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Everything posted by artisanbaker

  1. I was deeply saddened to hear about Steven Shaw this morning. I made a number of friends and met many great folks through the egullet community. I am grateful to have enjoyed the experience here and can only hope that I am able to contribute to the online food community (and beyond) in a such a positive way. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Sincerely, Robert Alexander @robmalexander
  2. Well... Sounds like you've been quite busy nathanm. Good luck with everything and count me in as a buyer!
  3. http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Salt-stressed-yeast-leads-to-bigger-softer-bread-Study/?c=zAc5rMw%2BSS6n5mlaYV5JaQ%3D%3D&utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BDaily Here is the link that I was originally tweeted by a UK bakery organisation called Real Bread. (please let me know after you have all reached your conclusions; I'm going to keep going the "old" way until enough conclusions have been made!
  4. Here is the link from the Canyon Kitchen/Lonesome Valley (Cashiers) website: http://www.lonesomevalley.com/index.asp?n=94&p=80&s=96 The restaurant is only open on weekends I think.
  5. John Fleer is now cooking in the Highlands area, right? This is according to John T Edge on twitter. I'll look for the link...
  6. Change the settings on the rollers to de-gas the dough more. This should solve the problem. The drawback is a slightly reduced overall volume, due to the extra force exerted on the dough. With skilled hands, one can detect such a bubble (especially in a smaller piece of dough like a baguette) and eliminate it accordingly.
  7. artisanbaker

    TN: Five wines

    maybe b/c IIRC, the south was hit worse
  8. artisanbaker


    We used to play jokes on people with this stuff. In a phrase: there's no substitute! (pardon the ambiguity)
  9. (raise your hand if you believe that no one is "self-taught") Said it before and I'll say it again. CIA is a great school but let's not get carried away. It is neither critical nor necessary to get a an education from the CIA to succeed in the culinary profession. Either you can do it or you can't. CIA is a not just a school but a BRAND. People champion the BRAND, but the above subject matter brings the quality foundation of the brand into question. The only thing a formal culinary education insures is a proven commitment to industry and a sometimes a good bit of debt on the side.
  10. this is the tip of the iceberg (the chef's responsibility). the real issue is the business' responsibility. the chef, being a critical element in the life of the business, is therefore responsible for more than just the cuisine. we are amist of greater social movement, from my vantage point. kudos to the organisers for celebrating this, nonetheless.
  11. thank you were ant hills represented? i am interested in their wines and more consensus opinion...tia
  12. myrobal: Not sure if we've met or not... At any rate, one thing that I can say is that most pizzerias mix the dough and allow a fermentation time of 20 minutes at most (as opposed to your overnight fermentation in bulk). Some even start division immediately after mixing. This is usually dependant on the quantity of hands on deck for processing the dough. The balls are stacked and trays and rotated as needed, with a shelf life of 30+ hours. You should be certain to take the temperature of the dough with a proper thermometer; keeping track of this can help your consistency, especially if you have different people mixing the dough. I'll leave the flour suggestions to the respective marketing departments and those with stronger convictions than myself. I know that Nattress had Guisto's mill him some 00; at least that's what he told me. Maybe you should ask him. Perhaps he is still involved at the St Helena Farmers Market. At any rate, your yeast dosage depends on your needs and the way the dough is reacting. If it is moving to fast for you then reduce and vice versa. I suggest using SAF instant yeast as it is very reliable and consistent. You can also save time by adding it with the flour; no "proofing" necessary. The usual suspects carry it or try calling Sarah at Model and see if you can piggy back on their order. I don't know why you want to delay the salt; it can't hurt terribly but it does promote oxidation, which in turn decreases flavor. Your pizza is good; it's been too long since I've been in the valley and had the opportunity to have one out on the terrace. Ric Forman was here last night promoting his wines and it made me miss the valley very much. Good luck and let us know how it works out for you.
  13. If the grapes from Tenbrink farm don't do it for you, their tomatoes, peaches, and apricots are some of the best in Northern California. FYI, Some of the Biltmore Estate's Chardonnay comes from...shhh...Tenbrink's fruit. Don't spread the word. (it is crushed at Miner) (Now back to your regularly scheduled wine forum)
  14. this is all market dependant. example: what is French bread? There is an ocean of right answers, because as we all know, the customer is always right! this is why culinary apprentices in the USA need to follow the French Compagnons' lead and spend time in different geographic regions so that they can understand how to work in harmony with their specific market.
  15. yes, i could have created a stronger argument by including the travel aspects, which i understood to be true as well. i know it can be hard to see, but there is a correlation and i hope the above 2 posts illustrate this
  16. I'm curious as to what education has to do with who buys what baked good? ← higher education level->usually more income->more discretionary income->more able to buy a product like a St Honore with respect, i find it hard to believe if you put a bakery that sells St Honores in a neighborhood of folks with an average education level of high school graduate that you could sell any significant amount... am I making sense here?
  17. there is no formula imo; whatever the market will bear. work backwords from there. i'm a big fan of the work backwords club; although banks aren't fond of that philosophy. Good advice there about starting out slightly higher than your target price; you can always reduce but it's hard to increase without rocking the boat. Only thing is I've had one experience where I was involved in a company that positioned themselves as high end (complete with corresponding pricing structure) and they could not make the volume necessary simply because the market was too small. People were also put off by the "prestige" image and found it to be prententious. So, they had to back down and "dumb down" things a bit (if you'll excuse the expression) in order to reach a greater audience. I was recently told by the owner that they don't even try to make the "best bread" anymore because there are so many customers that won't appreciate the difference; she said that she knew that I could "improve" her products but "if it's not broke, then why fix it?" We are talking P&L here. Know your demographic, their education level, and how well travelled they are. Don't assume that people with the discretionary income to buy the product will actually buy; some folks have actually found that people with slighty less discretionary income spend more on gastronomic items. In other words, one needs to have the money but it does not guarantee the "sale." Thoughts? Feedback welcome and I certainly don't don't mean to come across as a "know it all" because that is most certainly not the case!
  18. As dougal was touched on, what is a quality flour to one baker is not a quality flour to another. Depends on the desired product. To confuse matters, Europeans love the high protein flours from Canada (Manitoba to be specific) and consider the flour to be of very high "quality." They would, however, not make "the perfect baguette" from the above referenced high protein flour. In summary, it is used as an "improver."
  19. I'll see what I can do; off the top of my head: salt preserves the carotenoid pigments, which are critical flavor compounds in wheat. So, "can it really preserve the creamy colouring from the carotenoids against oxidation?" The answer would be yes, according to my colleagues, who hold Masters in Baking. I will reference pages 68-72 regarding mixing and see what I can post regarding the quality of information presented. Honestly, I have just skimmed through the book and remain convinced that it is a "must have." Keep in mind with respect that this is the First Edition; if there are kinks then they can be sorted. The price is totally in check for a book of this quality. This is why I consider it a "must have." To reduce the risk of sounding redundant or defensive, I will refrain from participating more in this discussion to the best of my ability. With respect, RMA
  20. Thanks Jim. I am optimistic that she will come around and when she does choose to disclose her opinion on in a blind tasting of an expensive bottle, I value her input. Probably a matter of confidence at some point. Best to you, too. rob
  21. I can't say that I agree with every point made, but what sticks out to me is that my wife's tastes indicate the more common consumer. As it is common knowledge that my wife is always right, it is challenging to harness her preferences so that we have some common ground. This common ground is important so that I do not purchase wines that only I like; I need to open wines that provide pleasure to her as well. Well, she can get hung up on labels and doesn't like tasting blind as she is "worried" about being "wrong," even if it only me that is around. She doesn't follow the world of wine like I do, and she usually doesn't necessarily make a qualitative remark when I open a Giacosa Barolo Faletto or a Dugat Lavaux St. Jacques. So in summary, she has label association that is hard to break and this qualitative association supercedes what's in the glass. "For better or for worse..."
  22. artisanbaker

    TN: Goodies

    Good news; I've got some demi sec coming. Maybe I should try some sec... Thanks Rob
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