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Beanie

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Everything posted by Beanie

  1. I just noticed Anna's excellent response while writing this post, so I'll just add the results of researching some of my bread books. In Jeffrey Hamelman's book, Bread, A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, "crumb" is defined simply as: To that definition, I say: Peter Reinhardt, in The Bread Baker's Apprentice goes into some detail about "crumb" in a discussion of the fermentation (proofing) process: So if you said a loaf has good crumb, it would mean it has the structure of holes you are looking for in the particular type of bread you've baked. In an earlier post about underproved (proofed?) bread, the holes were larger in the center of the slice but got squished together near the crust, an indication that the dough was underproofed (but I bet it still tasted good.)
  2. On the website, its 13.00. The cranberry pecan is 14.00. IMO, that is just criminal to charge that much for bread. Last time I was there, they told me the price of flour is going to drastically increase. Has anyone seen evidence of that? ← The price of flour has gone up drastically in the last year and is continuing to do so. I just received a weekly report from one of my suppliers showing price changes. Several varieties of flour increased by 4% and King Arthur Organic Artisan flour went up a whopping 49% due to shortages. These are increases on the wholesale level. I'm not making excuses for Zingermann's $14 loaf, but the cost of all ingredients is increasing.
  3. ← IMHO, this company's malt powder is better than Horlick's, Carnation, you name it. I tasted all of them in my quest to find the perfect malt powder for soda fountain "malteds." The Horlick company was founded in Wisconsin, with branches eventually opening in New York and England in the late 1800s. I have read that the malt powder made by CTL Foods, which is located in Wisconsin, is based on the original formula.
  4. Like Anna said, everyone used Accent when I was growing up in NYC, then stopped when all the fuss began. I haven't tried it since then, but whenever I see MSG at the Asian market, I pause and consider buying it. Maybe next time.
  5. Please feel free to send your failures to me (minus the spatulas.) I'll even pay the shipping cost. They look great!
  6. I have a similar board that I use for only for pastry/pasta. I brush off the flour, scrape off bits of dough with metal bench scraper (taking care to not gouge the wood), and wipe with a damp cloth. When dry, I store it in a plastic bag. I've had it for about two years and there are no signs of cracking. I've also applied oil to the board when kneading dough but I don't apply it to "season" the board.
  7. Beanie

    Are you a bread wetter?

    I rejuvenate bagels by running them under the faucet, wrapping in foil and popping in the toaster oven.
  8. The last time I tried using plastic wrap filled with beans to prebake pie crust, the film melted. I stood in front of the oven in a state of shock peering through the glass, watching the film melt into the beans. Fortunately, I was able to remove the plastic and beans before the whole thing dissolved into a goopy mess. The pie crust was partly set by that time, so I pushed aluminum foil onto it and finished baking it that way. It came out fine. I was using a small countertop oven, and I think the plastic was too close to the electric heating element. I'll try the roasting bag next time.
  9. Beanie

    Cook Tops

    Caldera, a small company in Vermont, makes electric and gas cooktops that have won design awards and received excellent reviews on the gardenweb home forum. The electric version is based on a technology called microcyling that enables precise control, much like a gas cooktop. I've never used one, but plan to purchase the gas version when I redo my kitchen. Edited to add: OOPS! I see that Alex mentioned this first.
  10. I've had this problem for years with a Jenn-Air downdraft range that vents through a crawl space to the outside. I finally stuffed insulation into the duct and rarely use the exhaust fan. There's alot of discussion about this problem all over the web, including this site. In cold weather locations, a non-metallic thermal break is supposed to be installed in the ductwork, as noted below: The above is from this web site. Installing a thermal break was not standard practice when my unit was installed many years ago, and retrofitting it would be very difficult. I have done considerable research on the web and it appears that almost all installation manuals for ventilation systems now incorporate this recommendation. However, purchasing a "non-metallic thermal break" is another matter. Try finding it on the Jenn-Air web site (or any other appliance part store) without a part number and you're out of luck. I once saw a drawing and it appeared to be nothing more than a flexible plastic vent. Hard to believe it would even be effective. I hope this information is helpful. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
  11. I had the same puffing problem last week. I pulled out the pie plate from the oven and literally used the palm of my hand and a piece of foil to push the bottom down. I also pushed in the sides. I had to do this three times, about 5 minutes apart. It was a pain in the butt (or, er, the hand), but it was effective. Also, instead of using my regular all butter recipe, I used Dorie Greenspan's good-for-almost-everything pie dough, which contains butter and shortening. After lining the pie plate, I froze it overnight, then baked it with foil and weights. Despite the puffing problem, this was the first crust I have blind baked without any shrinkage. An earlier post suggested using shortening instead of all butter to prevent shrinkage. It worked for me. I'm curious about how you "roll off" the overhang. How much of an overhang do you leave?
  12. I'm sure the Waring blender is all that you need, but I'll put in a good word for Vita-Mix. I've had the 3600 with stainless steel container since the 1970s. After about 20 years of use, I had to return the container for servicing, but the company provides excellent customer service and stands behind everything it sells. The newer models are better for beverages and ice crushing than the 3600 due to the design of the container and blades. Don't hesitate to purchase a reconditioned unit. I also have this Blendtec blender that I got thru ebay. This is the brand that Starbucks uses. It does a fantastic job making smoothies, but isn't as durable as the Vita-Mix.
  13. Beanie

    Flour Sifters

    I have one of those hoop sifters that Andie posted a link to. There is no crank or moving mechanism; just shake it from side to side. It holds alot of flour and sifts very quickly. After using this, I would not go back to the gadgets that require cranking or squeezing, though for very small quantities of flour, I use a strainer. I would definitely recommend the hoop sifter as a gift to someone who would appreciate receiving a piece of professional equipment that is not available in mainstream kitchenware shops.
  14. I use Callebaut 811. I like the taste and it's widely available and reasonably priced. I can't justify using higher priced chocolates in my shop. Unfortunately, my supplier doesn't carry other varieties by Callebaut and won't special order them due to the hassle factor.
  15. Do you think a clay pot or a sandy pot (if you're talking about the Asian cooking vessels) can take the heat needed? Especially when throwing a room temperature proofed dough into said pot? It does seem that for this recipe, a 3 to 4 quart sized dutch oven is the right size. ← See my post about using Asian clay pot.
  16. I don't know the answer, but here's an interesting technical article that may help. It suggests instant dry is better than cake yeast, increasing the amount of yeast used is important, and type of flour makes a difference. Also, you may want to try Lesaffre Gold Label instant dry yeast, which is formulated for croissants, danish pastries, etc. Contact them for samples and technical support.
  17. I don't know specifics about Orange County or Smart & Final, but if you know anyone who owns or works in a restaurant/bakery/convenience store or any other business that deals with food service suppliers, ask them if they'd order a case for you. They come 1,000 sheets to a case. I pay around $37.00 wholesale; you should expect to pay a little more. Split it with your friends.
  18. See these links: vanilla.com The description confirms Fat Guy's statement about using it with extract. Saffron, Vanilla Imports Third photo from bottom of page, chopped up vanilla beans. Not the same thing as above, but interesting nonetheless. I've been meaning to try it, but I wouldn't filter out the vanilla specks as they suggest.
  19. Not about value at all ... it is easy to pack in a lunch box, to take on a picnic, etc etc ... Why buy bottled water for heaven's sake? It is just water! which you can carry in your own containers, or thermos, or ... ← I buy bottled water because my well water tastes like crap. And I don't like bothering with filters (Brita, etc.).
  20. Check out this thread on pie fillings starting at post 30, for discussions on freezing apple pies before baking.
  21. Find a bulk spice seller either localy or online and buy the smallest amount they sell. Go in with a couple of people and split a package or maybe work some trades. Krogers, Ralphs and food-4-Less sell small packs of herbs and spoces for reasonable amounts. I am sure others do to. ← This is a good suggestion. My shop has a bulk spice and herb section and customers bring their old spice jars to fill up. We deduct the tare weight of the jar and charge by weight of the product. Most dried herbs weigh very little, and filling up a jar might cost only 50 cents or even less, a fraction of the supermarket price. Most natural food stores carry bulk spices such as the display in my shop:
  22. I thought it was pretty clear. It's been at least 15 years since McCormick has used tin containers (except for black pepper) and at least 15 years since it's had a packing plant in Baltimore. Hence, if you have spices in a tin or a jar of spices packaged in Baltimore, it's time to throw them away and replenish your stock. Hmm... I seem to recall a few tins in my pantry.
  23. For light commercial work, I'd suggest the half sheet pan size.
  24. URL[ Hi Andrew, I must have been napping, I did have jet lag after all. lol The reason I brought it up is Peter Greweling mentions vacuum sealing chocolates in his book and he says the vacuum should be gentle one so as not to damage the chocolates. So is the heat sealer, just a standard one, they use to shrink wrap items? Luis ← Luis, I'm not Andrew and I know nothing about chocolates (except that I like eating them), but I have used shrink wrap film as well as heat seal bags and sealers, and they are not the same. A heat seal unit does not shrink plastic film. It bonds the edges of a heat seal bag but doesn't shrink the plastic around the item being packaged.Here is an example of a heat seal unit. It gets plugged into an electric outlet, which heats up a strip of teflon along the edge. Then its gets clamped onto the end of a polypropylene bag and the heat bonds the bag together. How heat sealing works. Shrink film comes in different size rolls or bags and different gauges. A heat sealer can be used to seal the edges of a bag, but then a heat gun (or hair dryer) is needed to shrink the film around the item being packaged. I've seen wrapped chocolates in gift baskets that are shrink wrapped, but you wouldn't want to use a heat gun directly on anything that would melt. Hope this helps.
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