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Chris Hennes

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About Chris Hennes

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    Director of Operations

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    Norman, Oklahoma

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  1. Nice report, @underproofed. I still can't shape a baguette worth crap, I've switched to proofing in bannetons and only making boules and batards. I'm looking forward to seeing your continued progress -- you could make a neat time-series graphic with photos of your progression!
  2. Chris Hennes

    Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    Pistachio butter (page 37) At first glance this looks like a normal pistachio butter recipe, but delving deeper reveals a much more interesting beast. In addition to pistachios and salt, the recipe calls for a small amount of vinegar and olive oil. I wouldn't put it on a sandwich, but as a topping for roasted vegetables the vinegar in particular adds a terrific, if subtle, acidity. I was surprised when looking the recipe up on Eat Your Books a moment ago to note that this does not seem to be the consensus opinion... a couple people commented that they didn't like the vinegar addition, or that it required agrodolce. I couldn't disagree more.
  3. Chris Hennes

    Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    Man, that stuff would be good with just about anything.
  4. Chris Hennes

    Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    Half-steamed turnips with alla diavola butter (page 370) The recipe title basically says it all: the turnips are left a bit firm, and hit with a pretty large dose of the alla diavola butter (which is delicious). Hard to go wrong.
  5. Chris Hennes

    Drying chamber for cured meats

    Another option (the one I use) is that if you expect the area outside the refrigerator to be lower humidity than your target the majority of the time, a fan that just pulls air out of the fridge does the trick as well. Probably not suited to Florida, but it works great in Oklahoma. Of course, it involved drilling a hole in the fridge...
  6. Yeah, the book definitely says not to do what I am doing. I don't know over what time period they are concerned about the culture degrading, nor do I know what form that degradation will take, but feeding every day was just wasting too much flour for my comfort. Now that I have a reliable way to restart my levain I'm not that concerned about killing it.
  7. Chris Hennes

    Drying chamber for cured meats

    Your bacterial growth rate will be much lower at lower temperatures, so I think the danger is that you will have inadequate fermentation in the time it takes to achieve your desired weight loss. You might want to look into the various commercial solutions out there for controlling the temperature of a refrigerator to a higher setpoint than the refrigerator itself is designed for (or you can DIY, of course). And my experience was that over a large portion of the drying process the natural humidity in the chamber tends to be too high, not too low (though I had my curing fridge pretty full).
  8. I think you are probably right, with the caveat that that is directly correlated with feeding interval, so it's the combination of the two that you are looking to get right. I only bake once per week so I work on a highly-modified feeding schedule that involves refrigerating the levain, then taking it out of the fridge the morning before I want to use it, letting it get up to full expansion, and feeding it when it looks "hungry." The amount of time it takes to get to that point depends on room temperature, whether the undercounter lights are on, where it was in the fridge, etc. This is perfectly fine for a home baker, though of course for a professional operation the wild swings in feeding time would be wholly unacceptable.
  9. Chris Hennes

    Genoa Salami pH level not right.

    I'm not sure exactly what @jmolinari meant, but I suspect literally that your fat percent looks high, not in the recipe, but in the photograph. 20% fat is really not that much, and your photo seems to show quite a bit more. How well trimmed was your meat?
  10. Chris Hennes

    Dough hook not grabbing dough

    Another data point along these lines, last night I made the MB recipe for Sangak, an Iranian flatbread with a 105% hydration dough -- I made a 500g batch and to get the KA 6-qt bowl lift dough hook to knead it effectively I had to turn the speed all the way up to 10.
  11. Chris Hennes

    Dough hook not grabbing dough

    Yeah, I do the same.
  12. I make it exactly as per the recipe -- actually this time maybe even slightly higher hydration, I doubled the amount of espresso (but that's a pretty tiny quantity). It's a very sticky dough to work with, but one key for me is that I pretty much always proof in the refrigerator, and I proof in bannetons. The refrigerator temperature gives a firmer dough, and the banneton means I don't have to work with the dough after it's been proofed. Obviously there's also a very large amount of flour involved in prepping the banneton to keep the dough from sticking.
  13. Chris Hennes

    Dough hook not grabbing dough

    No, that's a lower hydration dough, I mix it at low speed to medium gluten development, then add the salt and mix at medium for a couple minutes more (I do the same for the sandwich bread, which I make much more often than the French Lean).
  14. Chocolate Cherry Sourdough (KM p. 78) To prove I still know how to bake despite the previous travesty, here's the local fan favorite. I make this one a lot, and fortunately hedged my bets this past weekend. It's good to include some proven winners in your baking plans, particularly when your other loaves are... esoteric. This really is a terrific bread, particularly made with good chocolate chips (I use the E. Guittard 63%).
  15. Onion Rye Levain (KM p. 232) This one gave me some trouble, consider this Attempt 1, to be followed eventually by another. The gist of the recipe is that you take a liquid rye levain and use it to produce a stiff rye levain that has onions included in it. My stiff levain showed minimal signs of activity after the requisite twelve hours, however, which threw a curveball into my timing. I plowed ahead with the recipe to produce the final dough, but when it came time time to proof it and it was showing no signs of activity instead of putting it into the refrigerator I left it at room temperature. And waited. And waited. And waited. It's a rye, I know it didn't kill it, and it's rising... but very slowly. At this point it was almost midnight, so I said "screw it" (I may have used a different word) and just left it on the counter overnight. The next morning it was more than a little overproofed. In retrospect I should have given it another fold and tried to recover it, but in my defense it was early, I just baked it off in its overproofed state. I give you exhibit A of why you should not do that: So it's edible, I mean it's definitely recognizable as a bread product of some kind. But I probably wouldn't serve it at a dinner party.