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Everything posted by essvee

  1. I know from bitter experience the results of overproofing the second rise for bread. But what about the first? How tied to the "let rise until just doubled" rule do I have to be for the first proof? Thanks in advance.
  2. judec, I've been using Stone-Buhr bread flour.
  3. paul, my big problem is that both my All Clad and Calpholon saute pans, over ten years old the both of them, have basically stopped releasing food. I eat a lot of chix fricassee, and both pans will not release the skin no matter what I do. Heat the pan first, whatever. They both used to release better; the All Clad always better than the Calpholon. I have a Calpholon non-stick saute pan I bought at Macy's as a loss leader for 100 bucks a couple years ago. It is doing OK, but the idea that I could use metal utensils on the T-Fal Ultimate seems seductive.
  4. Just loafing, it is a great loaf. I have left out the sugar before, which sharpens the molasses flavor. It makes superb, albeit a bit crumbly, toast.
  5. Thanks, Celeste, and for all replies. Good information about oats and bread. I will stop making the oatmeal loaf for sandwiches. Let me refine my question. I want to make sandwich bread, but I want them to be multigrain breads. Pain de mie is not what I'm looking for. So I'm looking for suggestions on how to make multigrain breads that will hold together enough for sandwiches, like the loaves you can buy in the store and also the bakery. Perhaps the answer is as simple as: use the recipes in Clayton's book that call for nonfat dry milk. Are there any other ways to 'strengthen' a whole grain or multi-grain loaf? I hope I am not coming across as obtuse, and I truly appreciate the prompt responses, which don't happen for most questions I post. Thanks again.
  6. Thanks, Celeste. I just purchased B. Clayton's bread book, and I noticed that a lot of his loaves call for powdered milk. Now I know why. I also noticed, in his 'French and Italian' section, that he references a pinch of ascorbic acid to strengthen the cellular formation. Hmm. Can anyone speak to that? I do allow the loaf to cool completely. The bread I make the most often is a heritage recipe from my great-great-granny-- oatmeal molasses. I recently made Clayton's Roman Meal bread, but substituted Uncle Sam cereal for the Roman Meal cereal. Both breads are sturdy and handsome, but they fall apart when used for sandwiches, or even if you butter them too excitedly after toasting. Here's the oatmeal bread recipe. No sponge, just two risings. Thanks for your help. 1 cup oats in 2 cups boiling water add 1/3 cup molasses 1/3 cup sugar 1 T salt 3 T veg oil 6+ cups flour 2 t yeast in a little warm water
  7. Sorry for the awkward title. Couldn't figure out how to word it concisely. Here's my dilemma. I have worked hard, studied hard, and have finally after many travails been able to consistently produce a good loaf of sandwich/pan bread. The problem is, unlike storebought or even bakery bread, my bread is not very durable for lack of a better word and falls apart when used for sandwiches. Wah. I have used both all-purpose and bread flour with no discernable difference. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  8. Thanks all. I looked around online and saw that T-Fal Ultimate looks like their high-end line. Gordon, do you know which T-Fal line your friend has? Has anyone used that T-Fal Ultimate saute pan? Does Anolon have different lines as well? Thanks for all replies.
  9. Hi all. I have always, without any evidence for or against except for price point, looked at T-Fal and Anolon as inferior to the All-Clads and Capholons of this world. How surprised was I to see that Saveur recommended an Anolon saucepan and a T-Fal nonstick saute pan in their most recent top 100 issue! Can anyone speak to the quality/durability of these brands? Are there different lines within each brand that are more worthy than others? How well do they stack up to the top of the line brands? Thanks.
  10. Great ideas, Skipper. Do you have any suggestions for a cabbage and/or mushroom filling?
  11. It helps a lot. I only had the pirog at Cinderella once. It's entirely possible that I am mis-remembering the puff pastry. Do you use short crust instead? Do you think that I am mis-remembering the salmon and sturgeon together? That it is one or the other? Lastly, is it possible that the bakery might have used some kind of a binder, maybe sour cream and beaten egg, to hold the filling together? One more question-- are there any options besides S+P for seasoning? Bay, thyme, nutmeg or mace? Thank you very very much. You have made a new mother very happy. I will make this dish for her tomorrow!
  12. There is a Siberian restaurant in San Francisco name of Cinderella. It makes something it calls pirogi, also Siberian style pie. One version is a baked dish of salmon, sturgeon and glass noodles with puff pastry. My sister in law grew up eating there with her Siberian grandparents. She really wants me to make this dish for her. I haven't been able to find a recipe. Can anyone help? Thanking you. essvee
  13. Anyone else? Union Hotel, good or gross? Cafe les Jumelles? Bueller?
  14. Thanks Marlena! Sounds dee-lish. We have three nights, any other suggestions? Congrats on your loss, btw.
  15. Hi all. Been a while since I've visited as the sub-sub forum SF Bay Area seems to have disappeared! Anyway, spending a long weekend in Guerneville. Don't want to fine dine but of course want to eat well. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  16. Thanks for your replies, all. Keep 'em coming!
  17. I just got back from TN with a lot of country ham from Tripp's. I like the stuff but the salt always catches up to me and ruins the last half of it. My question is: has anyone soaked country ham in the same way one would salt cod for desalination purposes? I have plans to try it once I open the package, but I thought to ask you all in case it's a bad idea. Also, any creative use for country ham you can think of? It's good for Chinese food, and it's good for shrimp and grits, and of course for biscuits et al, but I have too much of the stuff for just that. For the record, I bought a package of biggish slices, 12 or so. Thanks for any and all ideas, essvee
  18. Hi all. I not only survived but thrived. When I left the business, I was tired, sore, fat (still am, unfortunately) and angry. This past week was priceless because it reminded me of something I had blocked out of my brain- cooking is my best thing and the only job I've ever loved. I've done a little cooking in the past two years, taught many cooking workshops at CCSF Extension, but hadn't been in a regular ol' kitchen since 99. It all came back, including my endurance, which was one of the things I was most worried about. 12-14 hour days kicked my ass, but I still woke up ready to go every morning. Anyway, with you all's help, and Food for Fifty's, I nailed it. Food was hot, plentiful (the kitchen had been running out of food all summer, causing panic and hoarding among the campers), and tasty the whole way through. I sailed through my biggest chance for screwing up, turkey dinner for 250 (Unipro potato granules, I love you, and I take back all the abuse I've previously heaped upon instant potatoes. Of course 4 pounds of butter nad a half-gallon of heavy cream per can helped a lot, but they tasted pretty darn good!). I got so much love from campers and staff alike, and I sang and laughed and fooled around a bit and hustled my ass off and generally had a blast. I will say, though, 3 meals a day will grind you into bits pretty fast. My whole career had been getting ready for one meal a day, either restaurant dinner every day or catering dinners. Big big difference. About midway through, I had an epiphany: this (feeding people) is what I'm supposed to be doing. Screw all the other stuff; this is what touches you and makes you happy. Now what? I'm never going back to the restaurant or catering biz. Guess I need to find a convent or retreat or something that needs a fat 'n' happy cook. Wish me luck and thanks, so so much, again, peoples. essvee P.S. To all that suggested I work with the recipes, par lists, etc. from the kitchen, there weren't any. The food service manager got drunk and screwed early on and left nothing but chaos behind. Combine that with a bunch of fellas in the kitchen who couldn't have given less of a shit if dinner got out on time or if there was enough, and you can imagine how this summer had gone and how thrilled everyone (except the lazy-ass, drinking and weed-smoking kitchen guys, two who left soon after I got there) was to see me. Good times.
  19. Guys, thanks so, so much. I mistakenly put this in Cooking and wasn't getting any replies. I went to bed feeling sorry for myself and look at what was here when I woke up! Food for Fifty, Kalypso, I totally forgot about that. That's exactly what I need, because where I'm hung up is stuff like how many #10 cans of tomatoes make marinara for 250 and so on. And all of you, super and nicely specific advice. I feel way better. Thanks again. essvee
  20. Hi all. Long story short, I went to family camp (something my city has run for 80 years) and the kitchen was in chaos. I jumped in to help out a little and the director begged me to come back and run the joint for the last week. Fine, I said. I've got the recipes and the skills. No problem. But what I don't have is the feel for ordering. My last kitchen job ended in '99, and I can't remember how to do it/how I did it. The camp is gonna have 250-280 people. I know I can do this, and I'm actually looking forward to it. They are supposed to fax me the menu, and I'm going to get recipes and punch lists together before I go. I want to get my ordering together too. How can I figure quantities? Is there a website or any other resource I can use? How do you do it? Your words of wisdom will help a lot. Thanks in advance. essvee
  21. Feh. I agree with some of Ms. Ephron's points, except the bizarre dessertspoon thing. And I agree with the poster who pointed out that the waiter is just checking to see if he/she can leave the table alone for a while. But the tone of the article was offputting, to say the least. She could have written much more cogently and forcefully on the upselling of water, for instance. But because she chose to focus, firstly and bizarrely, on the size of the glasses, she took away from the main point of the waiter emptying the bottle and instantly asking if the table wants to buy another bottle. This seems to have become endemic; Michael Bauer of the SF Chronicle has written for years about the attitude he'll get when he asked for tap water. Yeah, you gotta specify tap because if you don't they'll pour an 11 dollar bottle of some still water from Iceland or some such. As to the salt, I am totally in agreement. I am of the Marcella Hazan school of salting--that is to say, minimal. But if I do want to put salt on something, I'd rather it wasn't big crunchy grains in a lil dish with a lil spoon. I want to shake some salt that dissolves and subtly enhances the flavor, that doesn't just sit on top of the dish all big and salty. I can't salt evenly with that little spoon, and I'd much rather have a shaker of nice kosher salt than a dish of big and crunchy sea salt. So, to my mind, Ms. Ephron makes some valid points, but she shoots herself in the foot right away with her snarky, humorless tone and never recovers. Everyone needs an editor, some more than most. Ms. Ephron could have used a good editor in that piece.
  22. essvee

    Rendering Lard

    alienor, why did you whip it? The lard, that is.
  23. Marcella is my muse. I love her so much, although she was snippy to me at the Fancy Foods Show once (I think she couldn't hear my question.) I learned a whole new way of thinking about food from reading and cooking out of books. But, Guiliano Bugialli's The Fine Art of Italian Cooking is chock-full of neat history. And his Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking is huge and detailed, the La Technique of Italy. Check those out; either he or Marcella, you can't go wrong. How about a two-book curriculum, her combined book and Guiliano's Technique? I did teach myself to hand-stretch pasta using the drawings in Marcella's Classic Italian Cookbook. So...
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