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Everything posted by bakerboy

  1. pesto, plum tomato pre-bake
  2. Other popular pies roasted eggplant,fresh oregano. Pre-bake
  3. hopefully this pic come out
  4. rich et al. If Wilmington De. is considered "in the area", then i'll throw my hat into the ring. I own Black Lab Breads, a bakery on union st. in wilm. de. It was formerly Difonzos bakery. they were known for their tomato pie, soooo i had to continue making the tomato pie. Well, i didn't HAVE to, but the neighborhood really, really wanted me too. The problem was i really never liked tomato pie... at all. Every version seemed to consist of bread dough pressed into a sheet pan, sauced and baked, producing a rather heavy doughy piece of pie with a wet layer of dough under the sauce called a "gumline" Anyway, our dough is a focaccia base. We bake it directly on the hearth stone giving a very crisp bottom, an open holey interior and a top with very little or no gumline. comes about an inch to inch an a half thick I found out one thing real quick: Old school italians do NOT like change!!! The vast majority, however, like it much better. I have some pics of the pie and the dough (i know i do, somewhere) that are being uploaded to the website. If i can dig them up, i'll post 'em. ciao.
  5. I didn't really "get" the selection of micheal as the winner. I think micheal can cook better than ralph (thats certainly debateable), but thats not the whole story to me anyway. the winner was to be given a restaurant to run. Micheal is a line dog. He belongs in the kitchen, not in front of people. I guess what i'm trying to say is i think Ralph could run a restaurant. He can cook, expedite, serve, and i'll bet he'd make a hell of a maitre'd. He just seemed to have charm and charisma where micheal didn't, and won't. There is so much more to running a restaurant than cooking. I was dissappointed that the show only focused on the kitchen. Its a good thing micheal took GR's offer because he's not the person to "run a restaurant" They may have picked the best COOK on the show, but imho, ralph is the complete package.....and i must be the only one who LOVED the way he was selling that porterhouse on the street, even tho the ribs had to be better, he stepped up and really tried to sell it. Hey, if your not gonna sell your product, who will? p.s. Did anyone notice that ralphs wife was a piece of a$$. How did HE land THAT! gotta be the charm, baby.
  6. Love this topic. nice to see others who like tequila, as opposed to those who lick a mouthful of salt, choke down the shot, and stuff a lime in their mouth to kill the taste. Is tequila and grapefruit soda such as fresca a natural mix or what? Sauza blanco, squeeze of lime, splash of fresca, lotsa ice. Alphaiii, i'm with ya on squirt being too sweet. Ting is also too sweet for me. something perfect about fresca, imho. I don't drink too many anejos, i'm a reposado drinker most of the time but i really like the silvers more and more. I haven't found many tequilas i don't like, burt there are a few. Milagro rep., correlejo rep., and all Jose Cuervo stuff. The exception i make is for the cuervo Traditional. I like this and its priced nice (about $22.00 here in Pa.) incidentally, my wife and i are opening a bakery and had a big argument over when my oven would be built. i said it would be done by the end of the week. she said she'd bet anything it wouldn't. the bet was a case of Cabo Wabo. It was the first thing out of my mouth. well...
  7. My wife had dinner at the italian place across from deep blue called mezza notte(hope i spelled it right) and both her and her girlfriend were thrilled. They were supposed to eat at restaurant 821, but it was very crowded and they decided to go to deep blue instead but on the way they decided to give mezza notte a try. They were glad they did. I am also reopening the DiFonzos Bakery on Union St. Opening is set for July. The Union St. area used to have several good bakeries, now there are but a few. This was the last of the old world style "bread" bakeries. Incidentally, is anyone from the Del. part of this board attending the "Meals from the Masters" event tonite? It benefits "Meals on Wheels" and its at the Bank One Center on the waterfront. Tickets are $70.00 ea. at the door....which is a little expensive but it will be a fun night for a good cause.
  8. I enjoy reading this blog. lots of good points made about our crazy industry. One thing for sure, if you wanna stay, grow a nice thick skin. In places i've worked if someone asked a question like "how do i crack an egg" it not only would have gotten a funny response but i feel quite certain that this employee would have been known as "egghead" from then on. guys at one bakery thought i looked like Tom Jones, the singer. countless times i walked into the shaping room at the bakery to the singing of "Its not unusual..." And i don't look anything like that assclown!! point being we had alot of laughs at my expense.
  9. A pizza screen is a round screen which an uncooked pizza is placed on before it goes into the oven. It helps to better brown the bottom crust. These are usually (but not exclusively) used in pizza shops that have a tunnel oven which is a large commercial oven where a large chain conveyor bakes the pizza as it goes from one end to the other. Pizza goes in one end raw and comes out the other end baked. Some like to reheat a slice or two on a screen, that works pretty well. I personally like using a pizza stone. i don't care for pizza baked in a tunnel oven, which is how most of the big chains do it. Too doughy and not crisp enough IMHO.
  10. I think that the difference is mainly in the handling of the agave pina, regional differences aside. tequila is made from agave pinas that have been pressure cooked then crushed and fermented. Mezcaleros build a pit and roast the agave with a wood fire which imparts the classic smoky flavor that mezcals seem to have....at least this is how the thirsty traveler explained it. I'm learning to like mezcal, but i LOVE tequila
  11. If your unimpressed with quarry tiles, and some that you find in the "home depots" are a bit thin for my likeing, try seeing if any of the quarrys in your area will cut you a piece of soapstone to fit your oven. its a bit more expensive but its usually sold in thicker pieces than quarry tile and i like that.
  12. I can second miki motos and washington st ale house. as far as japanese goes, Utage is a nice spot, small, intimate, but not in an expensive way. There are also lots of places on Union St: Union St Grill, dead presidents,Walters steak house, and Eclipse. There are 2 thai places also on Union St: Pan Thai (OK) and Bangcock house(recomended). Also Madelines on N. Dupont St.(basic italian) and Mona Lisa on Lincoln St.(never been, heard good things.)
  13. pftaylor, it sounds like you really did your homework on patsy's. While i've never had patsy's pizza, i did run an artisan pizza shop for 3 years so i'll put my .02 in. I think your right on all 9 points except #5. I'll really don't think they use a starter. More than likely they're using either yeast and/or leftover dough to rise their product, and i'd probably bet on the extra dough given the fact that you know they're cold proofing overnite. we also cold proofed overnite and when we tried to use a straight yeast method we found that our dough tended to overproof even in the cold box. We used high gluten, 60% hydration. you can hydrate further but again we found that this could potentially lead to overproofing and excessive "bubbles" in the dough while in the oven. We found that letting the stretched pie relax for 15 to 20 min. before topping gave us a thin line of what we called "insulation" separating the crunchy bottom layer from the toppings. Nothing worse in my opinion than a pizza thats 10 min. out of the oven and becomes a sloppy mess. Salt, maybe the most important ingredient. We used 16 oz. for a 50 lb. bag of flour. I'm unsure of your 800F grill, i've never done that but i've found that a 550F pizza stone works wonders. Last point, don't overthink the dough production part. High gluten, 60% hydration, well salted, cold proof, leavened with rising dough. We put alot of time into our dough moreso than the sauce or cheese...which isn't saying we skimped on those or that they're not important. What i found was that the vast majority of pizza shops do things on the cheap...big time. i know people who have run pizza shops for 20 years and haven't put the thought and attention into their product that you have. I think the next phase of your project is "trial and error". You just might find you like YOUR pizza better than patsy's. B.
  14. thanks for your input guys. If i'm feeling ambitious i'm going to make one omitting the yolks and one with the yolks. Bri: i will definately get the yolks and sugar over a double boiler. JSk: i'm with ya on bagging the yolks altogether, just curious to see if there is actually a difference in taste or texture WITH them, or were they just being used as a vehicle for the gelatin...badly i might add. thanks again.
  15. Volunteered to make a cake for a friend of mine...cause i always volunteer, much to the chagrin of my wife. She wants a cheesecake. Sure, no problem. "Can you make THIS cheesecake" She hands me a recipe that looks a bit screwy. I'm going to make it but it needs a bit of help, improvement maybe. Here's the recipe: Cream cheese 1 lb. Sugar 3.5 oz Vanilla 1Tbsp. Egg yolks 3 Sugar 1 oz Gelatin(gelee bavaroise) 3 Tbsp. White chocolate(melted) 4.5 oz heavy cream 1 pint Raspberries 1pint Cream first three ingredients. Whip yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix melted white chocolate with cream cheese mixture. Dissolve gelatin in water, blend into yolk mixture. Combine cheese mixture with yolk mixture. Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks, fold into cheese/yolk mixture. Fold in raspberries. Scrape into prepared pan and refrigerate until set. Ok. I've set lots of stuff with gelatin but i can honestly say i've never made a "no bake" cheesecake. i just always figured that was cheating and i really like a well baked cheesecake. Anyway, there are about four things that jump out at me as potential problems: 1. yolks and sugar whipped. I know at least 2 of the women at this get together are pregnant. i think it would be rude to make something with raw egg product. Besides that, i looked around and couldn't find one recipe that called for any egg in a no bake cake. If there IS a reason for this i'd like to know. Omit? 2. gelee bavaroise. I actually have this. its instant gelatin. Got it from Assoline and Ting. Does this need to be dissolved in water? When i make bavarians i usually just stir it into my pastry cream when its warm. 3. i'll probably whip the cream to soft peaks. 4. There is no mention of a crust for this cake. I have two ideas: oreo cookie crumb or macadamia crust. life is too short for graham crackers. This recipe looks like it will fit into a 10" springform. i would greatly appreciate any comments or sugestions.
  16. aaaahh, now THATS cornbread. Those are some great shots. i love good southern cornbread. I do not like sweet "cake like" cornbread. Occasionally i'll crumble in some of the cooked bacon into the batter. My grandfather made cornbread this exact way.(sans the grain mill, which is very cool by the way. Gotta get me one of those.) He would break some cornbread into chunks in a glass and cover it with buttermilk and eat it with a spoon....which is to this day one of my favorite ways to eat cornbread. Okay, now i'm going to have to summon the hillbilly in me and make some cb. nice photos dood.
  17. Andrew: We tried NOT to customize baguettes if at all possible....because it was a real pain. We tride to bake consistently, walk that fine (ever changing) line. For the most part, if the drivers had been working their route for any amount of time, they KNEW who wanted what. They KNEW that if they take the nice crispy brown baguettes (or whatever loaf) to "X" sandwich shop...they're gonna scream. So they would go through and find "light" colored baguettes. After all was packed (retail and wholesale) the remaining bread that was left, and there was almost always bread left because you always made a little extra in case someone messes up, was divided up and sent to the retail shops. So if they had a really bad night or they were training someone new on the ovens, the bread that was left and divided up for the retail shops could be less that stellar. I've see alot worse that Mrbigjas' baguette. that bag was underdone and someone picked it up by the end and it bent in the middle. The crust had not set enough for it to crack and THEN bend. But the "shine" mrbigjas spoke of was done on purpose. The deck ovens are steam injected which helps set and give a nice shine on the loaf.
  18. Just let a peice of risen focaccia dough rest for 15min, stud with grapes, goat cheese, and rosemary, drizzle some olive oit and sprinkle with some raw sugar. give 15 or 20 min. rest and bake. Its quite nice, like you said. A few Anise seeds are nice too.
  19. Hate to be late on this thread but i managed the metropolitan bakery for a few years. i made, shaped and baked a zillion of those baguettes and heres the rub; Its a constant bitch fest with the baguettes. I like them dark and crispy, but thats ME. Accounts were always bitching. some want them dark, crispy. Some want them not so dark but not too light. Others don't want to see any color at all..or its overdone/burnt. Accounts that want to use them for sandwiches don't want the ends tapered to a point, they want them rounded so they can get four nice sandwiches from a single baguette without having to throw out the "burnt" ends. Personally, the crispy ends are the best part to me. So thats the deal. Its the same in any shop. Its just really hard to please everyone all the time, but thats what you gotta do. And the bitches are legitimate for the most part, people want what they want. So it comes down shaping them properly, knowing how many bags you need, to whom their going to, and try to bake accordingly. Now, you bust your ass and bake everything right but the packers get there and don't pay attention to the bread their packing and indiscrimintley pack the product(grab and go), your work could be for nothing. Let not forget that it very simply could have been the the oven guy just didn't give a shit and only wanted to get'em in and get 'em out. Its a challenge to find someone to work that 7pm to 3am shift .
  20. rascal. Just warm the sauce through. i usually heat all the ingredients until warm and then (off heat) add my butter which i have cut up into peices. swirl this until the butter melt and it will emulsify nicely. If the sauce needs a little extra heat to melt the butter just microwave it for a few sec. The sauce doesn't need to be hot, just warm. My wings come right out of the fryer and into the sauce, not ALL of the sauce, just enough to coat the screaming hot wings. i found the wings stay crispier longer than drowning them. you can always add more. This is a bulk wing sauce recipe that i made WAY too many times in college. Just found it yesterday digging through old stuff. Thought i'd share. Wing Sauce 3 gal. durkee red hot 1.5 #10 cans tomato paste 5 lb. butter 6 oz. tabasco 2 Tbsp. white pepper 2 Tbsp. celery salt 2 Tbsp. poultry seasoning. Warm all ingredients until combined. place in containers for service. Now, i never questioned the recipe as a college hack, but when i pulled this recipe out i thought "why the 6 oz of tabasco when you already have 3 gal. of other hot sauce" On the other hand, they were damn good wings. if you've ever been to a penn state football game, you've probably had them.
  21. jgarner, that is a really nice loaf, especially for doing it in a home oven. i wouldn't get too carried away and start making big changes in your method when your clearly on the right track. I too give my dough a shaped cold overnight rise. This develops a mild sour (i hate to use that word because its not REALLY sour) and really helps develop the flavor of the grain....but this is how my customers like it. i've found that when they get that REAL sour on their tongues, they don't like it. i found this out because i started cold overnighting my starter for use in the next days dough which would in turn be bulk risen (at room temp.) and given a cold overnight shaped rise. This made my dough noticably more sour without me having to change the recipe. I liked it, but it just wasn't what my peoples wanted. ps. go ahead and stuff that loaf with sausage and peppers, cmon, go ahead.
  22. yes ludja, i do that sometimes with cheaper tequilas. The better tequilas i like to sip with a sangrita on the side....but i like that name "vampiro". Its better that "mexican bloody mary" which is what i call it.
  23. I actually bought some blood oranges a while back and was playing with recipes. my drink of choice is tequila and am a big fan of sangrita. My base recipe for sangrita has always been equal parts of tomato juice and orange juice. Sunday night, had a few friends over and made my sangrita with blood orange juice instead of regular OJ. Wow. It not only tasted good but it looked fantastic. Tomato juice 2 Cups Blood orange juice 2 Cups Onion(minced) 1/8 cup Red jalapeno 1 (roasted) Lime juice 2 Tbsp salt pepper Throw all this in a blender and buzz. I've tried this with all kinds of different ingredients and there's alot of recipes for sangrita out there. I don't care for sangritas made with grenadine, just a personal preference. The blood orange juice gave it a great color as well as a nice fruitiness. I topped each chaser with a bit of cilantro.
  24. yeah, i definately wouldn't add more leavening. Thats not going to accomplish anything. If i were to do over i would bake it in a different pan (sheet or round). If i had to bake it in a loaf pan i would preheat my oven to 350F and lower the temp to 325 and bake it at least 20 extra min. My oven thermometer read 348 when i put the cake in. Its an older oven so i double checked it. Actually, dishing this batter into a muffin tin and baking it at say 375F for 15 or 20 min. just might give you some nice little molten chocolate cakes.
  25. Heres a pic of the cake after it was cooled and cut. I'm afraid that if i had bake this until it was done at the recomended 350F, it would have been overdone. As it was, the cake was starting to get overdone around the edges at the 50 min. mark. ....and yeah, it was really good, for turning out so lousy
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