Brainmachines

For Brainmachines.com

It seems many people believe that you have to have something wrong with you – disorder, disease, majorly unbalanced – to constitute having to use a light and sound mind machine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just ask Olympians, professional athletes, students, actors, musicians, even business people. Everyday, average people use light and sound to make a good thing better. As in the following example, the simple use of using a DAVID Delight Pro helped solve a baking dilemma by simply allowing me to relax, focus and realize the solution is readily apparent:

According to my wife, I am ‘almost’ a novice baker. I’m much better at cooking, and not just from the grill. But baking? People skirt the subject.

Last November old friends from Nevada came to visit. During one of our backyard chats, somebody said something about bread baking and someone chimed in with how easy it is. As our friends are legendary for their cooking and baking prowess, I kind of wondered just how easy it’d be for a beginner. 

I started reading…

Baking Bread

If you have 3 cups of self-rising flour and a 16oz. bottle of cheap beer you can make bread. That was my first effort at baking bread. Sounded better than it tasted. 

Then a recipe said if you use a little salt, a little yeast, some flour and some water you would have all the ingredients necessary to bake a loaf of Artisan bread. I didn’t really know exactly what I was expecting so I followed the advice of my friends and purchased a cast iron Dutch oven and paid an expensive visit to King Arthur Flour’s website.   

The first thing I learned: I did not need half the crap I bought. 

My curiosity gradually shifted from how to bake a loaf of bread to what kind of loaf of bread I want to bake. It had to be different and taste really good. I really wanted to surprise a few people. So my problem was what kind of bread to make and I solved this dilemma by using my DAVID Delight Pro light and sound machine. 

I have found listening to a theta brainwave entrainment session once a day for two or three days helps me formulate my thoughts and ideas. While I did sessions, I focused on what I like and have that could possibly make my type of bread unique. 

I like hot food. I grow chiles in my backyard. There’s always cheddar cheese in the refrigerator. While doing a light and sound session, these thoughts came together: an Artisan-based loaf of bread with a hint of cheddar and kick of mainly jalapeno chiles. 

I realize there already exists all kinds of hot and spicy and special breads that are similar, but what would make mine different for me is using my backyard chiles. That was the clincher.

My first attempt at ‘hot and spicy’ was a letdown. Too doughy, no kick, boring. So I thought how to go about tweaking my recipe. I used the Delight Pro’s Mood Brightener session #1 for helping me keep focused on a solution. Realizing the recipe could be easily modified I began by making the “Starter”. 

I combined a cup of warm water, a cup and a half of King Arthur flour and a half-teaspoon of yeast in a mixing bowl. This starter combination is often called a poolah, which you cover with plastic wrap and leave out on a counter to ferment. Be patient; let it sit out for a good 14 to 16 hours. Some experts say 2 hours will suffice, but not my legendary friends from Nevada. The next morning my poolah was a thick batter and I was ready to proceed.

Before assembling the Artisan bread dough, I gathered the ingredients that I hoped would make my bread special. I selected ten finger-length jalapenos along with two each of habanero, serrano and poblano chiles. It’s a nice mixture of taste and heat strength, but if your tolerance to ‘hot’ is low, tone down the number of chiles used. Anyway, I thinly sliced each chile, using it all (skin, meat and seeds) and added that pile to two cups of evenly grated cheddar cheese. 

For the dough I added one cup of water, a tablespoon of sugar and kosher salt (coarse is better), three-quarters of a teaspoon of yeast and three cups of King Arthur’s Flour. I then added the chile and cheese mixture and combined all that with the poolah. After kneading the entire mixture until smooth, I covered the bowl with a dishtowel and let it stand for an hour. Then I kneaded the loaf again, divided the mixture into quarters, placed two loaves per cookie sheet, covered again and let it rise another 60 minutes.

While waiting, I beat an egg with one teaspoon of water for brushing over the top of the bread. This type of egg wash makes the bread shiny and golden brown. I then set the oven for 425 degrees, placed the loaves in the oven and baked for 35 minutes. Ten minutes out of the oven and they passed the ‘bread is baked right’ test. The top of the bread was crusty-hard while when lightly tapping the bottom I heard that ‘really hoping for’ hollow sound. That indicates the dough is baked to perfection. The kitchen smelled really good, the bread was done, my idea had become a reality and now the big question: Did it taste any good?

Six friends were the first to try my bread. Turned out they were the only ones. They ate all four loaves. That plus their positive opinions about the taste and texture were very rewarding as now I can say I’m finally good at baking something!

So you see, no matter how small or large your idea may be, and no matter how apprehensive you are about trying, sit down with a light and sound mind machine and allow yourself to focus on how you can make your idea a success. 

This actually happened. 

Copyright: Michael Landgraf (2013) CA. All rights reserved.