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Chris Hennes

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About Chris Hennes

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    Norman, Oklahoma

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  1. @Anna N Wow, that color is dramatic. I’m not familiar with “black cocoa powder” — do you have a link handy?
  2. Nutella Babka (p. 4•225) I had an unopened jar of Nutella in my cupboard that expired something like two years ago (I don't exactly eat a lot of Nutella). Of course, expiration dates for such things are a bit sketchy, and it still tastes and smells fresh, so away we go using the thing up. I used basically the whole thing for this loaf, which is a 25% butter brioche with Nutella swirls (they also have a more homemade filling, but librarians will eat anything so I'm bringing the Nutella into work tomorrow!). The baking time was a bit suspect, but I just kept a careful eye on it and pulled it when I couldn't imagine wanting the crust any darker.
  3. Chocolate and Cranberry Sourdough (p. 4•80) Of course, any time I'm making a bunch of sourdoughs this one gets requested. I subbed in cranberries for the cherries this time: it's still delicious. My starter is also much more robust than last time around, so the flavor and texture are both better as well.
  4. Compleat Wheat (p. 4•137) This is a "whole wheat" bread in that it's got white flour, bran, and germ all added in the appropriate proportions. You toast and soak the bran and germ separate from the endosperm, which lets you get a much lighter loaf than is typical of whole wheat flour, particularly naturally leavened. This recipe works very well and gives a terrific flavor and texture. The loaves are also beautiful, which is always nice.
  5. Modernist Ciabatta (p. 4•160) I didn't get as much rise out of mine as their image shows: I suspect I called proof early on this one (it's hard to read because it's so slack). Honestly, I've gotten a bit spoiled by the very long fermentation times of the other loaves I've been working on recently, this one was sort of bland in comparison. I know that's the nature of the beast, but I definitely prefer the longer fermentation times of the French lean bread and the sourdoughs.
  6. I've got something like five different breads in progress right now. The first one that was ready is... American Pumpernickel (p. 4•308) Lots going on here. First, this bread includes both levain and osmotolerant yeast (which I finally have and didn't have to substitute). It also calls for caramel color, which I don't have and didn't feel like making. So I used coffee instead. It also has a lot of cocoa powder in it, and a hefty dose of molasses. The upshot is that basically none of the color is "real" here, as is typical for this style of rye. Despite the inclusion of the levain, it's got enough commercial yeast in it that it gets created like a direct dough. It rises very quickly, and only needed to proof for an hour or so. The recipe calls for baking it in a loaf pan, but I was feeling retro tonight... You can probably guess where this is going... No, there is no soup mix involved in that spinach dip. It's a recipe from a 2002 issue of Cook's Illustrated: This is a delicious rye bread, with lots of flavor from the onions and caraway. It's got a nice, soft texture, but we ate it fresh enough that the crust was still crispy. Worlds better than the supermarket equivalent.
  7. Are you looking for more sourness, or just something different?
  8. I don’t know that such a thing is possible — it’s always going to come down to taste. I think the 2% salt most of these recipes call for is perfect, whereas @JoNorvelleWalker thinks it’s far too much. Obviously you can make bread without salt at all. So I can’t see any way around experimenting with it.
  9. How's the texture? It looks better than the non-Modernist variant.
  10. Well, I think that basically all of the various suggestions in the Ingredients volume for things you can do to grains apply here: you can sprout, nixtamalize, pressure-caramelize, soak, or just plain cook the whole berries. With a quick blitz in the blender you can make a porridge from the cracked kernels, plus you can soak, cook, or pressure-caramelize them. So that's a lot of different inclusions that you can add to various recipes. My recollection is that the Whole Grain loaf uses whole berries and potentially also cracked. I'd bet that most of the brick breads use one or the other.
  11. I sense some pressure-caramelized rye inclusions in your future as well.
  12. I didn't use a canister, I used a FoodSaver bag, but I was able to get mine to work by running the machine multiple times (I think five, if I recall correctly), interrupting the sealing between each go so the bag didn't close up. I think @Kerry Beal also had luck using a chamber vac, but I don't have one to test on.
  13. I expected a doorstop, I just think I overshot the mark a bit here. Their photo seems to show a (slightly) lighter texture than I achieved. How does one typically serve this stuff, anyway? It's not great for just munching on out of hand -- it tastes great, but that texture needs a counterpoint.
  14. Volkornbrot (p. 4•435) I've never had this bread before so I am not really qualified to judge, but honestly I sort of hope I screwed this one up. I suspect I did, anyway, as I re-read the instructions for the final mix and look at their photo (and other photos online). They appear to get a bit of rise, whereas I don't think I got any rise at all. I know my levain is healthy because I used the same levain for several other breads that day and they all worked. Where I went wrong, I think, was the final mix stage. I never looked at their expected time for the mix, I just saw the instructions saying to mix until homogeneous. Well, what they wanted was a homogeneous paste, whereas what I had was a homogeneous... granola. Or something. It wasn't a paste. I probably only mixed for four or five minutes, not the 8-10 the recipe actually calls for. I think this one is borderline indelibly dense, but I guess it's possible that is the desired outcome. @Kerry Beal, maybe you need to try this one next so I can see a comparison!
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