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Starkman

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  1. Starter Question

    Well, as we noted in here, Paul, I think that a room-temp starter, if anything, even if it isn't allowed to stay out for great lengths of time before use) is more common than using cold starters. That's really what I'm seeing as a consistency, no matter the starter. Actually, I'm beginning to think the starter noted in the article for baking includes the error of being said to be kept cold; the baking recipe is too blatant in the other direction. I'll have to see if I can find out. Thanks much.
  2. Starter Question

    Well, that's what I thought, too, ElsieD. Thanks.
  3. Starter Question

    Hey all, Say, I'm taking notes from Cook's Illustrated's Sept/Oct 2016 edition, pg 21 with regard to using a portion of a starter for baking. Here's what it says: Eighteen to 24 hours before baking, measure out 4 oz starter from the bulk starter and transfer to a clean bowl; discard remaining starter. Feed the 4 oz by stirring in 5 oz flour, 4 oz water, cover, let sit at room temp for 5 hours. Now measure out amount of starter called for in recipe and transfer to another bowl; cover, refrig for at least 12-18 hours. The remaining starter should be refriged and maintained (as instructed earlier in the article). Then, when they proceed to the recipe, they have you whisk the flour and salt (called for in the bread recipe) in a bowl, then whisk in water and the starter for baking, which has been in the fridge. My question is, is that correct? Is the starter to be kept cold until used? Thanks much, Keith
  4. Professional Soft Serve Ice Cream

    One small clarification: it would seem that it is't professional soft ice cream you want, but commercialy soft serve. Soft served may be made several different ways by a professional, but what you are talking about is commercially produced (that's not a bad thing either).
  5. Mix - for example, muffin mix: you only want to combine the ingredients together, with, say a spoon, until they are mixed, no more (or you get tough muffins). Mixing is relative, therefore, to whatever it is that's being mixed. Blend - similar to mixing but usually implying, perhaps, a bit more gentleness than mixing but not as much as a fold. Usually, the idea being to simply incorporate the ingredients just until they come together. Stir - again, very relative. Stir for how long? Stir gently, rigorously? Depends on the food items. Whip - the idea here is to incorporate air. Thus, when making something that has to have a light, airy result, that's when whipping comes into play. But...whip with what? Well, probably a whisk, which leads us to our next thought. Whisk - For incorporating air into a food item, but also to combine certain foods that might not combine as well or as easily if not using a whisk. Pancake batter, for instance, usually gets its best mxing from the use of a whisk, but you're not trying to get air into the batter. On the other hand, a fork (or two forks) is much better and scrambling eggs in a shallow bowl—whisks just don't grab the eggs like a fork does. And finally... Folding - the idea here is to avoid as much as possible the deflation of a food item that has a lot of air in it, or to not destroy the individuality of each food item. Thus, you fold in whipped cream into a batter to keep from deflating the batter, but you may also fold in a item into, say, a cake batter with the idea of leaving streaks in both food items for design. Hope that helps, Starkman
  6. Oven Rack Height

    I'm with you, diyee100. Rotating (turning the food 190 degrees is so important. Further, if you're cooking to alike foods on two racks, it's important to the bottom to the top rack and vice versa. Makes a big difference in an end product that is evenly cooked. diyee said, "I once attended a demo for a very expensive, razzle dazzle oven. The sales rep pulled a batch of cookies out of the oven to entertain the audience. While she continued with the sales patter, I went up to the counter and examined the cookies. They were pale in the middle of the pan and overbrown on the right side. Hmmm. I routinely rotate pans halfway thru the baking time. Rotating pans means switching pans from back to front and (if using both racks) from upper to lower, lower to upper."
  7. Oven Rack Height

    Hi Shel, Frankly, with some foods, particularly those that are more forgiving to an inaccurate temperatures, I pay more attention to where the rack is than how accurate the oven is. Take pizza for instance. Reasonably flexible with regard to oven temps, but where you bake it in the oven can make a big difference. As noted above, Cooks Ill suggests using the highest level (and a 500 degree oven, if I recall). Why? I believe it is because if you use the lowest rack, you take chances of finishing, and even burhing, the dough before the toppings (meats in particular) get done. Since heat rises, using the upper rack affords the toppings to finish by the time the crust finishes. On the other hand, Lynn Rossetto-Casper suggests using the lowest rack (and, I think a lower temperature, which for thin pizzas with lilttle topping might be the way to go). Continuing with pizza, there's also the type of utility on which you cook the pizza: are you using a stone? Are you using a cookie sheet (if so, is it dark or shiny—more browning, less browning, respectively)? Or are you using just the oven rack? All that plays a difference as to oven placement. There's the matter of a recipes cooking vessel; the shallow/depth (and other aspects) play a part as to where it has been decided to place the food in the oven. So always give thought to the heat sensitivity of the food you are cooking, and, in most cases, start with the recipe's suggestion, noting the results for future adjustments to be made. Hope that helps, Starkman
  8. Buying a leg of lamb

    If I were the lamb, I'd say it depends on what I decide!
  9. New to Gas Stovetop: Questions

    The real beauty of gas is the control; you can adjust heat and receive the benefits immediately—I'll never forget seeing Julia Child on the shows in which she used a push-button electric stove; I thought, "Really?" and then realized that this was quite the wave back then, so she actually did the every-day housewife a service in using it. Anyway, gas rocks for control. It doesn't do nearly as well in speed, however, in heating to a boil. But, that's all part of the game. Once, though, you get a feel for your stove, it will become such a joy to work with...unless you're waiting for water to boil!
  10. Scalding Milk for Pudding

    So, how does scalding milk effect chocolate pudding? Raw milk contains an enzyme that aids in coagulation, which is killed by pasteurization. Additionally, homogenization creates small fat bubbles, which isn’t as effective as unhomogenized milk. If the recipe just wanted the milk warm, it wouldn't (or shouldn't) refer to scalding it. Merely warming it would suffice. If, however, the recipe is taking into consideration that raw or unhomoginzed milk may be used, there may be the coagulation matter to contend with: too much resulting in too thick or blobby of a pudding. Additionally, the smaller bubbles created from homogenized milk will result, perhaps, in a smoother pudding as well.
  11. Scalding Milk for Pudding

    From my notes: Milk can inhibit bread loaf volume, symmetry, cellular structure and texture because of a whey protein (probably takes more than a ½ cup to notice this). Scalding milk to 180-190 over comes this problem. This may be the protein fragment called glutathione, which acts to slightly weaken gluten strands; hence, smaller bubbles. I believe some of my notes come from Shirley Corriher's Cookwise.
  12. How to keep marshmallows from freezing

    Well, I didn't make the marshes myself; I just used store-bought. But I may have to resort to that, keeping in mind the need, perhaps, for more sugar than gelatin and adding...adding..hic-up...adding alc...alc...yeah! (burp!) Thanks again, Starkman
  13. How to keep marshmallows from freezing

    Well, I'm using store-bought marshmallows, but I'd be willing to make my own if they will be soft as they are in store-bought ice cream. Further, I really want a genuine marshmallow, not a fluff or cream. Somehow something is just lost in Rocky Road (or do-it-yourself-at-home, add-nuts-and-marshes!) when it ain't genuine marshes. Starkman
  14. Hello all, Say, I've searched Google and here for this answer, but I can't find one: how to keep marshmallows from freezing, or just getting to darned hard, when put into ice cream. I like to add almonds and marshmallows to my chocolate ice cream, but the marshes get too hard. Why doesn't this happen in store-bought ice cream? Yeah, some use a marshmallow cream base, but some use real marshes. Thanks much, Starkman
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