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Everything posted by cognitivefun

  1. I am a novice at cakes. But I find that my Viking mixer paddle or whisk attachment doesn't mix the very bottom of the workbowl very well. When I think I have done things right for a genoise, I pour the batter onto the baking pan and see that the very bottom of the bowl wasn't as incorporated or whisked as I expected. Has this possibility been examined?
  2. cognitivefun


    I'm making challahs this year. I usually use a food processor and make sourdough breads. I will probably bake challahs with baker's yeast. I will depart from tradition and use butter not oil, as I prefer butter and nobody is kosher where I will be eating. Anybody have any good challah recipes, tips etc.?
  3. I'm going to make brisket for a dinner party tomorrow night. I plan to use Barbara Kafka's roasting method, starting out in a 500F oven to brown then turning it down, adding the liquids and covering. I have had excellent results with this method so far but have never tried it with brisket.
  4. First I put some panko crumbs and milk into a bowl. I use about 1/3 cup of crumbs and milk to make a paste, for about 2 pounds of meat. I add salt, fresh ground pepper, a few teaspoons of worcestershire sauce and a few cloves of minced garlic. Fat content is in the range of 25% I would say. I grind chuck steak on medium coarse into this bowl and then mix it all up with my clean hands and shape into patties. From here, lately it's always the charcoal grill. I have found with the Weber that I can cook over the coals and covered and about 10 or 12 minutes later, turning only once, I get great burgers. I know that purists will say that the use of a panade is anathema. But it results in the best burgers I have ever had and everyone agrees who has them. I tried this with ground sirloin but it wasn't a good texture or taste compared to the ones made with chuck.
  5. I think for a genoise "triple sifted" flour is often called for and seems like a good idea as it separates each graunule of flour, to speed up the folding into the egg mixture without unnecessary mixing. Otherwise, I don't sift.
  6. seems that the dough is getting way too warm. I like to see it around 70F or so for better flavor development.
  7. use both. The stone acts as a reservoir of heat and helps keep the oven hotter even after you open the oven, put the dough in, etc. It also assures better browning of the bottom of the bread. The water pan creates steam which softens the crust and allows for more oven spring and a better crust.
  8. fantastic pix! Thanks glenbach, how does your loaf compare to the ones made at the local artisan bakery?
  9. I made Anadama bread which came out very fluffy and wonderful. I used stone ground coarse cornmeal and it is a little gritty but fantastic taste.
  10. the bread that I let rise outside in the hot weather wasn't sour tasting. I will go back to my refrigerator method. However, it was very tasty, due to the use of icewater and pain l'ancienne method of immediately refrigerating after mixing. Creamy tasting. Excellent! This idea is a keeper, but I will next time retard a second time before or after proofing. I think this does make it more sour than fermenting at a higher temperature does.
  11. Reminds me that one of my favorite desserts is Tres Leches, a Mexican dessert that I've never made but only ordered at restaurants. At heart, it appears to be a genoise soaked in different types of milk. (I have never seen the recipe). It looks like cake but when you bit into it you get this terrific release of a complex cinnamon and dairy taste that is wonderful. I
  12. I experimented this weekend with two loaves. I mixed them in the food processor using the poolish starter, icewater, salt and flour. Then I refrigerated them immediately, a la pain d'lancienne. A day later, today, I bulk fermented and proofed them out in the 84F porch. Then I baked them. I am looking forward to seeing if the bread is tastier. One thing I did notice is that the crust is darker, like the baker's yeast pain d'lancienne I have made before. True, two factors were different, making this experiment rather difficult to interpret, but I will enjoy the bread regardless...
  13. I am getting to day 6 and I notice a little white mold is growing on the plastic wrap that is covering these. Is this a problem or cause for concern? Thanks
  14. my impression is that when I spend more time chilling, it is a more sour result. When I don't, it isn't very sour at all. Hmmmmm....
  15. Funny. I haven't tried warm temperatures but cool ones only. And the bread is coming out consistently very good. I never considered 85F or higher as this doesn't seem to benefit baker's yeast bread, to say the least. The cooler and slower the better, I have been taught. Is this wrong?
  16. My system for making sour sourdough is this: Day #1 - The poolish. I take out a few tablespoons of my starter, put it in a new small bowl, and add about 1 cup of flour and enough water to make a thick batter. I mix and leave at room temperature for the day. Then I refrigerate overnight. This is my poolish Day #2 - I mix the poolish with the flour and salt in a food processor using Van Over's method. I do the bulk ferment in the cool basement around 70F. Hours later it has almost doubled in bulk and I then form into loaves. I might proof if there is time. In any event, I refrigerate. Day #3 - I remove the refrigerated loaves and if needed finish proofing. I heat the oven for 1 hour and then slash, get it in the oven with the steam and bake. I have found there is no need to let the cold loaves warm up. Over this weekend, I took a shortcut. I didn't refrigerate the starter in Day #1. And I didn't make enough poolish. As a result, the bread came out perfectly except not as sour as normal.
  17. my rules are I never feed starter anything except water and flour. To start a new bread loaf, I will take a few tablespoons of my starter and put it in a bowl and add 1 cup of flour and some water to make a stiff batter. I will leave it in the kitchen at room temperature for a day, then refrigerate overnight. The next morning I will take out, warm up a little, and then mix my bread dough with it. I will let the bread dough rise at cool room temperature all day (in the basement) and then shape and refrigerate overnight to begin proofing. The next day I'll remove the loaves, let them proof longer if needed, and bake. This makes the bread acceptably sour. If I don't refrigerate the starter overnight, the bread isn't as sour. I just made a batch that way and noticed the difference. So that to me is the key: let the yeasties do their thing at room temperature, then refrigerate a good long time, which as I understand it puts the yeast into dormancy but lets the bacteria continue multiplying, generating those tasty acids.
  18. That's not a burger. That's a meatloaf. No, it's not. A panade is a paste. A meatloaf uses a filler such as *dry* bread crumbs, oats, etc. This makes the best, most moist burgers. Anyone I have cooked them for has agreed. They can even be well done and come out very good.
  19. the trick for a moist burger is a panade. Use milk and a bit of white bread, or milk and panko crumbs. You don't need much, then mix with the hamburger meat. I also add a little minced garlic and a bit of worcestershire sauce. These burgers are the *best*. They are moist even when well done. Thanks Cooks Illustrated for giving me this idea. I never make burgers any other way anymore.
  20. my starter started this way but after a week or two it started having a good smell and has been great ever since. So I think you are on the right track.
  21. has anyone tried the Pain L'Ancienne with all sourdough starter? I suppose I'd activate some starter, and then mix it all up with the dough and ice cold water and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. Then I'd take it out, shape it and just let it proof. The benefit would be the wonderful development of the natural sugars, and the flavor of the sourdough. Before I try this, I thought I'd see if anybody else has tried it?
  22. pachment paper seems to (alas in some cases) prevent browning.
  23. A worthy goal -- speeding things up while keeping flavor. What makes it frightfully complex are two factors. One is that all the different processes including the dough's natural enzymatic activity and from the fermentation proceed non-linearly at different rates depending upon temperature. Then another confounding variable is change in temperature. Starting out warmer, then retarding, then warming up again. The possibilities are endless. In Pain L'Ancienne, you use very cold water when mixing the dough initially, and then you refrigerate overnight without allowing the dough to warm up. The results are very flavorful, and Reinhart says it is because you give time for enzymes found in the dough to develop the starch into sugars. The result is very tasty. I just made this last night. With sourdough of course, there is an idea that bacterial growth continues while the yeast goes dormant so you retard in the refrigerator in order to build sourness. Very confusing!
  24. does this use any vinegar? And what's the general recipe like? The Charcuterie recipe is just 5% brine and you leave the veggies there for a week in a cool environment. Then you remove the veggies to a clean container, boil the brine and add it back in, refrigerate and it keeps for a long time.
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