The Three B’s: Bouncing, Basshunter, and Bread
I started my morning by mixing up some bread dough. Then I went outside and did a hill-bouncing workout to Basshunter.
What is hill-bouncing, you might ask? Well, every other ski coach in the country calls it bounding – it’s like running with poles, but instead of running you stay off the ground a bit longer and the motion approximates classic skiing – but Pepa insists on calling it bouncing. Which is pretty appropriate, actually, if you watch us bouncy-trouncy-bound up the hill with our ski poles. This time around we were doing 45-second intervals from the bottom of the field below our house up to the driveway – Dylan had mowed the otherwise overgrown “path” just for the occasion.
Here’s how the workout goes. The hill starts out fairly manageable and gradual, and then 3/4 of the way to the top becomes unbelievably steep – you feel like you have been stopped in your tracks, but no, you must hunch over your poles, use your arms, and keep bouncing.
One thing that makes the workout significantly better is that Pepa parks her car at the top of the hill, and plays the Basshunter CD at full blast with the doors and trunk open. It’s amazing that she doesn’t blow out her speakers. Even at the very bottom of the hill, you can hear the music, and as you start to bound, you find yourself stepping in time to the beat. Techno is perfect for bounding. As you get closer to the top the music is louder and louder, which is great because you need more and more motivation.
At the top, you collapse over your poles, completely exhausted. Your legs feel like jelly and you’re unsure how much longer you can stand up.
But you can’t hang out long: you have to start the long walk back down the hill. And in the meantime, Pepa is enjoying herself, just dancing to the music. Glad you’re having fun, Pepa!
So that was a tough morning. It was the first time we’d done this workout so far this year, and the first few times up the hill were a real shock. It’s always hard, but I think at first my body was saying, you want me to do WHAT? Our cool-down consisted of jogging… well mostly walking…. on the new singletrack trail that the boys built.
After recovering a little bit, I finished making my bread.
It was a new recipe for me, a sourdough loaf with lots of olive oil and some rosemary, which I adapted from Racoon and Lobster. The only things I changed, really, were to use oats instead of wheat germ, and to use a normal sourdough process (feed starter the night before, make bread the next day) instead of a two-day process leaving the loaves in the refrigerator overnight. I’m sure if I had done that, they would have been more tasty and sourdough-y – so maybe I’ll try it next time.
But anyway, I was nervous that all the olive oil would make the dough sticky and difficult to work with, but it was almost the opposite – although I did have a bit of a hard time coaxing it out of the proofing basket, and momentarily thought that I was going to end up with the ugliest bread ever.
Luckily, it all turned out all right! I broke my promise of not eating bread for a week just so I could try a slice. I was going to assert my willpower and leave it for my teammates, but it just seemed too cruel to myself, especially since it’s a new recipe. I had to know how I would need to tweak it next time, right?
The verdict: this bread was totally delicious. And it wasn’t just because I haven’t eaten bread in a few days. The rosemary flavor was not super strong, but definitely there – a nice touch without being overwhelming. I think I’ll be making this quite a few more times! Yum! I sent it to YeastSpotting.
Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
(adapted from Raccoon and Lobster)
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups fed sourdough starter
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
5-6 cups white bread flour
3 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon dried rosemary (fresh would be even better!)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Mix together the water, starter, oats, and flour. Use your discretion, as always, on the amount of flour. Let the dough sit in its bowl for 20 minutes to rest, and while it’s resting, mix together the rosemary and olive oil in a bowl (Also, eat breakfast). Then, knead the salt into the dough, and knead it into a nice ball. Let it rest while you wash out the bowl and smear it with a bit more olive oil, then knead the dough again, this time kneading in the rosemary-olive oil concoction. I did this by stretching the dough into a rectangle, dripping about 1/3 of the liquid over it, and kneading it into a ball again, and repeating the process until the olive oil is gone. Once your dough is kneaded nicely, plop it back into the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 3ish hours.
Next, divide it in half and shape into loaves – any shape of your choosing. I made one round loaf in a brotform, and an oval loaf (which I very classily shape by putting it in a bread cloth and using a casserole dish to pin it against the wall so it doesn’t spread too much). Let the loaves rise for another hour and a half.
Then, preheat your oven to 425 and prep it with a bit of steam. When it’s ready, put some cornmeal on a baking sheet and turn your loaves out onto the sheet. Score the tops in a manner of your choosing and put them in the oven, along with some ice cubes to make more steam. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until dark brown. Then try to restrain yourself for just a few minutes until the bread is cool enough to cut easily… it will be hard, I promise!