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culinary bear

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Everything posted by culinary bear

  1. If you read the poster's original words, they clearly state that the hydration was 75%. You did read the poster's original words, didn't you? doronin - That seems like a fairly resonable set of times. I tend to find that I get larger bubbles when the gluten structure is a little weaker than a normal dough and the air bubbles can merge (so don't overwork the dough), and also when the dough is a little overproved, if anything. Having a moist environment during baking also allows full ovenspring, which is also something that I find can be deadened a little by cooking bread straight from the fridge. I also find a relationship between the length of time a dough has sat in bulk and its 'holiness' - maybe prove for a longer time with a lower initial yeast content?
  2. How long did you knead the dough for, how long did you let it rise before shaping, and how long a final rise?
  3. I suppose I do wear a kilt sometimes, so I shouldn't comment...! I did notice, though, that you were good enough to let her have a go behind the wheel.
  4. Gary in a Kimono? Having met Mrs Gary for the first time recently, I can confirm she wears the trousers.
  5. Oh no! That's unutterably sad... They really put their backs into the business and tried to do things the right way.
  6. Which is why, after nearly 20 years in journalism, I have literally written for every section of newspapers for which it is possible to write - except sport. ← Which personals column did you edit? I think a trip with Mrs Bear to the aformentioned Chinese might be in order.
  7. Rocketman - Firstly, there's really no need to quote, on your post, the entirety of the post you're replying to, especially given that it's the one directly preceeding your post, and especially as it's over a page of text. Some would say this thread is long enough without having to scroll through everything four or more times. Secondly, is it really, vitally important that anyone who ventures any sort of opinion on this thread has read the book? I haven't read the book, I don't think I particularly want to now, but there's more to the discussion than the book itself; it's raised all sorts of issues about journalistic integrity, policy and the mores of the reading public. "Nyah, nyah, you haven't read the book, therefore you can't comment" is somewhat redolent of the schoolyard.
  8. Do you stand and watch your mixer the entire time it's kneading? I'm damned sure I don't I've never seen a bialy in the UK, but the local Polish Bakery (and I'm very very lucky to have such an amazing place nearby) calls bagels 'biegles'. Is it maybe something to do with the odd 'L with a stroke through it' the Poles have? How do the native residents pronounce Bialystock?
  9. Actually, you're not far off the mark! Cabbages and sprouts are exactly the same species, Brassica olerecea, but cabbages have been bred to have one huge terminal leaf-bud and brussels sprouts have been bred to produce many small leaf-buds. Incidentally, broccoli and cauliflower are different strains of B. olerecea too.
  10. As an aside, I used to work my doughs for a substantial period of time. I've converted to the Dan Lepard / Raymond Calvel school of thought where you knead only to combine, followed by a period of autolysis, before kneading lightly again. I've noticed a fair improvement in crumb structure in the bread. As to the greyness, I still don't think it's metal, unless the paddle was bare aluminium under the plastic coating and the dough was relatively acidic. I'd be inclined to go for Jay's theory about grease - it's happened a couple of times to me, esepcially after re-lubricating my 5-gallon Hobart planetary mixer.
  11. If you've undermeasured your flour it might have contributed to your dough having no form. I've never read the book, but 20 minutes mixing seems very excessive. You run the risk of seriously overdeveloping the gluten by mixing to that extent, and ending up with very tough bread. To give you an idea, the foccacia I make is mixed for 2 minutes before being rested for 15 and mixed for another two (both times using a dough hook and not a paddle). As regards the bowl, it's probably fit for use again after a good clean. The paddle might be usable depending on how flaky the plastic coating is. If it's flaking at all, you might want to consider getting a replacement. I'm actually not entirely sure that the grey colour resulted from the contact between the paddle and the bowl - how grey was it?
  12. Am I alone in noticing that a lot of the messages in support of this book are coming from very recently joined members? Maybe I'm just a cynical sod.
  13. I'm getting overtones of the decision to release 'Kill Bill' as two volumes, surely unmotivated by the fact that the box office return would be considerably swelled.
  14. As the book is written by "Doug Psaltis with Michael Psaltis", I'd be interested to know how much was written by whom. edited : to correct spelling
  15. I believe there's a well-used, even hackneyed phrase, to the effect that all publicity is good whether negative or otherwise. As regards hand-slapping - I've seen a burly Glaswegian sous threaten a waiter with physical violence : "If you don't get your hand of that pass, I'll fucking break it" - but in today's litigious, risk-averse and politically sensitive age, slapping someone's hand away, regardless of the force of the slap, isn't a sensible idea. Now if that's the straw that broke the camel's back, as has been claimed, then I might dare venture that the camel was already pretty heavily laden. No kitchen is going to part company with a senior chef on that basis alone. As to credibility as an author, selective memory, "editorial neccessity' amd the like - everyone tends to paint themselves in a favourable light, but there is a threshold. If that's been stepped over, than shame, scorn and approbrium should rightly follow.
  16. culinary bear

    Pig Ears

    We used to include them as part of an assiette de porc, braising them slowly for a couple of hours then pressing them overnight, to be cut into 2" diamonds, breaded and deep-fried. Very tasty.
  17. I'll admit right away that I work as a pastry chef, but don't let that detract from the 'home-needs' aspect of things. At work, I use mine probably a minimum of two dozen times a day. I have my big 5-gallon Hobart on the floor which gets used for the bread (twice a day) and anything big. Anything more than a 10-egg sabayon for genoise sponge, for instance, and the Hobart does the work. Whipping cream, meringue, scone dough, pastry, sabayon... all stuff that would be impractical to do by hand due to time constraints, RSI, or lack of gullible commis chefs. I'd never, ever be without my mixer. 'Mine' being the right word, as it's my 40+ year old domestic Kenwood, bought for my Mother a long time ago, that I took in to work to replace the US$500 Kitchenaid - the 'professional' one that broke after a year. You could, as some people have suggested, get away without a stand mixer - it's just very convenient, and some jobs are undoubtedly performed better by a stand mixer than either by hand, with a food processor, or a stick blender.
  18. "At Italian restaurants, order fish grilled dry, a side of plain steamed veggies and a lemon for seasoning." Bite my shiny metal ass. Stay at home, take a nutrient pill, and keep the hell away from any restaurant I'm working in.
  19. Don't remind me about scones; I nearly resorted to fisticuffs to correct a colleagues's pronunciation of the word... Full points to the well-meaning checkout jockey - a matronly, middle-aged type - who kindly pointed out that the oranges I was buying were 'very very sour' and needed to be cooked before being eaten. If I was being picky, I'd have said that the 10lb of sugar she'd swiped through beforehand gave some indication that they were destined for the marmalade pot. Another - Cashier : What are those? *picking up shallots* Me : Shallots Cashier : Are you sure they're not onions? Me : Well, technically they are, but they're more expensive (by about a factor of four) Cashier : I can't find shallots on the system. Are they onions? Me (resigned sigh): Yes. They're very small, very pointy onions. Wait there while I get some more.
  20. Adding 50-100ml of brandy to a large fruit cake is, if you'll excuse my directness, going to do pretty much bugger all with reference to the keeping qualities of the cake. Rich fruit cakes keep because : 1) they're hygroscopic and don't lose moisture if wrapped well. 2) they have a sugar content high enough to inhibit the growth of microorganisms 3) my girlfriend doesn't like them, and hence doesn't eat them. As regards beer in cakes, as long as you sensibly take note of the difference in volume between using beer and using spirits / fortified wines, adjusting the recipe accordingly, you should be fine. My particular favourite is made with Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, a shockingly hoppy and bitter 7.5%abv version of normal bottled guinness. It gives a pleasingly sticky, malty and long-keeping cake.
  21. Born and bred Scotsman here, where they'd look at you awfully funny if you suggested a thing.... However, in Lancashire I've seen cheese slipped in under the crust before baking. Utterly recommended is a longitudinal slice from a Mrs Kirkham's Tasty Lancashire - it's exactly the right diameter to fit snugly inside before the lid goes on.
  22. It seems to afflict men more than women, but it's not by any means an exclusively male preserve. As to hairiness, I'm not quite sure. Fillipe certainly seemed to think it was something to do with it, but I shall have to, erm, survey the matter further. During service, too? Most kitchens I've worked in, well, most good kitchens, are self-regulating. If the staff are professional, they'll have no compunction in telling the shrieking harpies to shut up. Having the exec chef ream them out is always a valuable thing, too.
  23. Chefs' arse (n), med : Otherwise known as nappy rash, chefs' arse is a potentially debilitating complaint resulting from excessive perspiration. To cut a long and graphic story short, it's when you sweat excessively, normally on the back and small of the back, said perspiration running down the cleft of your backside and causing significant chafing of the arsecheeks. I have known fully paid up, eight-cylinder, hard-as-nails chefs almost weeping with the pain. There are two schools of thought as to remedies / prevention : 1) lubricant : vaseline, aqueous cream, E45 cream, baby lotion. 2) dry powder : cornflour - note, NOT wheatflour (gummy) or custard powder (canary yellow cleft). Current opinion varies on the type (or indeed absence) of underwear best suited to prevent chefs' arse.
  24. Me too, but when you get in at 0830, everyone else gets in at 0945, and you're STILL there doing the last dessert check at midnight once the hotsiders have gone home, it gets a little irritating. First in, last out. Personally, I enjoy the banter. They're not a bad bunch of people, and some of them actually realise that pastry isn't the figurative land of milk and honey even if it is the literal one. It's very much a Bourdain affair - who's shagging who from front of house, ribbing the guy who admitted to shaving the crack of his arse to avoid the dreaded chefs' arse syndrome, sending the new commis downstairs for a left-handed whisk, that sort of thing. It's a fairly tight group, and more importantly, I'm close enough to the line to be able to partake in the conversation. Unfortunately, that means working in an ambient temperature of 32C. When the shit's flying during service, though, it's a very disciplined group. They wouldn't dare. I'm struggling for space, anyway, so they know not to get in the way. One of the waiting staff had the temerity to once sit on my low-boy freezer, and his ears are still ringing. Not if they don't want their mis-en-place in the bin. Oh, that's a low one.
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