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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. This does sound fun - I'm in favor of weeknights, and while I like asynchronous discussion here in a topic, I could do Zoom instead if that's the way it rolls. It's tough to work across a lot of timezones, though.
  2. This week's baking project at work was Soylent Green, from Cassandra Reeder's book The Geeky Chef. The book is a lot of fun, but I have to say that the crackers got sort of mixed reviews. Must have been missing an ingredient...
  3. The grains are cooked as normal, then pressure-cooked (typically in a canning jar) along with a small amount of sugar, butter, and baking soda. This causes the grains to caramelize (well, "Maillardize" I guess, if that's a word...). One of my favorite inclusions is pressure-caramelized rye berries, but I've done it to many different grains to good effect.
  4. Chris Hennes

    Lunch 2020

    Obviously along the same lines as the pastrami on rye I posted about a couple of weeks ago, here is homemade Wagyu short rib pastrami, juniper sauerkraut, and mustard, on the Modernist Bread pretzel rolls I made yesterday. I toasted the split roll in butter and then heated the pastrami and kraut through, served hot. Phenomenal.
  5. Chokecherries have only been mentioned a few times here over the years: every now and again someone casually mentions a chokecherry syrup, or wine, or jelly, or sauce. There's even a mention of a chokecherry grenadine. I'm on the hunt for chokecherry recipes in general, but especially those that might follow a different path than what seems to be the most common "basically syrup" approach. I've gleaned a bit of inspiration from @gfron1's Acorns and Cattails (maybe riffing on his pate de fruit), but I'm wondering about any potential savory or savory-ish applications. Or unusual things: pickles, hot sauce, etc. Has anyone played around with these things? I've got a dozen or so bushes behind the library I work at.
  6. Pretzels: Alternate Shapes Today's project was to experiment with the alternative shape ideas Volume 5 has for pretzels. I made one of each, plus a couple of normal pretzel-shaped pretzels. Overall I thought the braided one was the most successful, but truth be told I'm partial to the more traditional pretzel shape if you're not trying to use it as a bun or something. These are the Modernist pretzels, with the post-bake lye dip.
  7. Isn't that exactly what adding ingredients is supposed to do? Take a dish that needs "something else" and adds that "something"?
  8. Tonight's pizza is a bechamel sauce with spinach, mozzarella di bufala, and ricotta. A bit of redemption after last night's sad attempt, this was delicious. The spinach was sauteed and then tossed with black pepper and red pepper flakes. The bechamel is the Modernist recipe.
  9. I'm just a bit under 5", which is pretty close to my oven's "sweet spot" as calculated by Modernist Cuisine.
  10. So basically, they had outsourced the cookbook to someone and didn't bother to make sure anyone had secured the rights to anything at all. Good thing they don't print the things! It's a lot easier to take down a PDF file than recall a bunch of boxes loaded with copyright violations.
  11. This looks like a nice way to try to stay a step or two ahead of the game -- I'm glad to see you planning for a long haul. I fear that those who are desperately trying to return to normalcy as soon as possible are going to get burned (if they haven't already). Maybe I need to rent an RV for my next trip to STL, though - I don't like eating in the car!
  12. Tonight my impatience got the better of me: I was in a hurry, so didn't let the dough rise enough, or the oven preheat long enough. The crust was definitely substandard. For toppings, this is a quattro formaggi with mozarella di bufala, parmigiano, caciocavallo di bufala, and gorgonzola dolce. The sauce is a bechamel with a lot of red pepper flakes added. So, the taste was pretty good, though I think I used too much parmigiano, the balance was off a bit.
  13. Modernist neapolitan crust, olives, mozzarella di bufala, and a sauce of crushed tomatoes, silk chili flakes, black pepper, and olive oil. Baked in the oven, since it's a bit cooler today.
  14. Grain Count Sourdough This section of the book is one where it feels like they included it just to poke fun at someone. They have a sort of interesting analysis of the number of grains in various commercial n-grain breads, showing peaks at 7, 12, etc. But also mention the baker's pissing contest of who can include the largest number of grains in their bread, and then proceed to a) point out how dumb it is, when you have 50 different grains so any given slice almost certainly doesn't even have all of them in it, and b) of course they include some recipes for various grain counts, including one that's pretty absurd. However, I love grain inclusions, and these recipes do feature one unique point: vastly more inclusions than normal. For a 1kg loaf, this has 210g of inclusion. So there's no missing them! I used flax seed, poppy seed, black sesame seed, rye chops, steel cut oats, and walnuts. So not even touching the sheer number of their peak recipe, but it's still a delicious bread, with a great texture. Baked as a loaf because I really wanted slices of toast.
  15. This dough was intended to be pizza, but not grilled! But when I slide pizza #1 off my peel onto my baking steel, I got a pretty good slosh of olive oil off the pizza into the oven, which of course was at 550°F. So, after a panicky couple of minutes setting up some ad hoc ventilation, we ate that pizza (which was delicious), but then made the second one on the grill. It's a quattro formaggi, with just olive oil as the sauce. The cheeses are mozzarella di bufala, ricotta, gorgonzola, and parmigiano. I also hit it with a pretty sizable dose of ground purple peppercorns from Burlap & Barrel.
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