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cookman

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  1. Very Interesting. How do you define a dense/English recipe? Is it a recipe with less flour? The last recipe I made had 2 cups flour/9 cups mixed dried fruits (all hydrated for a week in bourbon)/5 eggs/ 1 cup butter. It tastes great, but is impossible to cut neatly. The plumped fruit just pulls from the crumb, rather than slices through neatly. I was hoping for "stained glass". Could plumping the fruit make it too moist to cut through cleanly?
  2. I have a general question about fruitcake texture: Over the years, I have made many different recipes for fruitcake. All the recipes contain dried fruits and nuts. Some recipes seem to produce a dense loaf that can be easily sliced into thin slices, while other recipes produce a loaf that is full of moist fruit and have a moist crumb, but crumble when sliced, necessitating that one cut thick slices for serving. I can't seem to figure out what determines the final texture of the cake. Any ideas what makes a cake that can be thinly sliced and what makes the type that must be served in large chunks?
  3. Kerry, Thanks. That looks promising.
  4. HI Mick, Thanks for all the great information! Your posts have been incredibly helpful! If you are trying to convert a recipe from commercial yeast to a sourdough recipe, how do you know how much starter to use? I have read that you want ~30% of the recipe's flour to come from the starter.Is that about what you would recommend, too?
  5. I'm trying to find a recipe for date nut bread that will produce a loaf similar to Neuman's Date Nut Bread, a round, somehwat sticky loaf sometimes found in supermarket deli sections. Anyone have a recipe that's seems close to that one?
  6. Barrytm, thanks for the detailed info. It does sound like there is some real learning curve in using this machine. Its relatively low price and the ability to use non-quilted bags, however, still makes it an attractive option.
  7. Anyone have any experience with the Sinbo brand of vacuum sealers? They are snorkel-type machines that make it possible to use the same inexpensive nylon (or even Mylar) bags that chamber-style vacuum machines use, rather than the more costly quilted type of bag. Here's a link for a Sinbo machine that they also claim can be used to seal liquids: http://www.vackpak.com/Sinbo.html
  8. I'm interesting in trying to make hard (sugarless) candies from xylitol. What I have found about it on the web says it is difficult to do. If any of you have tried it with success, can you please share the technique? Thanks!
  9. cookman

    Mandolines

    Any of these mandolines tough enough to julienne a celery root?
  10. My favorite recipe with the best detailed directions for puff pastry is in Flo Baker's The Simple Art of Perfect Baking.
  11. I was able to find the pages describing this technique on Google Books. Also had a miserable failure. The mixture started bubbling and fermenting after a few days, despite following the directions. Obviously the sugar concentration in the early steps was insufficient to inhibit growth of bacteria/yeast.
  12. I'm bumping this topic back up because Whole Foods had organic oranges on sale today for .79/lb, so I now have 10 lbs that I want to slice and candy. I've done this yearly by slow simmering in a crock pot, but I'm always looking for alternative techniques. I'd like to try Wybauw's 2-week increasing sugar concentration soaking technique, and even have a refractometer, but I can't find the details on how to do it. Does anyone have these details? Also , I keep thinking there must be a way to do this with vacuum packing and sous vide. Has anyone had success with this technique?
  13. Does the difference in vacuum make a difference for sous viding? Is there a problem with bags floating more with the VP210 vs the VP215 because there is more air left in them?
  14. I'm trying to make my final decision on which chamber vac machine to buy. I'm also really curious to hear how important and useful these H20 sensors have been for people who have opted to buy machines that have this option. I'm assuming it makes it more of a no-brainer in terms of proper settings to have an H20 sensor, but is it that hard to figure out the proper settings once you are comfortable with your machine and the particular food you are vacuum sealing?
  15. cookman

    Biscotti

    I use an electric knife to cut them after the first baking, and can easily slice them to 1/4 inch or thinner.
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