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Everything posted by JayBassin

  1. How long does it last in your fridge? ← I do the same thing, except I store the roasted, unpeeled cloves in a container in the fridge. They keep practically indefinitely. I add a few sprigs of thyme to the cloves and oil, wrap them in aluminum foil, and bake. This way, I do get the joy of squeezing the garlic cream when I need them.
  2. I use unglazed quarry tiles; when I need to clean them, I just leave them in the oven and run the self-clean cycle. Works like a charm. Doesn't crack the tiles (tiles were made originally at much higher temperatures than a self-clean cycle).
  3. Thickening a gravy occurs two ways. When starches are involved, as with chickpea sauces (or old-fashioned flour gravies or roux), thickening can occur when the starch granules absorb water and swell. This is entirely independent of reduction or evaporation of water. Reduction thickening does require evaporation, but I think your recipe thickens by starch.
  4. I make stock in a pressure cooker all the time and it's clear. The first trick is to make sure the pressure cooker never reaches the point where it "blows off steam." Let the pressure go up to the second mark, but never higher. Once the cooker begins to vent steam, the stock will boil, which causes the cloudiness. Below the boiling point (which is elevated inside the pressure cooker above 100C), the stock inside won't boil. The second trick I use for a white chicken stock (unroasted bones) is to blanch the bones to a full boil first, then pour off the water and all the gunk (denatured proteins that cloud the stock), rinse off the pieces, then put back in a clean pot with fresh water and veg. It's an extra step, but I make a couple gallons each time and it's worth it. Far easier than clarifying the stock afterwards.
  5. I think "lighter than air" rolls get their texture from a combination of technique and ingredients. Tenderness is enhanced by milk, sugar, and or fat (oil, butter, whole eggs or yolks). Don't use high-glutin flour; ap or softer flour is best. Don't worry about over-rising (rolls can over rise better than bread). Keep the dough moist (don't add too much flour). So, use milk instead of water (if you use liquid milk you need to scald the milk before using it to inactivate the yeast-retarding enzymes); it's easier to use instant nonfat milk powder. Use 2-3 tbs soft butter per lb of flour, and an equal amount of sugar. Knead until soft and smooth. Let rise once, deflate, shape, and let rise again---you can brush the tops with butter, but all that does is aid browning, not flavor.
  6. I add my agreement to the above advice. For bagels, be sure to use as high a protein flour as you can get. Knead longer than the recipe calls for because you need to develop the gluten. I agree also with the need for malt syrup. Boil the bagels before baking. Bake on a stone (I actually use nonglazed floor quarry tiles bought from Home Depot) preheated to 500 F for at least an hour (the stones take longer to heat than the thermostat in the oven). Convection or nonconvection doesn't matter that much if you only use 1 layer. Same advice goes for bread (except don't boil first). After preheating the stones and just before adding the dough, I toss 3/4 cup water directly on the stones, which creates a $#^% of a lot of steam. Immediately slide on the dough, then toss another 1/2 cup water on the stones (but not on the dough). I think this provides sufficient steam for the first few minutes (which is all that's needed).
  7. Are you sure the lumps are from the flour? Only 2 tablespoons of starch in a typical 1.5-2 lb of cream cheese shouldn't create lumps. I suspect rather that you didn't beat the cream cheese well enough or that you didn't incorporate the eggs one at a time and well enough. If you added sour cream to the cheese, the cheese needs to be very smooth first. As for the cracks, I don't think the starch will avoid cracks. Cracks are usually caused by over baking the cake, or cooling too fast, or both. The center of the cake should jiggle slightly when it's done; it will set up when cooling. If its firm all through the center, it's over done. Let the cake cool slowly, in the oven, with the door adjar.
  8. Just made a large batch of chili. Tasted it and decided it needed another hit of ancho chili powder, so I dumped in about 1/4 C from my jar. Instantly, the smell came up---it was ground cloves not ancho!!! I will always smell the herbs/spices before adding. I will always smell the herbs/spices before adding. I will always smell the herbs/spices before adding. ... (Fortunately, I didn't stir it in, so I skimmed off the top 1/2 inch from the pot. Came out fine but I was glad no one was watching.
  9. Harold McGee points out that egg-thickened mixtures need to be cooked at least a couple of minutes, otherwise an enzyme will cause the mixture to thin out considerably over hours to days. I've noticed this myself and was glad to know why.
  10. You generally need 2 risings, as Srhcb says. Both should go until the volume doubles. The first rise developes the gas bubbles that provide the airiness. Don't knead the bread after the first rise---just collapse the dough, give it a couple of turns, and shape it. You don't want to lose all the gas bubbles. You're redistributing the yeast to give them more food for the second rise. After shaping and putting in the pan, let it rise (covered) again until doubled in volume. Then bake. You said your loaf sagged somewhat when taking it out of the oven. That's not a good sign---you may have underbaked the bread, but if the center was cooked, I don't know why it sagged. The crust usually hardens first. If you have an instant-read thermometer, stab it into the center of the loaf when you think it's done: it should be about 190-200 F or about 90 C.
  11. What about sheets of dacoise layered with almond buttercream? You could frost it with buttercream or fondant. That's assuming the bride is only allergic to egg yolks and not whites.
  12. Shrimp heads are the best part for making stock. You can get a bright red color instead of the brownish color from the body shells. Squeeze hard to get the essence out of the little craniums. A rich stock/fond means more concentrated, so if you plan to freeze it, it's more efficient (you can dilute). Shrimp stock keeps a very long time below 0 F. I use shrimp stock for bisque, shellfish risotto, gumbo, fish soups (like bouillabaisse), and shellfish sauces. I usually use shrimp stock-based sauces for crab dishes like crab imperial, crab/shrimp/scallop veloute, shellfish stews, etc. (I think shrimp stock is better than crab stock for many dishes). Like all stocks/fonds, don't salt it until you use it.
  13. Let us know how your next batch turns out. It's possible that the Epicurious recipe simply had a typo (or two).
  14. If you were happy with the elasticity, then kneading time was fine. Cutting down the yeast does reduce the "yeastiness" smell. More importantly, it slows down the rise, which gives the dough longer to develop flavor. Too much yeast, as in the recipe, especially with insufficient salt, creates a very rapid rise. You get "double the volume" too fast, without time for the dough to develop, and when you bake it, you get too much oven-spring (the extra puff created by the warmth before the yeast are killed). You can then get a collapsed loaf, contributing to dense crumb. I recommend you look at some good books in your library about bread baking. One of the best is "Bread Baker's Apprentice."
  15. Come, come, Torakris: as a faithful reader of Japan Forum and your blogs, I know you are a very good cook and very knowledgeable. Recipes aren't intended to be followed exactly, only as ideas. My point in referring to my recipe for cherry pie was to encourage stove-top pie filling. You can easily eliminate or substitute many of the ingredients. Skip the chocolate layer, skip the booze or spices. Use the recipe as a guide, not a requirement.
  16. I think the main problem is the recipe called for too little salt and too much yeast. 1/2 tsp salt for close to 3 pounds of flour+oatmeal is way off. My rule of thumb is 1/2 Tbs (1.5 tsp) per pound of dry. This should have had at least 3-4 tsp salt. You added 1 tsp, which was twice as good as the recipe, but still not enough. The salt (in addition to flavor) slows down the yeast and the rise, which means it won't over-proof too quickly. A longer rise develops flour. I think you need to knead longer, too, when you use oatmeal because the oats interfere with glutin development. If you kneaded by hand, give it 12-15 minutes. In a KA mixer, 8-10 minutes. ps--2 pkgs of yeast could be cut down easily to 1 pkg or less.
  17. what about complaining to the manager? I can't imagine that any business wants employees alienating the customers. I've once given the usual 15% tip in cash to the manager and said "here's the tip I would have given to my server, except he doesn't deserve it because ... etc. Divide it as you see fit among the waitstaff who deserve it." I don't know if he did, but I like to think that the other waiters got the message as well.
  18. I posted a cherry pie with streusel topping on RecipeGullet. I agree with previous posts that the best way to avoid gumminess is to cook the filling on top of the stove. Cherries, more than many fruits, vary quite a bit in juiciness. Another substitute for tapioca is arrowroot starch. A lattice topping is very pretty, but I think a streusel topping tastes better.
  19. Prunes with pork is a common Belgian combination, but with beef? And never in carbonnade.
  20. Dough? Either whole wheat or rye flour (for color), made into a sticky dough, then zapped with a torch.
  21. I agree with this advice. It's not so much "maximum flavor" as what you're looking for. I would usually use about 1/2 tsp per loaf, but I would let the first ferment go at room temperature before refrigerating overnight. I think the better measure is to match the yeast with rising time: double your volume in the time you let ferment. The colder (in a fridge), the longer. It also depends on whether you preferment or mix everything together and then chill. That's the cool think about bread baking: you can adjust temp, time, yeast, preferments, & salt to create a unique flavor. FWIW, I think the "Bread Baker's Apprentice" is an excellent source.
  22. Well, SusanNS, in just over 24 hours you have gotten more than 82 responses to your question. Did you find your answers? Was this post useful to you?
  23. That's really too bad. Saffron has a very distinctive flavor, and perhaps it may be an acquired taste, but bitter and tinny shouldn't be the dominant flavors. I don't know anything about Azerbaijan saffron, but could it be possible that it wasn't very good quality, or somehow adulterated? The best saffron is said to come from Spain. If you want a reality check on your saffron, I would recommend (1) visiting a decent Indian or Spanish restaurant and ordering a saffron dish (biryani or paella) or (2) giving a knowlegable friend (or a local restaurant) a portion to test for you. Generally, a little bit of saffron goes a long way.
  24. Yes, I did bloom and dissolve the gelatin. I think the problem is 1 tsp gelatin to 3 1/3 + cups of liquid. I have just read the gelatin pack and it says that one envelope (approx 1 TBS or 15 ml) will set 2 cups of liquid. So I am thinking that the recipe should have called for 1 TBS rather than 1 tsp. ← I think that 1 tsp is too little. I agree that it may have been a typo and may have intended to read 1 Tbs. However, I think 3 tsp is too much for the volume; I would suggest 2 tsp for 3.25 C, especially because 2 C of the "liquid" was stiff (full fat?) sour cream. However, blueberries tend to require more thickener than other berries, so maye 1 Tbs was right.
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