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fooey

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Everything posted by fooey

  1. I couldn't agree more. After I broke my umpteenth Kitchenaid stand mixer, I swore I'd never buy another mixer again–and didn't for years. I grew a lot as a baker in the absence of one: I had to touch the dough, learn how it felt during different stages of development. The autolyse works very well and, especially for high hydration doughs like ciabatta, the "stretch and fold" method can build up the strength of a dough as much as a stand mixer can. It takes some practice and it's not as reliable or consistent as a machine, but it works. Buy Dan Lepard's The Art of Handmade Bread. He uses autolyse throughout. As the title suggests, no mixer is required.
  2. Thanks Bud, but that's not exactly what I had in mind. It should be an enriched bread using egg, fat, milk, etc. for its flavour and baked at a low temp (350 F) to produce a thin crust and very tender crumb; see HungryC's description. I apologize for not being clear; I could have at least posted a photo. I suppose if I'd said "the bread used to make toast!", that might have been more clear. It's basically brioche with substantially less egg and butter. It so light and tender, no bread knife is required to slice it. Your recipe is more if an artisan white (68% overall hydration) made with a poolish preferment. I use a recipe similar to yours–Bernard Clayton's Pain Beaucaire–for dense sandwich batards, but it results in a crumb that's significantly more dense and has a thicker crust than what I'm interested in. You're steaming the oven too, so the crust will be thick and hard, not light and thin. It's good bread, I'm sure, and it has the added benefit of a preferment (which pulls flavour out of the flour (as opposed to enrichment, which adds flavour)), but it's not the sort of bread I had in mind when I opened the thread, but thanks!
  3. This is probably pushing the topic a bit, as they're already popular in the US, but I'd add English writer and chef Fuchsia Dunlop's books. Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking
  4. Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf. It's been republished in the states as The Art of Handmade Bread. The republished version has metric and volume weights and uses Fahrenheit. I'm not certain, but I think even the ingredients have been changed (or names of ingredients), much easier to source. I remember reading the original and asking, "What on earth is that ingredient?" or "Where am I going to find that flour?" Not so with the republished version.
  5. fooey

    Bread Slicers

    I just assumed that was implicit. I need to speak up for myself.
  6. I modified it some, so here's what I do. WHITE BREAD (makes 3 large loaves) This bread closely follows Peter Reinhart's White Bread, Variation 1, from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, p. 266. Deviations are: 1. by metric weight (not volume), 2. unbleached all-purpose flour (not bread flour), 3. mixer instructions only (no hand kneading), 4. butter only (not other fats recommended), 5. loaves only (not rolls, buns, etc.), 6. portions doubled (you can halve and make two smaller loaves, if you prefer), 7. added some of my technique, removed some of Peter's. DOUGH 1220 g unbleached all-purpose flour 15 g salt 75 g powdered milk (DMS) 85 g granulated sugar 13 g instant yeast (or 17 g active dry) 115 g eggs (2 large eggs), room temperature, slightly beaten 93 g butter, unsalted, melted or room temperature 750 g water EGG WASH 58 g egg (1 large egg) 5 g water INSTRUCTIONS Remove bowl from mixer. Add [flour, salt, milk powder, sugar, yeast] to mixer bowl. To evenly distribute dry ingredients, mix thoroughly with a hand whisk. Add [beaten egg, butter, water]. Mix all ingredients with a large spoon to form a rough dough ball. Return bowl to mixer. Mix on medium for 1 minute; then, if necessary, adjust flour and/or water to make a soft, supple dough that's tacky, but not sticky. How to tell the difference between “sticky” and “tacky”: Press your hand onto the dough and then lift it up. If dough pulls up with your hand and then releases (so your hand comes away clean), the dough is tacky. If you end up with dough stuck to your hand, it’s sticky. Mix for 8-10 minutes more, until dough clears the side of the mixer bowl, but sticks ever so slightly to the bottom of the mixer bowl. Dough is properly mixed when it reaches (26C/80F) and passes the windowpane test. Lightly coat very large bowl (6L/7qt) with oil. Transfer dough to oiled bowl, rolling dough around to coat with it oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Ferment at room temperature until doubled in size (1.5-2 hours). Remove dough from bowl and portion into three equal-sized loaves, about 800g each. Rest doughs for 20 minutes. Butter three (22cmx12cm / 8.5"x4.5") bread loaf pans. Shape each loaf for loaf pans. This is close enough.Brush tops of loaves with butter. Place pans in large plastic bag (I use a large garbage bag) for proofing. Proof until loaves double in size (60-90 minutes). 40 minutes into proofing, adjust oven rack to medium height and preheat oven to (220C/425F). Prepare egg wash by whisking egg and water in small bowl. When loaves are ready for the oven, brush tops with egg wash. Put loaves into oven, medium rack, spacing them as far from each other as possible. The tops (crowns) of the loaves will bulge outwards (about 1.5 times the width of the bread loaf pan), so they should not be too close to each other or too close to the oven wall, or they could stick. Immediately turn oven down to (180C/350F). Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate pans 180 degrees. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the tops (crowns) are dark, golden brown. Internal temperature should be about (88C/190F). Remove pans from oven and immediately remove bread from pans, allowing them to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before serving. They freeze well, so if not eating same day, wrap in aluminum foil immediately after removing from pans and freeze (yes, wrap and freeze while still hot). Defrost at room temperature; do not reheat. Enjoy.
  7. Very good question! The (assumed) lack of quality ingredients, for one, that results in a machine-made chemical foodstuff that is bread in name only? I again note the profound evil that is the Chorleywood Bread Process.
  8. A friend who (supposedly) makes the best cakes–everyone loves them, fawns over these cakes at his dinner parties–tricks everyone, but not me: He's using boxed cake mixes, but homemade buttercreams, preserves, fillings, etc. It's only a matter of time before I dethrone him by drunkenly announcing to the guests, "Of course the cake is moist! There's a cup of vegetable oil in it. THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!"
  9. fooey

    Bread Slicers

    I can get good freehand slices the first loaf, but by the tenth, I have muffins or worse. By the tenth, I'm doing my best Jack Nicholson "Herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre's Johnnnnny" and slicing with a wood axe. I mean, really, who has the time for a bread knife? I want the toast and I want it now.
  10. fooey

    Bread Slicers

    That's fine for a few slicer, but I'm thinking for multiple loaves. Something tells me I'll probably end up with one a used commercial one off of Craigslist. I'll store it in the trunk of my car. There's enough space in the boot and it's weight should keep the car from skidding on the ice.
  11. fooey

    Bread Slicers

    That's my fantasy, you give that back now. This has potential, but so does this.
  12. fooey

    Bread Slicers

    I've considered that. I just don't know if it would work. Anyone else use a meat slicer to slice bread?
  13. I can't count the times I've bitten into a brownie at work and just loved it, only to learn that it was Betty Crocker Hershey's Triple Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix, the one they sell at Costco in giant box with 6 brownie pan's worth of fixings.
  14. fooey

    Onion Confit

    I assumed all along that a onion confit does not result in caramelized onions, that the whole point of a making a confit is to avoid caramelisation. For me, a confit has always been slow heating to reduce liquid, thereby concentrating flavour, but never caramelisation. I can't, however, find a single reference to back this up. Bouchon doesn't even define it as such, even if it's implied.
  15. fooey

    Onion Confit

    Hmm, odd that... If you wanted caramelisation, why wouldn't you just make it at medium-high heat and be done in no time. Why spend hours at the stove over low heat? I thought the reason confit is made at very low heat is to avoid caramelisation and to preserve and concentrate the essential flavour of onion. When I need caramelized onions, it's quick work; confit is anything but; takes hours. Also, the two taste different to me. Caramelized onions are very sweet, but taste mildly of onion; confit is mildly sweet and has a strong onion flavour.
  16. fooey

    Onion Confit

    How would a confit stink up the house? With the heat so low, I seldom smell more than the bouquet garni. Could you be caramelizing them instead? Keller insists that onion confit should not be caramelized, should not take on color at all; but, if you look at pictures across the internet, that's what you see: caramelized onions. Why would someone spend hours doing it on low heat when you can do them same in minutes over medium-high? Is Keller wrong? Is the word "confit" ("candied" or "crystallized" in French) leading people astray? This is how mine looks when near done: is not caramelized, is not onion jelly, is not sweet, brown mush. The example in this picture, to me, is confit done wrong. Confit would be done somewhere between the 4th and 5th frame (and on much lower heat). Comments?
  17. I will never again.... ...forget to remove the thyme stalks and bay leaves before smoothing the soup with the immersion blender. May I introduce my new reputation maker: Potage a la Feuille et la Branche, or Soup with Leaf and Branch.
  18. Welcome to you and your new burn, UnknownCubicle.
  19. I don't know the state of the magazine today, so I'm no help. I know I loved issues from years gone by (and still regret having to give them away because of a move). Does anyone know if Saveur is going to republish the original issues, like Cook's Illustrated does in their yearly volumes? I wish they'd republish. I'd love to get my hands on the whole from the beginning. The word "stellar" is an understatement. The old editions were special, even if sourcing the ingredients was often expensive and time-consuming. I remember reading the feature on a Louisiana boucherie, for example, and saying, "Now that's the way it's really done, that's authentic." Could you post some information of the Amazon deal, a link maybe? I might be interested in getting a subscription just to see where the magazine has gone.
  20. Ditto on the clumsy. These new granite countertops are proving their utility in more than just pastry. They break glass- and stoneware for fun! I have one wine glass left. As for teaware, I suspect the Staub teapot will be the "last man standing" in a few months.
  21. That recipe makes rather wonderful loaves, HungryC. Thanks, and thanks to Peter Reinhart as well! I made a double batch, which there should have been 4 loaves, but I made 3 larger ones. OK, not larger, gigantic! I couldn't help but laugh when I saw them at full bloom in the oven, the ballooned tops twice the size (or more) or the bread-pan bottoms. I call them Mushroom Cloud White Breads. Buttering the loaves after shaping (and putting them into bread pans) followed by egg wash just before they hit the oven produced a gorgeous, rust-coloured crust, shiny and burnished. The crusts crackle on cooling, leaving a neat pattern, so they're just beautiful. I had an bacon-egg-provolone on toasted mushroom could white just a second ago. Was yum! This makes me wonder how many people have never had real white bread, buying "bread" in plastic bags made via the heinous Chorleywood Bread Process instead. Stearoyl-2-lactylate, anyone? Azodicarbonamide? Diacetyl tartaric acid? No? Now where's your sense of adventure!
  22. Butter leaks out if the temperature is too low. 320 F (I assume you mean F) is too low for croissant. That said, I don't have a convection oven, but 320 F still sounds too low. If you open and close the oven several times (to put several pans in), the temp in your oven is probably a lot lower than it should be to start, especially if you've only preheated to 320 F. I'd imagine it be 150 F if you open/close several times. For my non-convection oven, I preheat to 475 F for at least 30 minutes, turn down to 400 F, put the croissants in the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes. I don't open the oven for the first 10 minutes, as they tend to deflate. I rotate after 10 minutes, but you probably won't have to do so with a convection oven. I agree with the above re:proofing times: When I make them from scratch, they take 3-4 hours (sometimes more) to proof, so I'd imagine frozen would take twice that.
  23. fooey

    Bread Slicers

    All bread types, but particularly artisan boules. I interested in uniform thickness of the bread. I can freehand as well and do a good job, but a loaf or two, I need help. I usually make anywhere between 4 and 10 loaves at a time.
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