Water, water, everywhere

Hydration matters. Not just to athletes and long distance runners. It matters to bakers. How much water is in your dough is crucial to how the crumb develops. It’s amazing how a few grams more or less of water can make a real difference in the resulting loaf of bread. This week I did a little experiment that got me thinking about hydration. I … (more)

Six Rules for Politicians Using Social Media

This is an updated version of the talk I presented at the the eighth annual Municipal Communication Conference in Toronto, November 2013.   I use social media regularly and frequently. As a politician, that makes me either very brave or very stupid. But I’ve been doing this for the last 30 years, long before I ever got elected. Social media isn’t new to me.* … (more)

These Poolish Things…

Poolish. Levain. Banneton. Autolyse. Retardation. Lactobaccilli. Bassinage. Windowpane test. Crumb. Batard. Barm. A new vocabulary is building in me, one that brings the lore of breadmaking, the etymology of the loaf to my conversation.* It’s a necessary vocabulary, if one wants to fully understand the techniques and technology of baking bread. Knowing the names of things gives one power. It’s also a bit like being … (more)

Gluten, Sourdough, Fads and Ailments

Gluten, that everyday protein found in many grains, has become the health-fad followers’ most recent evil spectre, and many (one in three, stats show) have jumped onto the anti-gluten bandwagon, generally with a simplistic message: “gluten bad.” Like most diet fads, I expect it will likely fall off centre stage when the next Big Thing To Rise Against comes along. But meanwhile, until the … (more)

The Smallest Helper

While I was pondering the nature of flour in my cogitations about bread machines (I’m still debating which model, by the way – suggestions welcome, but local stores have few options), I turned my grey matter to the business of yeast. Yeast is, of course, important in bread making because it makes bread rise. Why? You ask. Well, dear reader, the answer is simple … (more)

The Game of the Book of Thrones

No, it’s not about that heavyweight book series by George Martin, or the TV series based on it (or even about how you really need to read the books to understand anything that is happening in the TV series). It’s about the other throne, the porcelain one. And what books are best for reading thereon. Yes, reading on the toilet. Don’t tell me you … (more)

What if you’re wrong?

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=beYYZRN1sEs] Great visualization of the now-famous response from evolutionary biologist, author, and well-known atheist, Richard Dawkins, when asked in 2006 about his argument that there is no god, “What if you’re wrong?” “Anybody could be wrong, ” he replies. “We could all be wrong about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Pink Unicorn and the Flying Teapot.” All of these refer to various arguments used to … (more)

Blog history

I began writing my Mumpsimus blog in early 2005, using a plugin for the IPB forum system. This proved an awkward system, so I moved to the WordPress platform in late 2011 and began this Scripturient blog. By early 2021, I had posted more than 1,200 entries with more than 2 million words. I had more than 1,100 comments, too. I can’t seem to … (more)

Back to Top