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Everything posted by tino27

  1. 1) Roast Chicken with herbs 2) Baking Bread 3) Roasting Garlic What smells drive everyone else to that special place?
  2. At least there was bloodshed to keep it interesting last night. Plus, what is up with the hats on the female judge? Is she in the witness protection program or is she just that ashamed of her face? I'd assume if she were a restaurant critic trying to protect her anonymity, a TV program (even one as bad as this one) would be the last place I'd show my mug. I agree with Human Bean though ... there is just this morbid curiosity on my part to see how bad the show can be.
  3. Can you imagine how different the original Iron Chef would have been if the audience had "boo'd" the judges when their comments weren't favorable? IMHO, Iron Chef USA with Shatner had to have been the WORST cooking related show I've ever seen ... however, this one came in a close 2nd. As for sanitation, while I agree with what everone has said in this thread, I do recall several of the Iron Chefs (original ones) having the nasty habit of tasting sauces with dipped fingers.
  4. As the proud owner of a Linux-based computer, I can share your pain on this one. Why websites can't also supply a link so that I can download the raw video file instead of having to use some embedded control that only runs on Internet Explorer and/or Windows is beyond me. You figure if they are making this content public, then EVERYBODY should be able to use it.
  5. I worked as a line cook for my senior year in high school, so I've never had to wait tables ... that being said, I knew a lot of the wait staff and how hard they worked. I almost always tip 20%, unless the service is so poor that it's obvious (or annoying). In that case, I leave a tip that is painfully clear that I'm not just being cheap, I'm trying to make a point. Something like $0.10 usually does the trick. Fortunately, I've only had a couple of occasions where I felt this was needed. I do agree that you need to separate bad service from kitchen problems.
  6. I agree that this is unfortunate. I learned quite a bit about asian ingredients and cooking techniques from the original show. While I stopped watching the re-runs a while ago, I also wish there was a replacement that lived up to it's educational value. Predictably enough, ICA seems to be geared more towards entertainment than it is towards education.
  7. Brioche - Next time I'm in Barnes & Noble, I'll check it out. I've heard reference to that title before, but between the BBA and the Bread Bible, I've had lots to digest (sorry, no pun intended). Jackal has already given me some new info that I'm going to go back to my kitchen and try out. The lovely part about all of this is that even if the bread isn't turning out 100% the way I want it to, it is still quite delicious and much better than anything you can get at the grocery store. My flatmate certainly doesn't seem to be complaining very much.
  8. Thanks for the response, Jackal. You're absolutely right, I forgot to list the salt in the original recipe -- it was 17 g of salt, again, about 2% of total flour weight. I read over your response and I am definitely going to be trying out your suggestions. Couple of questions for you, however. 1) I noticed that you used my proportions for the poolish (1.5 g of instant yeast, 250 ml/g of water and flour each), but in the soaker, you have no additional yeast added. Will the 1.5 g of instant yeast in the poolish be enough to raise the final dough sufficiently? 2) Should I mix both the poolish and the soaker at the same time (different bowls, obviously) and stick them both in the fridge (and then pull out the poolish 12 hours later)? Or does the soaker only need a few hours of refrigeration? 3) I'm guessing the point of a soaker is to extract as much flavor from the grain as possible. But why chill the soaker if it has no yeast? Would it go bad if it sat out on the counter for 12-24 hours? 4) I've been adding the salt towards the end of my kneading process (I read that somewhere in a book) instead of during the mixing process. Should I continue to do that or proceed as you suggested and add it directly to the soaker? Thanks in advance. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me.
  9. Perhaps a few of you bakers out there more experienced than I can lend an opinion or two. The Setup ------------ I'm a home baker and I've really been working on my bread making skills these last few months. I've acquired and read (and re-read) both the BBA by Reinhart and The Bread Bible by RLB. Up until last night, all of my bread recipes have been via the Direct method. So yesterday I decided that I must at some point venture into the territory of the pre-ferment, I took the plunge. Based on what I read in the Bread Bible, I decided to do a poolish using 1/2 of the water in my recipe and a little under 1/3 of the flour. First, here is the pre-poolish recipe I've been using ... 165 g Spelt flour 660 g Unbleached bread flour 495 g Water 5.5 g Instant Yeast 50 g Flaxseed meal (both for flavor and because it's good for you) Spelt flour is approx. 20% of total flour Dough is approx. a 60% hydration level Instant Yeast is approx. 0.67% of total weight (approx 2% with fresh yeast) Figuring that I wanted to maximize the spelt flavor, the poolish I made is as follows 165 g Spelt flour 85 g Bread Flour 1.5 g Instant Yeast 250 g Water I mix it up, let it sit out for 12 hours (I have a 60 deg F kitchen), then refrigerated it for another 12 hours (mostly for convenience). At the end of that refrigeration (plus 1 hour to remove the chill), it looks like this ... It has a nice flour-y smell and there has clearly been activity (all the little bubble holes). So, I mix in the remaining amounts of ingredients from the master recipe and go through my standard knead/ferment/punch-down/shape/proof steps. The great news is that I got a lovely ovenspring. The bad news is that both loaves split where they shouldn't have ... And finally, an interior of the loaf ... The Questions ----------------- 1) My primary question is ... when I finally went to taste the bread this morning, I guess I was expecting to be BLOWN away by the awesome flavor that the poolish was supposed to lend to the bread. While the bread was quite good, the difference in flavor between poolished and non-poolished versions of the bread are V - E - R - Y small. Am I setting my expectations too high? Perhaps my palate isn't sufficiently trained to tell the difference yet? 2) I know the loaves look a little light in color and I'm working on correcting that. However, the sides of both loaves getting blown out is a little troubling. Any thoughts on how I could correct that? I used the "two envelopes and folding the dough over thumbs technique" to shape the dough (a la batards). Perhaps I could've used a different type of slash to help alleviate the pressure? Maybe scored it a little deeper? Thanks in advance for any help.
  10. I will never again spend twelve hours making a spelt flour poolish, an additional three hours to make and proof the dough, only to fall asleep after putting said loaves in the oven. I woke up three hours after the dough should have come out of the oven. The good news is that they had FAB-U-LOUS oven spring. And this is for a friend of mine who brews his own beer using mini-kegs ... I had gone for a weekend visit at the house of some college friends who are now "married, with children". He had finished a beer ealier in the week, but it wasn't quite up to the pressure that he wanted it. So, the morning I get there, he decides to TRIPLE the pressure (psi) that the beer was under in order to try and speed up the process. He keeps his mini-kegs in a converted regular refrigerator that they occasionally keep other food in as well (extra gallons of milk, etc). We leave to go grab lunch. When we get back, his wife informs us that she heard something from he basement where the refrigerator is located. As we get close to the fridge, the look of dismay starts to show on our faces. Beer is seeping out of the fridge onto the floor. We open the door and only then does my friend realize the error of his ways. The keg may be designed to withstand triple the pressure, but the plastic tubing connecting the keg to the tap wasn't. The ENTIRE contents of the keg emptied themselves all over the fridge. To make it worse, because of thermodynamics, the release of that much pressure caused the keg to freeze solidly to the floor. Along with anything else sitting on the floor of the fridge. What a mess. We were just both glad that his wife hadn't tried to go into the fridge for some milk and gotten a faceful of beer.
  11. ...think that you can substitute corn oil for corn syrup when making Divinity (hey, I was 14, after all). ...think that "Chili Powder" is the same thing world round. I bought a sack of red powder from my supermarket's International aisle labeled "Chili Powder" in the Indian food section and thought it was the same as the Americanized "Chili Powder" used to flavor chilis, enchilada sauce, etc. 1/4 cup of that powder in a hot pan and I gassed out myself, my roommate, and his cats. and one from my lovely aunt ... ...confuse 1 CLOVE of garlic for 1 HEAD of garlic. Apparently they had to throw everything out in their fridge before the smell of garlic would go away.
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