in creamy potato salads. Especially good with some fresh chopped herbs thrown in.

12:53 pm Ew. This whole wheat sourdough is not fun to work with.

2:11 pm Want Indian food tonight but can’t decide whether to cook or go out. Been baking so much today, I don’t feel much like cooking!

2:47 pm Just took the honey whole wheat sandwich loaves out of the oven. House smells sooooooo good.

3:04 pm Whole wheat sourdough baguettes just went in oven. Wasn’t planning on baguettes but that’s the only shape they wanted to be!

3:05 pm White sourdough batards up next!

3:21 pm Wish I could get paid to bake, without having to keep baker’s hours 🙂

4:22 pm http://twitpic.com/236n – All six loaves of bread are finished! The house smells wonderful!

4:35 pm Found some Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon in freezer. Rather than go out, I think we’ll have BLT’s on fresh baked bread for dinner!

The End

And here is the result of the day of marathon bread baking:

Loaves of sourdough and whole wheat bread

So if you’re already on Twitter, and interested in what I’m doing, eating, baking, or (sometimes) thinking, feel free to follow me. If you aren’t yet on Twitter, come join us!

And now that I’ve conquered my writer’s block, that blog post on sourdough is coming up! In the meantime, check out the photos of my fledgling sourdough starter.

  1. Chuck

    Yeah, I’m glad you conquered the writer’s block! The bread looks great, but I was hoping to see the BLT! 😛

    I agree with you that Twitter didn’t make sense until the food blogging community adopted it. Now, I’ve been told by my significant other that I’m twittering too much!

    3:16 pm  Jun 12th, 2008
  2. SusanV

    I’m seriously impressed–not only with your baking, but also your Twitter activity. My writer’s block extends to Twitter, so once every day or two I write a gem like “Picking tomatoes.” I can only dream of being as prolific as you are. Maybe I need fresh bread to inspire me!

    3:27 pm  Jun 12th, 2008
  3. Tyler

    That’s fantastic! You took a silly idea (blogging your tweets) and made it actually work. I’m hooked on twitter too, even though I thought it was pointless at first. Now I’m looking into 12 step programs to help me get my life back on track. 😀

    3:34 pm  Jun 12th, 2008
  4. Nicole

    Chuck: Should have taken a photo of the sandwich, it was really good! I usually don’t photograph food much at night though, I hate the fluorescent lighting in my kitchen!

    SusanV: I would gladly trade my twittering ability for your blog-posting ability! 🙂

    Tyler: Well glad you think it worked 🙂

    3:50 pm  Jun 12th, 2008
  5. Kalyn

    Very creative! Your bread really looks amazing.

    4:15 pm  Jun 12th, 2008
  6. Andrea

    Your loaves look wonderful! I was following (lurking) on Twitter while you tweeted about your sourdough adventures, and I say the results are terrific! Great idea for a post.

    4:15 pm  Jun 12th, 2008
  7. Nicole

    Kalyn: Thanks! The bread turned out well but I definitely need to work some more on the whole wheat sourdough.

    Andrea: Thank you!

    4:53 pm  Jun 12th, 2008
  8. Erin

    It’s good to have you and your beautiful food photography back! Now don’t disappear again — pretty please?!

    4:54 pm  Jun 12th, 2008
  9. PaniniKathy

    Hooray for Twitter!! And your bread looks bakery-worthy for sure! I’ve never tried whole wheat sourdough before – I imagine it tastes sour with a little bit of nuttiness?

    10:59 pm  Jun 12th, 2008
  10. Sherrie

    That bread looks DIVINE!

    This great product is a MUST HAVE in your kitchen if you love to bake, highly heat resistant and extremely durable!!!


    5:49 am  Jun 13th, 2008
  11. Patricia Scarpin

    That’s too much bread for you, Nic. Please, let me help you with those beauties. 😉

    6:38 am  Jun 13th, 2008
  12. Nicole

    Erin: Thanks! When I move into our new house, the food photography will be back in full force. The lighting is terrible in our current house so it’s been difficult lately!

    PaniniKathy: Thanks! Whole wheat sourdough is really good, just a bit denser and chewier than the white stuff. Mine was a bit too dense and a bit too sour, though. The dough was much harder to work with but I suppose it will get easier with practice!

    Sherrie: Thanks for the link but I generally use a baker’s peel rather than potholders when dealing with my bread.

    Patricia Scarpin: You’re right, it was a bit much! But that’s what the freezer is for! However, if you come to pick it up, I would be more than happy to bake some for you 🙂

    7:15 am  Jun 13th, 2008
  13. Dayna

    I’m with Chuck, I was drooling for a shot of your BLT. Your photography has been wonderful.
    This is such a great idea to blog the tweets. My one blog, f+p gets attention once a month… food for thought.

    10:51 am  Jun 13th, 2008
  14. katy

    i agree — i didn’t really “get” twitter until there was a group of food bloggers on it. now i’m addicted!

    11:43 am  Jun 13th, 2008
  15. Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet

    good grief those loaves look beautiful. I have had several failed attempts at sourdough from native starter. I get the starter going like hotcakes, no problem, but always with the spectacular troubles in the loaf department. who knows why. I now consider it some kind of cosmic bit of fate that I may just not be destined to make amazing breads.

    I’m curious: on those baguette style loaves, do you have one of those special whatchmacallits (bouchon maybe?) where you let them rise in the special loaf shaper jobs? or no?

    1:26 pm  Jun 13th, 2008
  16. CindyK

    However do you keep your sourdough starter contained in the jar??? I looked at your flikr page of pictures of it, and it looks like you have the top wrapped with fabric? Mine always oozes onto the counter once its working smartly and I end up with only half of what I ought to have. Is the secret NOT closing the jar off with a lid?
    BTW your bread looks divine, and has prompted me to another round of sourdough starter!

    6:03 pm  Jun 13th, 2008
  17. amanda

    it’s great to see you back nicole! i’ve been dreaming of your bread since last weekend and these pictures are just killing me! everything looks amazing (as always!)

    8:22 pm  Jun 13th, 2008
  18. leslie

    The loaves look beautiful!! I’ve always wanted to bake bread, but I just don’t know the first thing. I’ve never been on twitter. I have a hard enough time keeping up with blogging and forums 🙂

    9:57 pm  Jun 13th, 2008
  19. Nicole

    Dayna: I definitely need to take some BLT photos one of these days. I eat them often enough, not sure why I haven’t done it! But I did write about one version of a BLT on homemade focaccia a while back.

    Katy: It’s been a lot of fun to learn more about my favorite bloggers by following them on Twitter!

    Erin: For the baguettes (which actually weren’t skinny enough to be called baguettes but that’s what I called them anyway!), I used a couche. It’s basically just a large piece of canvas that is heavily floured so the dough doesn’t stick. You just lay the loaves in the folds of the fabric and it’s somewhat supported while proofing. It’s not a necessity, like I said, this is the first time I’ve tried it. But if you have really soft dough–which you need if you want a light, open crumb, having a couche or some kind of proofing basket is really helpful! Helpful information here.

    CindyK: The fabric on the top is just a piece of cheesecloth. It’s wrapped on there funny because I couldn’t find an extra rubber band to secure it! I read somewhere a long time ago that it’s good to let the starter sit out uncovered for the first couple of days to allow any wild yeast that’s floating in the air access to the mixture. The cheesecloth was just to keep flys and stuff out of there. And once the starter is going, it does need to breath a bit so whatever lid you end up putting on the container, it should be somewhat loose fitting. I think I’ll punch a couple of holes in the top of the metal lid that fits the jar I’m using.

    As for the starter overflowing…you just need to have a large enough container or jar and control the amount of starter by discarding some every time you feed it. Every time I feed the starter, I dump about a cup of it out before stirring in one cup of flour and 3/4 cup of water. This keeps the jar only 1/3 full. So far, the starter hasn’t been able to overflow. When it gets close to the top of the jar, it just collapses.

    E-mail me if you have any other questions!

    Amanda: Well you guys will definitely be receiving lots more bread this summer. When I get in my baking mode, there’s always too much for Justin and I!

    Leslie: Baking bread is a lot of fun and it’s really easy if you just start with the basics. It’s a little time consuming but most of that time is just waiting for the bread to rise so it’s a perfect weekend activity if you want to spend a day at home getting other things done. I think I’ll be writing about bread a lot this summer because for some strange reason, I always bake more bread during the summer than during the winter!

    8:18 am  Jun 14th, 2008
  20. Maggie

    Twitter is my life too! Great photos.


    8:36 am  Jun 15th, 2008
  21. Susan from Food Blogga

    Yay! I’m so happy to see this post, Nicole! And you can get paid for baking. I’d gladly buy a few of those loaves. They’re gorgeous! 🙂

    10:14 am  Jun 15th, 2008
  22. Nicole

    Maggie: I’m sure I’ll burn out eventually but it’s been a lot of fun lately!
    Susan: Thanks for the offer but I’d probably give you a couple for free 😉 Again, it was great meeting you the other day!

    1:23 pm  Jun 15th, 2008
  23. Ann

    Argh, writers block – really a tough one, and I mean really. I carry a small notebook in my purse and write down ANY small idea I have that might be bloggable – which can help at those moments when I can think of absolutely nada to say, when my brain is empty. Ugh. Gorgeous bread, I can almost smell it.

    11:23 am  Jun 16th, 2008
  24. Caleb

    hmmmmm if twitter is the crack of the online world then sign me up! Glad to see a new post.

    12:18 am  Jun 18th, 2008
  25. Tempered Woman

    And that’s why I love Twitter. Cause when you don’t blog I can get my fix on there. 😉
    I have so much fun reading the conversations back and forth between David Lebowitz and Matt Armendariz- they are such a riot!

    6:16 am  Jun 18th, 2008
  26. RecipeGirl

    I’m glad to see a post by you!

    I haven’t yet discovered Twitter. I’m forcing myself to not click on your links because I’m addicted to enough internet stuff right now!! Maybe someday…

    The bread looks wonderful. I love a day filled with baking and good results!

    7:46 am  Jun 18th, 2008
  27. Deborah Dowd

    I just signed up for Twitter but have not yet really gotten into it,but between blogging a full time job and a lot of freelance work, I haven’t really had time! Sounds like a lot of fun!

    6:49 pm  Jun 18th, 2008
  28. paula

    The bread looks gorgeous. Glad to find a cooking Twitter feed to add to gardening and knitting ones

    6:30 am  Jun 25th, 2008
  29. TomC

    To my shame it’s been a while since i dipped into PMS. It looks as if i have been missing some real treats.

    right sourdough! we just can get it in the UK, whats the trick to it?

    Twitter im really confused by it


    6:57 am  Jun 25th, 2008
  30. Kate

    I see notes about this twitter thing occasionally. Makes me wonder if the bloggers are being paid for advertising it because it sucks. Why would you not just IM them? It a nuisance. So what’s with that anyway? I’m kind of bummed that your blog is reading like an ad…

    3:24 am  Jul 3rd, 2008
  31. Perfect Moment Project

    Breaking the Twitter addiction.. or going COLD TURKEY … Another Twitter MIA

    1:35 pm  Jul 26th, 2008
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