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Posts posted by fooey

  1. Don't let the absence of a mixer stop you from making great bread!

    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. Hi, Fooey. That was a nice surprise - I'm sure that'll make great butter chicken, too, but the recipe he gives in Sainsbury's 'Curries' is different. No tomatoes or tomato puree in the sauce; no paprika; no 'onion masala sauce' or other standard sauce; the chicken tikka preparation isn't a separate recipe - a question of format only of course, but their are big differences, in fact: no cream or cream cheese in the marinade; it uses mild curry paste rather than garam masala, it uses vinegar, chillis and ginger, etc. - much more highly-flavoured, all round. Are we allowed to post published recipes ? I should also mention that Pat C's recipe for mild curry powder / paste from the same book is the blend I usually make to this day.

    Oops, sorry. :huh: That means I have another cookbook to buy.

  3. 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!

  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. I have one of those Sainsbury books too, 'Curries' by Pat Chapman, picked up at a checkout in the 80's. I never got into using it extensively - much of it follows restaurant technique in using a batch-made curry sauce as a base for the dishes, but the recipes that we've cooked from it have always been excellent. I go back to 'Hasina kebabs' again and again, and I was only inches from posting his butter chicken in the 'reputation makers' thread - it never fails to stun. Lamb pasanda is also superb.

    Here's the recipe for Pat Chapman's Butter Chicken.

  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.


    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


    58 g egg (1 large egg)

    5 g water


    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.


  7. 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!"

  8. When slicing freehand (I don't have the above), I find that that getting good results are similar to driving: look *where you want to go* :biggrin: and let your body take care of the rest.

    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.

  9. I have a dream that involves a woodworking friend building a bread-cutting-form that has a base, and two slotted sides like a toast rack, so I can hold a loaf in there and slice away. It's that sort of fantasy that keeps me going.

    That's my fantasy, you give that back now.

    This has potential, but so does this.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. ...stink the house up by making 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).


  13. I am a long-time subscriber of Saveur (since the 2nd issue) and highly recommend it, especially for foodies.

    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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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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