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Chris Hennes

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Everything posted by Chris Hennes

  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. Oreo Cookies

    I can't have Oreo cookies in my house. I will and have eaten entire packages in a single sitting. Dipped in milk, regular variety only, please. You can keep your doublestuff golden cakester whatever-the-heck-they-are. And I better not catch you with any damn Hydrox!! Any other Oreo fans?
  7. 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.
  8. Are you looking for more sourness, or just something different?
  9. 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.
  10. How's the texture? It looks better than the non-Modernist variant.
  11. 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.
  12. I sense some pressure-caramelized rye inclusions in your future as well.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. Pain de Méteil (p. 4•371) This is a roughly 55% rye / 45% wheat dough leavened completely with a liquid rye levain. Pretty hard to go wrong here, the flavor is excellent, particularly the crust.
  17. Modernist 100% High Ryes with Rye Porridge I really liked the Modernist High Ryes bread, and wanted to play around with the texture of it. So I made a rye porridge and added 200g of that to the standard recipe. This made the dough behave much more like the non-modernist variant, so I baked it in a loaf pan like that bread.
  18. Modernist Naan (p. 5•22) I think this would have been more successful had I not docked the dough, I think the texture would be better if you let it puff up when baking. The flavor was fine, although I did not have enough probiotic powder, as it turned out. I bought one of those little single-serving packets thinking the recipe called for 1 gram (the packet contained 1.4g)... nope, the recipe calls for 10 grams! Which strikes me as an awful lot. Their volume conversion also seems fishy. It turns out they are calling for the same weight and volume of probiotic powder as the non-Modernist recipe calls for yogurt. Does anyone have a sense of whether that can be correct?
  19. Kubaneh (p. 5•44) This is the closest the book comes to pastry work, and it's pretty close. These are really a laminated dough, although the purpose of the butter is really to help you stretch out the layers. It's in the chapter with flatbreads presumably because they simply didn't have anyplace else to put it. Obviously it's a flatbread the same way a croissant is a flatbread. They are a slightly sweet dough (enough that I was surprised the recipe didn't call for osmotolerant yeast) and end up very buttery. Delicious, of course. The shaping is quite complex here. You take a 125g roll and stretch it to a 60cm/24in square (this involves a lot of butter!): Then you fold it into thirds: The recipe calls for rolling it up here, but that would make an 8" roll which I couldn't see working. I wonder if they really fold it again here. I did: Then you roll it up: The recipe makes eight of them, which get arranged like this: These are then sealed up completely, proofed, and then baked: The recipe never instructs you to remove the lid, but as you can see when baked sealed up, you are really steaming them, so they don't brown. The photo in the book shows browning. So put them back in the oven for a few minutes:
  20. OK, time to get caught up on the past few days' baking... Lavash Crackers (p. 5•69) My calipers are at my office right now, so I didn't really have any way of measuring the thickness. I just rolled it out through my pasta maker on its widest setting. In retrospect I should have taken it down one more notch, these ended up thicker than I'd have liked. The flavor and texture are good, although the toppings did not adhere very well and all fell off (except the salt). Probably need a starch slurry to make these big seeds stick.
  21. Hummus

    Ottolenghi's recipe has an enormous amount of tahini in it compared to other recipes I've got, I've always shied away from it for fear that it had metric-to-imperial conversion issues. Is there really over a cup of tahini to 1.25 cups dried chickpeas?
  22. I take it you did not build their 55-gallon-drum tandoori -- what temp did you use? I was thinking of trying the naan next week since the pita turned out so well.
  23. Are you looking for any particular information? Also, keep in mind that they are using "bread flour" here as a shorthand for a particular protein content, and their bread flour does not correspond directly (necessarily) to the consumer product labeled "bread flour". For example, I use King Arthur All Purpose where they call for "Bread Flour" and King Arthur Bread Flour when they call for "HIgh Gluten Bread Flour."