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Wholemeal Crank

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    Los Angeles, CA

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  1. Those were incredible. Wow. Such sharp detail. I'd love to know the scale of the cathedrals.
  2. Rice Pudding

    Better when with precooked rice. Still need to cook it a bit softer next time--it really doesn't soften at all after milk is added. But I've now got a reliable recipe to add to my repetoire, thanks all!
  3. Rice Pudding

    And: the milk/egg portion of the pudding was very smooth and rich, not too sweet, and the dried sour cherries I soaked separately and added at the end did well with the flavoring of cardamom, vanilla and mahleb. But the rice was undercooked: edible, but not the soft texture I want. I was using Lundberg, brown basmati, which I knew would give the nutty background that I wanted, but it will take some precooking. It will be a while before I try this again but I'm going to stick a page of notes in the cookbook to remind me of the next steps after this go-round.
  4. Rice Pudding

    Cooling now in the refrigerator.....I got to it about 25 minutes into the 2nd heating session and it was just on the edge of curdling. Some vigorous stirring and that stopped. This time I used whole milk with 25% heavy cream. Based on a check of the rice at the 20 minute mark, I think I will let it set overnight because the rice could use a little longer to soften.
  5. Rice Pudding

    My next attempt will be with whole milk plus some cream; it's a good excuse to have cream around for other purposes.
  6. Rice Pudding

    Damn. Another try, with fresh milk, and presoaked brown rice, and another curdling--but this time, I got through to the last stages of heating through the mixture after returning the eggs/milk/sugar/seasoning to the cooker, and the rice was still just a little bit chewy after the 30 minutes, and I put it on for another 15 minutes, and whammo, curdled. That last step is very hard to get right with the cooker. Maybe finishing in the oven would be better to prevent the overheating at the end?
  7. Rice Pudding

    Excellent advice, thank you! It sounds like I created a setup for trouble by using milk on the edge of spoiling, not adding the sugar, and not presoaking the rice. I'll try again and report back.
  8. Rice Pudding

    That makes sense, thank you!
  9. Rice Pudding

    I had just over half of a gallon of skim milk that was just barely starting to go off--I drank a glass of it and realized it would be undrinkable by the next day. I thought about what I could do with it that would halt the spoilage, and decided to try rice pudding from my rice cooker cookbook. The recipe called for white rice, and I used brown rice, figuring it would just take longer to cook. First step was to take just the milk and rice, and add it to the cooker on a porridge cycle. Then I was supposed to take out a bit of hot milk (it would not be fully absorbed at that point), add it to a mixture of sugar and egg, pour that back into the rice, and continue it on the warm cycle (low heat setting), and stir it from time to time until it thickened up appropriately. Thinking I'd give the brown rice a head start, I set it on a timer so it would soak for 2 hours before starting to cook. And the end result of that porridge cycle was brown rice, still a bit hard, with curdled milk bits including some large conglomerations of curdled milk bits with rice embedded in it. So the question: what made the milk curdle? Starting with skim instead of whole milk? Starting with brown rice? Starting with milk on the edge of spoilage? Every now and then I do have a craving for rice pudding, and I'd like to do it with brown rice on general principles, and I'd like it to not end in a sad mix of curdled bits of milk and badly cooked rice. I previously worked on a recipe that starts with cooked rice, so that there is less of an issue with the brown rice--the different water requirement and cooking time are already be accounted for. But, I wanted to use up milk this time, and starting with dry rice seemed like the way to go.
  10. Sponge, barbecue mop--great ideas. The barbecue mop looks like there is little to react with the lye. Thanks, all! I will report back but it will be a week or more before I have a chance to do some tests.
  11. I wouldn't trust one from a garden center to be food-safe: when putting lye solution in it, I want to be as sure as I can that it's not got something unpleasant sitting on the surface and waiting for lye to dissolve it. But I've never paid attention to that when buying misters for spraying water on my loaves, and it hasn't killed me yet....
  12. I'd like to avoid spray bottles because I don't want to inhale the stuff....but no better solution comes along, I may try that. What brand of spray bottle do you use? Interesting. I'll have to try this out with some plain water first and see how practical it is.
  13. I am a pretzel-holic, and a baker. I've recently been trying the dilute lye solution per Rose Levy Berenbaum's instructions for Pretzle Bread with my own crackers, with good success overall, but am frustated by trying to apply the solution uniformly to a sheet of dough that can't be dipped whole. I've been using a silicone basting brush to apply it, but that's not sufficient for a smooth application. I worry about the lye interacting with my natural bristle brushes, especially the glues used to hold them together, and their handles. I'm seeking a better way to apply the solution uniformly & lightly to a sheet of dough (at this point of the cracker preparations) without eating glue or breathing aerosolized lye. Suggestions?
  14. What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)

    I've been living on semi-iced Taiwanese oolong this summer, a not-too-pricey 'Zhangshu Lake Oolong' from Wing Hop Fung. I take a small quantity of leaf, cover with boiling water, usually in a small porcelain gaiwan (it must be easy to pour brew and leaf out), wait 5-10 minutes, and pour the brew and leaf together into a large chawan or water bottle, fill the container with cold water, and ideally give it another 20-60 minutes before drinking. So the leaves get a hot 'wake up', and I only have to heat a small amount of water, and drink cool lovely tea. Depending on how long the leaves stand before I drink it all, I sometimes try for a second brewing, especially to drink in the evening before bed.
  15. I keep a group of ingredients for herbal teas on hand for when I don't want C sinensis. I read labels when I enjoy an herbal tea blend, and try to add the ingredients to my collection, and when I want some herbal tea, I mix and match from what I have on hand. The ingredient list you share is full of good things that are not hard to find, and work well in varying proportions. I think cdh is spot on when suggesting not trying to exactly duplicate the commercial blend, but having fun with that combination as your starting point.