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About JohnT

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    Cape Town, South Africa

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  1. Butter Tarts

    Yes, I am aware of that. However, the reason for the use of the foil tartlet pans is that the shells are pressed out in them mechanically and I do not have a press to do it. So, I will do what I always do when I want a few tartlets - use my hands and give them a "rustic" look . It must be remembered that this is just an experiment as I have never come across a "butter tart" before.
  2. Butter Tarts

    Thanks for the recipe Kerry. I made a very large batch of pâté sucrée this afternoon and it is resting overnight. I am experimenting with a couple tarts (pies) tomorrow and will do a small batch of your mothers recipe. I am presuming the recipe will make at least 6 medium muffin tin size tartlets? Seeing I have never heard of a butter tart before, this is going to be a bit touch-and-go making them. John.
  3. Butter Tarts

    @Kerry Beal that article is so funny! Above is your post from May 2006 where you have a link to your mothers recipe. It goes nowhere! Mind posting the recipe?
  4. Recipe Question ?

    Next time they hint at wanting a recipe, make a joke of it - say: "You want another prized, secret recipe? No problem, but I will then have to kill you!" Then just ignor them and carry on doing what you are doing. They should soon get the message. If they persist, just repeat the line and then tell them that you would prefer not to have to permanently iliminate them from society. The above is humour — but it works! Do not give your recipes away unless it is to somebody the other side of the world who you know will not open up in opposition to you in your neighbourhood. You and your recipes are your business and livelihood. You may as well just give your bank account to them!
  5. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    Sorry, my 02:00 am brain should have been a bit more specific. Normally artisan bakers just give a fancy foreign name to something that is just a plain old loaf. This appears to be more an US "thing" than most other places in the world - they think it sounds better than just calling it "white bread", "brown bread" or "house loaf" etc. Here in South Africa they skip the BS and call it a "Farmhouse white loaf" - the term "Farmhouse" indicating it is large or just "Artisnal White loaf". So, what I am trying to say is that using the name "Pane di Casa" does not indicate anything other than a simple loaf of bread. I must admit that the "normal" price you quoted is scary! This equates to R75.00 in our local currency - my, or any other artisnal bakers bread, would not sell at that price or even half that quoted price, irrelevant of how good it looked or tasted.
  6. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    I think "Pane di Casa" simply means "House Bread" in Italian.
  7. The above photo does look familiar as the Swiss PC I was trained under used to make a similar "apple log" by baking a brioche loaf, removing from the pan and slicing it from the top to about 15mm from the bottom, layering apple slices that had been soaked in a brown sugar, cinnamon, brandy mix, in the slices and baking again in the pan for an extra 10 to 15 minutes. It was then drizzled with a glaze. Sven would then curse and moan for an hour or more as the Argentinian tourists would pitch at the buffet and load their plates with a bit of everything - pork, beef, chicken, vegetables, ice cream, brûlée, apple log - all on the same plate and top it off with a good glug of custard or cream. Quite a disgusting final result to a carefully prepared buffet! This was in the 70's - I hope those tourists learnt some etiquette since.
  8. Yes, it helps maintain the moisture and re-introduces it to the crisp crust, which will equalise and produce a soft bread throughout. The same applies to a Portuguese Roll, which forms a hardened crust which softens if stored in a plastic bag or sealed container - if left in a display basket or bin in a shop (or your home), the bread will remain crisp on the crust and get worse as it stalles.
  9. Make your baguettes as normal but whilst still "just" warm after baking, put them in a plastic box with sealable lid or plastic bag with a clothes peg to seal it. They will be soft when they have cooled and easy to cut and layer with the filling of your choice. I suspect the Subway baguettes will contain a good amount of chemical induces softness and preservatives for "longevity" of the bread, but not necessarily the consumer! I have previously seen "fresh" baguettes being delivered to JFK (if my memory serves me) airport - all delivered in sealed plastic boxes and about 10 to a box. They were then sticking them in their hot oven for about 2 minutes and sold as "freshly baked".
  10. @Ess as far as I am aware, caster sugar and fine sugar are the same. Also, there is no such thing as all-purpose flour in South Africa. Our "cake flour" is as close as you will come to AP flour and the protein is most probably around the same as you would get in Canada, around 10.2%. This is most likely why the recipe has slightly more corn flour than the one quoted by helenjp.
  11. My paternal grandmother was of Scottish decent and as youngsters, she often used to bake shortbread when we visited her on Sundays. It was always delicious and the best shortbread my brother and I had tasted. This actually means very little as we, as kids, had not actually sampled any other shortbread besides that baked by my grandmother! But, as a kid, I remember it to really be delicious. This was in the late fifties and early sixties. Now, many years later and trying a number of different recipes over the years, I have my own recipe which works very well for me and I classify as "okay +" - in other words, not what I remember as being the best, but still reasonably good for what I use it for - Millionaires Shortbread. Your post has had me thinking and I now have gone back to have a look at some of my shortbread recipes from my studies and others that I have gathered over the years. And then I came across a handwritten recipe in my fathers writing that I really cannot remember receiving - he passed away in the 70's. The recipe says "Mothers Scottish shortbread recipe", which I take as being my grandmothers shortbread she used to bake for us. If it is or not, I have no idea, but it is old as it is still in ounces and we change to the metric system in the mid 60's. I have not tried it, as far as I know, but here is the recipe. Shortbread 8oz cake flour 4oz cornflour 6oz butter (all butter here was salted in the 50's and 60's) 4oz caster sugar Sift the dry ingredients onto a pastry board or stone. Place the butter into the centre and gradually mix the dry ingredients into this by hand. Knead until stif but not oily. Press to a thickness of approximately ½ inch into a lightly greased cake tin then un-mould onto an ungreased baking sheet. Carefully crimp the edge between the thumb and forefinger, mark and prick evenly with a fork. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) for about 1 hour. Note: a wooden rectangle mould specially designed for shortbread may be used to produce shortbread fingers. The mould must be floured and the pressed dough carefully removed by tapping the mould gently. Mark, prick and bake as normal. Dust the shortbread with more caster sugar soon after removing from the oven. I do have others from my training as a PC, but we never really made shortbread or my memory is really failing me. I also have a recipe from a British course I did, which is also slightly different, but one I also cannot remember making. These are also from the 60's.
  12. Dispensing fine salt

    A salt grinder?
  13. Just a quick question to the OP - how thick is your dough layer once "pressed into a tray"?
  14. Shortbread needs 100% butter to work properly. The following is a recipe I use when making the shortbread layer for millionaire shortbread, and works for me without a problem. Shortbread: 187g butter 157g caster sugar 210g cake flour 45ml cornflour 3ml salt For the shortbread: Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, cornflour and salt together and mix into the butter and sugar mixture until a stiff dough has formed. Press into a greased and lined 20 x 24cm rectangular Swiss roll tin. Prick with a fork and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (160°C for convection oven) for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 160°C (140°C for convection oven) and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  15. Try the slightest smear of glycerin on the suction cup before applying the cup to the counter surface, which must be bone-dry and degreased.