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Everything posted by judec

  1. Out of all the knives I have, I consider my Chan Chi Kee chinese cleaver most indispensable. So lightweight and glides through anything despite its size.
  2. I think these are the best of the best among light soy sauces. I always have all of them in stock. Yamasa Usukuchi Koon Chun Pearl River Bridge
  3. Thanks for the detailed explanation. Good to know that the lead is most likely in the metal canister only and not in the butane itself. The thought of unwittingly exposing family and dinner guests to lead scared me.
  4. I've been using GasOne butane with the Iwatani torch for a while now when I noticed the lead warning on the canister: This product contains chemicals, Including lead, known (to the state of California) to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling. I'm no hypochondriac, but I have to admit that this got me a bit worried since the flame is always in direct contact with food when I use it. Does heat render lead harmless? Are the Iwatani brand canisters lead-free? Does all butane contain lead?
  5. Filipinos use fresh kalamansi the same way you would use lime or lemons - squeezed over grilled meats and all sorts of fatty dishes. If you ever try making pancit palabok or bistek then this is the accompaniment of choice. We also use it as the acidic component for seafood kilawin, the Filipino take on ceviche. I'm not sure how kalamansi would turn out candied because its rind tends to be much tougher and the flavor more sour than kumquats. It should be worth a try.
  6. Before roasting, I let the chicken rest in the fridge while uncovered overnight, sometimes up to a day. This really makes a huge difference IMO. I also do Keller's method, but without brining. edited to add "Before roasting"
  7. I would bake three to four 8-inch cake layers, stack, and trim to get the round top. Are you using fondant or frosting?
  8. Gosselin's pain a la ancienne is slashed and has the most wide open crumb I've ever seen in any baguette. It could not have expanded as much without slashing. Any baguette or high hydration dough can benefit from proper slashing.
  9. From my experience, ciabatta tends to have larger air pockets on top compared to the bottom of the loaf. Slashing gives it a more even but still wide open crumb structure. Also, if scoring is done like a flap, expansion can continue even if the crust is already set. It has to be really shallow or the ciabatta will collapse.
  10. When slashing ciabatta, I find that a VERY shallow cut that is almost parallel to the top works best. Almost the same technique as slashing baguettes to create an ear / flap, but down the entire length of the ciabatta. Opening the door after just a few minutes will kill the oven spring -- the oven is still recovering from loading the loaves and opening it again will lower the oven heat too much. Are you using steam for ciabatta? Letting steam escape during the first few minutes is also another sure way to prevent the loaf from getting a full rise. Very interesting idea, though. I'll try it out even if I doubt it'll work and I'll let you know what happens.
  11. Huge difference from the previous loaf. Does that use the same high gluten flour?
  12. His method for making macarons also works great for me. It calls for baking at 400F, much higher than your typical macaron recipe.
  13. I've also made ganache-filled cupcakes. The recipe was from Wayne Gisslen's baking book. I think the cake base was devil's food.
  14. I also get a nice shine when glazing with plain melted butter after baking. Not as much as using an egg wash before baking, though.
  15. From looking at the recipe, my gut feeling is the oats are absorbing too much of the water and the flour isn't getting hydrated enough. Seems to be a really stiff bagel-type dough with that much water, isn't it? It could be a couple other things, though. What's the timing on your rises and proof? Are you using coarse grained salt?
  16. Hi essvee.. May I ask what brand of flour you're using? Some brands of flour, even those labeled bread flour, are too weak for making bread. The most common reason for crumbly yeast breads is using flour with low protein content.
  17. I definitely recommend Reinhart for breads and Gisslen for everything else. They serve as very nice introductions. Hamelman and Friberg may be a bit too overwhelming at first but are nice supplementary options.
  18. Is bauernbrot supposed to have a large proportion of buckwheat flour? I have this recipe from Bernard Clayton that does.
  19. Great video. Thanks! It really shows how passionate he is about bread baking.
  20. judec

    Baking 101

    The cake will bake just fine, but it will be very difficult to remove it in one piece from a bundt pan. Ideally, you want a plain round tube pan with a removable bottom. Most will have legs or a tube that extend past the outer edge of the pan. This lets you cool the cake upside down and prevent it from collapsing while still warm.
  21. Hey Mike.. How's the tang with an 8 hour rise? May I also ask what camera you use? Nice loaf and photos.
  22. There's this chocolate solution meant for manual sprayers from Bo Friberg. By "manual sprayers," I'm assuming he means the type you would find in a barber shop. Has anyone tried this? The ingredients are corn syrup, warm water, and cocoa powder. I've made a few entremets that call for spray but I usually skip that step.
  23. Yellowish crumb is a sign of well-crafted bread made with unbleached flour. Jackal mentioned gentle mixing as a way of preserving that coloration to minimize oxidation. Autolyse is also used, where you leave the dough alone after mixing and let it develop gluten on its own. This is the main technique behind no knead bread. The color indicates higher amounts of beta carotene, the same thing that gives carrots its color. It gives the bread better flavor, aroma, and nutritional value. Semolina flour may have also been used in the breads you mentioned. Its noticably more yellowish hue also has something to do with beta carotene. Semolina has naturally higher amounts of it compared to other flours.
  24. judec

    Oven spring

    Hello. I always check for a number of things before baking to get maximum oven spring. This is my list in order of importance: Judging proof time using the poke test - This, in my opinion, is the most reliable way to judge whether or not the dough is ready to bake. I look for dough that slowly springs back about halfway, leaving an indentation when pressed lightly. I start checking at the minimum recommended proofing time. If it's not ready yet, I check every 15 minutes afterwards. I've found that the proofing time is never the same, as much as an hour difference for the same formula, especially for sourdough. Starting off in a hotter oven - About 25 to 50 degrees higher than recommended. Adjust the baking times around the minimum. Use steam even if the recipe doesn't call for it - A hotter oven also helps disperse the steam much faster, which is critical to get the maximum expansion during the first few minutes of baking. A half cup to one cup of boiling water is enough for most. A well-preheated baking stone - I put equipment last because I think that judging the final proof and controlling the temperature should be the most important things to consider. I get much more volume baking directly on a pre-heated baking stone that a sheet pan.
  25. I usually wait for the cream to cool to 190F before pouring over the chocolate in a separate bowl, leave it for a minute, and then start stirring. Never had any problems with either brand you mentioned. Did you put the chocolate in the saucepan?
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