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Everything posted by saucée

  1. When I was there a few months ago, I was told that the butters (or at least their raw ingredients) came from Wisconsin.
  2. For pizza dough, I've found that good kneading is important. You want your bread to stretch out so that you can see through it (called "windowpaning"). This will ensure that you can stretch it thin, if that's what you're after. Long proofing (i.e. retardation in the refrigerator) and high hydration will make it slack. You still want it to be stretchy enough though, so that it doesn't tear when you shape it and kneading ensures this. josh
  3. I usually eat eggs for breakfast and I am definitely getting older: this study is full of insights.
  4. I use single edge razor blades. Slicing about 1/4 inch in at a 45 degree angle yields best results for most cases. josh
  5. I used the Dutch oven technique, at 450F. No additional moisture (I don't generally think it is necessary for this method, but I could be convinced otherwise...). ← I'm not familiar with the dutch oven technique. Can you provide some details? ← This is a method where you preheat a dutch oven to 450F or so, then flip your loaf directly into it, slash, close the lid for 25 minutes while it bakes in the oven, then bake with the lid off for 15 minutes. I've just started doing it and it eliminates the need for steaming I think, producing a really excellent crust--it's a great method. You can even put your loaf on parchment, slash, and transfer to the preheated dutch oven on the parchment. I would suggest putting your dutch oven on a stone even still, as it protects the bottom from overheating and burning the bottom of your loaf a bit. Chris, do you use parchment? Your loaves look like you are handling them very gently. josh
  6. I went recently and had the tasting. Immediately after I left, I planned on going back for the tour. The problem with the tasting is that you don't get the classics such as hot potato or truffle explosion (at least I didn't when I had it). I would say if you're not sure you're going to go again, go for the tour. On the other hand, it was an amazing experience. josh
  7. That's fantastic looking--what an achievement. At what temp do you bake it and how do you steam it (if you do)? I assume you use a banneton? thanks josh
  8. I often use roasted chicken bones for stock. It works, but what you'll likely get is a small amount of good stock. As for using roasted chicken, it can be repurposed in a variety of ways, from chicken salad, chicken tacos, or even something like a version of blanquette de poulet, making the sauce from your chicken stock and reheating the chicken in it. You can put that over noodles, sprinkle some gremolata on top and it will be delicious, comforting, and elegant. There are lots of ways to be creative with roast chicken. josh
  9. You can make seitan out of it, but that wouldn't be baking. As for baking, cutting other flours with it might be a way to use it but that might take a while.
  10. saucée

    Delivery pizza

    I live very close by the place I order from so about 50% of the time, the pizza was made less than 5 minutes ago. It's not that bad. I think, though, that you can't really evaluate delivery pizza by real pizza standards. Real pizza can be sublime but delivery pizza always pales in comparison due to the reasons you've mentioned. But delivery pizza, if made with delivery in mind can be good. If you get rid of the idea of a crispy crust and go for a puffier (but not too puffy) crust and put some fresh toppings on it, delivery pizza can be good. If you want sublime pizza, don't get it delivered. If you need something quick and inoffensive, find a place that knows how to produce a good delivery pizza. And I agree that Asian food is easier to make delivery-friendly.
  11. I believe "Mahlzeiten" means "meal times." The entire product is called a "Trekking Mahlzeiten." "Trekking" most likely means hiking, so it might imply that this is food for hikers or backpackers. On the products webpage, it is also referred to as falling under the category of "Zwischenmahlzeiten," or, "snacks." Hope this helps (and is correct). josh
  12. If your meat is burning, you just have to find the proper setting (maybe 7 or 8?) that will allow you to get a nice sear without burning the meat. It should be deep brown in color. This will make your sauce darker in color and richer in flavor. As for stovetop vs the oven, dutch ovens hold heat really well, so that if you are going to cook on the stovetop, its the best way to go. Using the oven will give you much more even heat which allows for even more stable temperatures. I usually bring my braises to a boil and immediately put them in a 300 F oven and it works. Then you don't have to worry about adjusting the heat anymore or whether your simmering looks right if you're unsure. I'm not sure what a "hard simmer" is exactly, but I usually simmer my braises gently in the 300 F oven. If you're looking to reduce the liquid, you can do that by reducing it after the meat has cooked. You could also use a parchment lid which allows for more reduction than using the LC lid. I usually just use the LC lid and reduce later if I have to, after I've degreased. josh
  13. You don't have to really worry about drying the meat out--you are cooking it in liquid after all and ideally there would be a transfer of collagen from the meat and the aromatic braising liquid into the meat, as I understand the process. josh
  14. I don't like the idea of test tube meat either and it seems to me that producing meat that way would turn it into a commodity (which would please the agro-industry) that is so disconnected from the natural course of things. As Jmahl said, we eat animals because they convert things we can't eat into edible protein. To produce meat in a test tube would be to make it into something that no longer serves that purpose. What purpose would it serve then? It seems to me only to feed our predilections and cultural impulses. There is nothing wrong with that, but I don't like the idea of those predilections becoming unmoored completely from the reason it works in the first place and the way it has functioned for many many years. That seems like dangerous territory to me. I think in some ways we're already in that territory though and these articles hint at some of the unforeseen effects of practices that have been in large part proceeding unguided, taking us to a place we might not want to be. As for cutting down on meat consumption, I think it's a good idea. In the long view, historically, it might be interesting to know how much meat has been consumed by people. I don't have any figures on this and haven't done the research, but I have a sense that our consumption of meat is far greater than it has been in many historical periods. That we assume that our eating practices are natural and shouldn't necessarily be subject to change is to be expected. Cultural practices are usually not designed by people writing articles or posting on eGullet. They probably never will be. On the other hand, I think its important to be as self-reflexive about what we do as possible. So on an individual basis, I think cutting down on meat is a good idea and I advocate it. Here's my two cents on statements that don't account for all the consequences: What statement can? Only some kind of Platonic ideal of a statement might take into account all consequences. Even if we try to take everything into account, I don't think we can. That's ok though I think because the collective balance of our dialogue hopefully makes up for it.
  15. I think "bavette" usually refers to a thin steak that is quickly seared. It comes from one of two primal cuts: the plate (in which case it is the skirt steak) or the flank (in which case it is the flank steak). I think "bavette" is translated as "bib," referring to the flap-like shape of the meat. The hangar steak, while similar in many ways to these cuts (it also comes from the plate), has its own name in French, the "onglet." I'm pretty sure this is right--someone please correct me if I'm wrong. josh
  16. here's the nytimes recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/24/dining/2...=rssnyt&emc=rss it's become one of our regulars -- it's really nice and garlicky/lemony, like a healthy caesar salad. even better the second day. ← Though I was very wary about eating raw kale because I usually braise it for a while, I made this tonight. To my surprise, it wasn't tough at all; the healthy dose of lemon tenderized it. It was fantastic; thanks for the recipe deensiebat. josh
  17. I've only gotten the whole hangar and the ends of it are kind of tapered. I imagine these tapered ends are cut off so they can make steaks out of them and that's what you've got. I would use them like you would use medallions of tenderloin, being careful not to overcook them.
  18. There are so many non sequitors and red herrings, I don't know where to start. But we've been down this road before and there's no winning so I'm not biting except to say I work in ag and I deal with a lot of farmers/growers/corporations and it's not a question of organic versus non-sustainable. It's gross profits versus obscenely gross profits. ← I'm not sure I see the non sequiturs but again, on the whole, I agree with you. Also, I love your beans. But I'm talking about getting through to people that don't want to hear what you're saying. I'm not saying you're wrong; I agree with you. Like I said above, I'm just tired of self-congratulatory arguments that fail to extend beyond a circle of those who already agree (of which I'm one-just making sure to repeat that again just in case). Edited to change an "and" to a "but" and to add "on the whole" for clarity.
  19. Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation. ← It's certainly not comfortable to think about, but no one seems to have any answers to the economic and infrastructural problem. Besides, what conversation are we going to have about this if we don't think about these things? I've had enough of patting myself on the back or arguing at the wall with a group of like-minded individuals. If you don't think about these problems, you're not going to get a solution and those who don't care about what damage they're causing will continue to cause it. And when you go to those who don't care about these issues and tell them you want radical change, they will confront you with an objection such as JimH's, you'll have no answer, and they will have won. Indeed.
  20. I'm not sure whether you're responding to my post at all, but what you're saying here is not news to me (or many many others). I haven't been to a supermarket for about 7 months (for food--I still have to buy toothbrushes, paper towels, etc., there) and I buy all of my meat from local organic producers (luckily for me, its available year round except for chicken). Its double the price but I've begun to eat half the meat (it balances out that way). I appreciate the enthusiasm with which you are arguing your case, but sometimes that enthusiasm gets in the way too. Most people don't want to spend the time to seek out local products or cut their consumption of meat in half. Some people can't afford to shop this way because of their budget. If you suggest to people that only radical change is the answer, they will shut off. I'm trying to offer some thoughts about practical ways to begin changing people's thinking about food. ← Radical change is AN answer, but much more preferable would be ANY change from people. There are some truths that a lot of people don't want to face though. Good food doesn't have to be expensive. But cheap, processed food is never good. It's not a nice thing to have to think and upon reflection realise that you are lazy and thoughtless. And irresponsible. But what if it's true? ← I agree with you for the most part, but saying that "radical change is AN answer" isn't really enough. If you try to change people's minds by blasting them out of the water and calling them lazy and irresponsible, you're not going to get a good reaction. The problem with conventional food production is real but you haven't offered a solution or even an attempt at one that is realistic. Radical change is an answer, but its not a realistic one. Change involves compromise and you have to meet people at their level. If you don't acknowledge the kind of economic arguments that JimH brings up, no one will take you seriously. This issue should be in the center of people's minds when they are shopping. If you marginalize your position by offering radical solutions and not giving enough attention to serious objections, you are doing more harm than good in my opinion.
  21. I'm not sure whether you're responding to my post at all, but what you're saying here is not news to me (or many many others). I haven't been to a supermarket for about 7 months (for food--I still have to buy toothbrushes, paper towels, etc., there) and I buy all of my meat from local organic producers (luckily for me, its available year round except for chicken). Its double the price but I've begun to eat half the meat (it balances out that way). I appreciate the enthusiasm with which you are arguing your case, but sometimes that enthusiasm gets in the way too. Most people don't want to spend the time to seek out local products or cut their consumption of meat in half. Some people can't afford to shop this way because of their budget. If you suggest to people that only radical change is the answer, they will shut off. I'm trying to offer some thoughts about practical ways to begin changing people's thinking about food.
  22. I think factory farming is here to stay for the foreseeable future. It would be very hard to turn back the clock and develop the kind of infrastructure and education needed to produce such a change in a short period of time. I also think, however, that there is an increasing awareness of the ecological and health problems associated with factory farms and their products. I live in a pretty progressive town but local products are still not to be found in grocery stores (and they're merely given lip-service at Whole Foods). On the other hand, the farmers markets are always packed and people I talk to seem to have the sense that local products are better for you and the environment. The trick might be to convince these people that local and ecologically friendly products are not just a special thing, but that they can be had daily, weekly, or monthly depending on a person's time/budget. Learning about what is produced in your area and making relationships with farmers involves a lot of initial work but once that's over, it gets much easier. It's also more enjoyable to buy food from a person that picking it up from a cold case in a supermarket. Getting the word out about what is available and where to get it in your area, in addition to the arguments about ecology and health, might be effective for changing a few minds.
  23. Really Josh? I don't have McGee. I don't know what he says about steam, but I'd hestitate to accept his contradiction of specialists. Reinhart on page 92 of BBA, says that steam is valuable "only during the first half of the baking process". Its possible that you may be confused by commercial oven practice with a steam lever -- giving a blast of steam on demand. You will see various bits of advice about not using that lever to admit more fresh steam after the first couple of minutes of baking. Hamelman says "The benefits of steam occur only during the first third or so of the baking cycle. If the baker neglects to inject steam at the time of bread loading, he or she cannot compensate by steaming the oven several minutes later. In order to ensure that the crust remains thin and crisp, it is important to finish the bake in a dry oven. For this reason, the oven should be vented or the doors notched partially open for the last portion of the bake." - (Page 27). On page 192, Hamelman makes clear that these commercial ovens should have their vents opened (to release the damp air) "once the bread has begun to colour, usually after about 15 minutes of baking." Dan Lepard on page 22 of The Handmade Loaf says "For the first 10 minutes of baking, the loaf needs to expand to its fullest extent ... A moist environment enables this to happen." That's why I think I have some support for what I do myself: I actually thought that was pretty mainstream advice from the experts. ← Dougal, There is sure to be disagreement among experts as among non-experts. You should follow the method that has worked for you. I was commenting according to my own experience, having tried steaming for different lengths of time. I would suggest, however, that you would do well to continue to read a bit more of p.92 out of the BBA. Reinhart says The method he advocates on pp.93-94 is using a cast iron pan, preheated with the oven, to which hot water is added before the bread goes into the oven. He then sprays the walls of the oven in 30 second intervals for three sprays: "I usually do three sprays at 30-second intervals to replicate as closely as possible the steam of a bakery oven." Note that he also says "there is no advantage to steaming late in the process, nor even after the first few minutes, once the crust is set." I am not confused about how a bakery oven works nor have I misread the sources that I've used to learn about baking, as your email seems to suggest. If I use a pan with boiling water and spray three times for steam in 2 minutes, I am getting about 5 or more minutes of steam since it is trapped in the oven. According to what I understand about bread baking (I don't claim to be an expert) and my experience, this is enough to produce a crackly crust. Whenever I have steamed longer, the crust has been too soft and chewy. I might point out that none of your quotations give precise directions for how to get maximum ovenspring. Lepard says there ought to be a moist environment to produce maximum spring but I don't see where it follows that he is advocating the heavy use of steam for 10 minutes. That's overkill in my experience. To produce a moist environment, you can steam for a short amount of time, then trap the steam in the oven. This provides just enough steam to provide spring and a good crust while not compromising the loaf's crust to chewiness. josh
  24. Boiling water into a hot pan is the best way I know of to get plenty of hot water vapour into the oven air, in a domestic electric oven. About a cupful is all that's needed. About 1/3 of the way through the bake, (so after its fully risen and 'set'), I remove the pan, whether or not it has boiled dry. Opening the oven to take it out allows a lot of the moisture to escape -- the crust wants much lower humidity for the last half of the bake, so that's good too. ← The loaf only needs steam for its first two minutes in the oven, or so says Harold McGee and Peter Reinhart. In my own experience, I've noticed that the crust gets chewy rather than crackly if left in too long. 12 minutes, assuming a 35-40 minute bake, has been too long in my experience. Try to steam the bread for 2 minutes. I like to boil a pan of water in a stainless pan, put it into the oven (550 or higher) and leave it in there for 2 minutes. Then I take it out and reduce the heat to 450. josh
  25. After eating average chickens for years (Bell and Evans) I started getting free range chickens. When I first cooked it, we thought I had overdone it because it seemed very tough, even though I cooked it to the right temperature. These chickens are seasonal though and we can't get them in the winter so we've since switched back to the Bell and Evans chickens. The first time I cooked one of those, after eating the free range chickens for a while, their texture was very mushy and off-putting. We didn't like it. I guess its all about what you're used to at the moment, but I do think the free range chickens are more flavorful and I actually much prefer the texture now. I think it makes a better stock too but I haven't done any side by side tests on any of this. That would be an interesting experiment. josh
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