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Chris Hennes

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  1. You are right -- I was thinking that there was a sweet spot for the amount of salt you wanted, but upon re-reading the salt section of the book I see that is due to fermentation inhibition, not gluten formation. Wet, which is what the recipe is for in this particular case. I didn't feel like the dough was overly wet (or dry), the hydration felt about right for a French lean bread. I was using King Arthur bread flour. They use "direct" as opposed to one with a preferment or levain. Thanks for all the detailed input, it sounds like your joking "earlier" is really probably just the right answer.
  2. This past weekend I was traveling so only had a few hours on Sunday for baking. Fortunately, the book has a table for that! They actually have several pages throughout the recipe volumes dedicated to helping you decide which recipe to try, including "I need this tonight" sections. What the book suggested, among other things, was the direct French lean bread. That seemed sort of pedestrian to me, so I decided to try one of the puree variations. As luck would have it, I chose one that was a little beyond my skill level... I decided to make the olive-puree flavored bread, which basically just replaces some of the water in the basic direct lean bread recipe with a puree of olives. The trick is that olives inhibit the formation of gluten (presumably due to their salt content), so the puree gets added after the dough has been mixed to a medium gluten formation. Basically all the other purees just get added at the beginning along with the water, which is much easier. Well, this is where I got into trouble. Without the puree, you are making a quite low-hydration dough, so at medium gluten formation you've really got a pretty well-developed solid mass of dough. In order to actually mix the puree into the dough I tore the dough into many small pieces and then squished it between my fingers along with the puree. It was sort of fun, and stress-relieving, but also didn't fully incorporate the puree, so once I had a sort-of-solid mass I put it back in the mixer with the dough hook. Unfortunately, by the time it looked reasonably well incorporated, I'd overmixed the dough and the gluten was a mess. Well, I am stubborn, and rather than pitch it, I decided to bulk proof it with a series of four-edge folds to rebuild the gluten. This actually worked reasonably well, but I didn't have time to let it get fully healed, so I formed it and baked it off anyway after perhaps four hours of bulk fermentation with a set of folds every 45 minutes. The resulting loaf was delicious (I do love olives...), but dense and a bit ugly. So my question to you all (and one I could not find the answer to in the book) -- how should I have mixed the puree into the dough?
  3. Recommended Sous Vide Cookbook?

    If you haven't already looked through our Sous Vide Index, it's a great resource, with a lot of the original discussion that turned into Modernist Cuisine. And I'll also agree that Under Pressure is not a very good learning resource. These days sites like eGullet and ChefSteps are better places to get started than any single book, with the very expensive exception of Modernist Cuisine.
  4. Yes - they include enriched breads, and stop there. So no laminated dough, etc., but they do include information on panettone. Yes, they mention that they "don't find any evidence that pregelatinized starch makes bread softer or bigger, although it does slow staling." (Modernist Bread 2•348).
  5. (I'm not Judy, obviously, but the Kitchen Lab team is pretty busy these days with Modernist Bread!) I've made this mustard using the technique in the book, but I haven't tried canning it. I think it would work well, but would likely change the flavor somewhat since you'll wind up cooking the fennel and tarragon, and probably extracting more flavor from the other spices. If you have a vacuum sealer I'd suggest making it both ways and comparing (and then of course sharing your results here!). I'd be curious to know the effect of cooking the ingredients on the mustard, since I actually found the balance to be pretty heavily weighted towards the spices rather than the mustard in the raw version. ETA: And no, I'd say you wouldn't need to vac seal if you're canning it.
  6. No insider information here... on the one hand I'd be surprised if they released one, since the material in this entire book is much more approachable to the home cook than the original Modernist Cuisine ever was. However, the price point is also much too high for most home bakers, so a "condensed" version that strips out all but the most essential information and any references to commercial equipment or procedures would probably be welcomed by a wider audience of home cooks, even at the still-quite-expensive price point of Modernist Cuisine at Home.
  7. Right, the recipe actually calls for "Pretzel Salt" -- I didn't have any on hand, so just used a random sea salt (I picked the one with the largest flakes, from the Pacific Northwest, apparently).
  8. Oh cool, thanks, @Lisa Shock, I had never seen that discussion.
  9. Just a follow-up to Kerry's comment about flying in: the Buffalo airport is small and easy to navigate, and the border crossing there was pretty painless last time I went to the Workshop in Niagara. Alas, I can't make it this year (or really any year in May, unfortunately).
  10. Other than it being a sourdough it is straightforward.
  11. Kimchi

    I'm not sure I've ever had kimchi I didn't like, and the brand I typically buy is a local one, but I see that Serious Eats did a taste test a few years ago that might be relevant. What brands are available where you live?
  12. Fundamentally I think it's because the upper loaf is underproofed. But it's not the folding (which happens during the bulk fermentation phase) that gives the spiral, it's the shaping (which happens after).
  13. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    Without fat, and with white wheat flour.
  14. I’ve never heard of waxed salt — do you mean for the pretzels? I didn’t have the right salt, so I just used the coarsest sea salt in my drawer.
  15. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    They provide a table of common pan sizes and recipe scalings and cooking times and temps.
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