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About paulraphael

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    Brooklyn, NY USA

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  1. "Modernist Pizza"

    They seem to be turining this problem into a business model. There's always another set of specialty volumes to create ...
  2. I'm looking at the chart. And yeah, you're right, the high and low end are dominated by LAB. I'm not paying attention to anything below 45F or so, because the resolution of the graph is too low there to really make anything out, and because all activity is quite low generally. I realize many people like to to delay fermentation in the fridge for convenience, and that that's the best temp control in the house, but I think to really know what's going on down there we'd need a higher resolution graph. I'm also pretty convinced that the organisms in my own starter just go to sleep by 40F or so. I don't see any activity. Edited to add: I just noticed that the chart has ratios in the righthand column. At 40% it shows a very high ratio, but follows it with a question mark, which suggests that this is extrapolated data. There's a guy on the pizzamaking forum who's well-pickled in all the sourdough science, and in response to questions about refrigerator fermentation he just says the science isn't there—the studies focus on temperature ranges where the littel bugs are most active. So for now we may have to settle for empirical evidence.
  3. What Are You Cooking Sous Vide Today? (Part 3)

    I've never tried it. What do you find are the shortcomings of higher temperature SV pseudo braises?
  4. "Modernist Pizza"

    Speaking of which ... it looks like they're trying to to make the book(s) encyclopedic. They want to cover every known pizza style. Which makes me wonder (as someone who's happy to throw down in an arcane pizza taxonomy fight) who wants this? Anyone who cares enough about pizza to invest in this tome will know, with absolute certainty, that the only true pizza is the one descibed on pp 2783–3299. The rest is a waste of trees!
  5. It's also unclear to me if a more sour starter necesarilly results in a more sour bread. Unless you use an enormous proportion of starter in your recipe, most of the fermentation products of the yeast and LAB will be created as the bread itself ferments. It seems to me this would be more a function of temperature of fermentation than of the amount of acid present in the starter. Although perhaps the condition of the starter will significantly effect the relative populations of yeast and LAB, and maybe this could persist while the bread ferments. Here's a chart showing time/temperature curves of C. milleri yeast and L. sanfranciscensis yeast, two of the more common organisms in starters. It suggests that that LAB is more active than yeast, except in the range of 70–75°F, where they're about equal. Highest relative activity of LAB is around 50–55°F (where overall activity is quite low) and 80–90°F (where overall activity is very high, but yeast activity progressively drops off. I like some sourness, so I ferment mostly at room temperature (for rise) and then put the dough in the oven heated by pilot light (which is around 92–94°F) in order to get more LAB activity. It's important to realize that the bread dough has a lot of thermal mass, and so over the 2–4 hours it spends in the warm oven, it takes a long time to warm up and doesn't ever get all the way up to the oven temperature. Evaporative heat loss probably has something to do with this. I keep the dough loosely covered with cloths. My results with this approach are hard to evaluate, especially since I'm always monkeying with other variables (intentionally or not). The bread is always good, but sourness varies, and not always predictably. One issue is that I have no idea what organisms are in my starter. I use a culture from Ischia Island, off the coast of Naples, that's popular in the Neapolitan pizza world. It makes delicious bread, and has many other attractive properties, but has some distinctive qualities that make me think the organisms are different from the ones in the chart.
  6. Best non-stick cookware?

    I can't speak for All Clad or SLT specifically, but the problem that people generally run into with nonstick pan warranties is that the coating is warranted ... but not the performance. It's not enough that eggs stick to it. You'd have to show that in spite of your following every letter of the insturctions, the coating flaked off. It's certainly woth trying. Just don't be surprised if they give you the classic brush-off.
  7. I would bet it's completely different. They have different formulations at many cocoa levels. Le Noir Amer is blend that's been around a long time. Valhrona doesn't publish where the chocolate comes from, as far as I know. I was guessing Abinau was a single origin, but it looks like a blend from plantations in a particular region in Africa.
  8. Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    Apologies if this has been posted already... here's a big collection of FREE historic cookbooks. Includes La Cuisine Française. French Cooking for Every Home. Adapted to American Requirements, published 78 years before Julia Child's book.
  9. Non-stick pan suggestions

    My only experience is with the 3-ply stuff. The MC series always looked like serious and capable designs. Agree that the copper core and 5+ layer pans are dumb gimmicks. I knew one west coast chef who bought AC for his restaurant largely for the handles. It's definitely illuminating if you pick up one of the original-handled ac pans with a side towel and do the same with anything else in your kitchen. Y Nevertheless, it surprises me that the design has lasted so long. Every home cook I know dislikes it, and the whims of home cooks seem to dictate all AC's other decisions.
  10. Non-stick pan suggestions

    All Clad is annoying because their basic clad stainless line is very good. I have a couple of the 10" fry pans from this series, and for responsiveness and tossability they're as good as any pans I've used. Whenever I've used the saucepans in other people's kitchens, they've given me nothing to complain about. It would be great if they feld they could thrive just selling the simple stuff that actually works. People complain about the handles, but I think they're exceptional. It gets overlooked that that they were designed for professional kitchens, where no one ever grabs a pan without using a side towel. Grab one of those funky AC handles with a towel, and then grab any other kind of handle, and I think you'll get it immediately.
  11. Favorite white chocolate

    It's easier for me to think of white chocolate as something separate from chocolate. Letting it be its own thing, I can enjoy the smoothness and the clean flavors. My top priority is that it isn't too sweet ... this is the flaw that kills most of the ones I've tried.
  12. Non-stick pan suggestions

    What happens if you step on a non-stick pan with your culinary non-slip shoes?
  13. Well, I played around a bit with the Chef Watson site (still no account required). It gave a big thumbs-up to some of my favorite flavor combinations, but then we came to bit of an impasse. I put in Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth. Chef Watson said: zero synergy. Interesting. So I've been liking the wrong drink all these years. I asked Watson for suggestions; he ditched the gin and substituted salt cod. Who's coming over for cocktails?
  14. Non-stick pan suggestions

    You're lucky enough to to be around people who care about learning. I don't know if anything would surprise me anymore. But it depresses me when companies like All-Clad turn cynical, and let themselves be driven by their marketing departments. They end up pandering to the whims of people who don't care to learn anything. It's the commerce version of populism.
  15. Favorite white chocolate

    Interesting. Do you like the Cluizel? I usually find it an upgrade from Valrhona ... although some of their chocolates are so distinctive tasting that they're not appropriate for everything. No idea about their white chocolates.