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DougL

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  1. I've been using Monin and Routin flavored syrups for my lattes, and I'm disappointed that they often curdle the milk. It's the acidity. Now, Monin says that only their citrus flavor might do that, but that's not the case. One suggestion is to mix the syrup with the coffee before adding the milk, instead of adding the syrup directly to the milk, but that seems to curdle the milk as well. So, what's the solution? I'm tempted to try adding a pinch of baking soda to the cup to deacidify, but I'm concerned that will impart a yucky flavor.
  2. I never said there was any resounding endorsement of bread flour. Just that it was said that you could use it. Many do.
  3. But it would be nice to know what I should be feeling. I guess it's just a matter of experimentation. Very good point about bread flour soaking up more water. That's exactly right that the extra gluten (which is a protein) has that property.
  4. https://lmgtfy.app/#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=pancakes "bread flour" Yes, many say that you can use it, but it is often admitted that the texture you end up with may be a little different.
  5. These are all good suggestions. Thank you. Now, I'll say again that it is reported that bread flour should work fine. In fact, a higher gluten content is going to make it easier for the batter to hold on to its bubbles, so one might think it would even work better. But I'll try AP. Now, that being said, I think I've convinced myself that my batter was just too loose. As noted here a set flour/liquid ratio probably isn't wise, because different flours take hydration differently. So I guess I'd like to understand how to establish the right batter thickness. You'd like to believe there is a TEST that one can do to know if the batter thickness is right. As in, you keep adding liquid until you get that thickness. Of course, batters tend to thicken with time, which complicates things a bit. Ideas anyone? There is a "gravity flow test" with syringes (yowch!), and I think you can look at how fast the batter flows off of a fork. There is also a test where you stand a stick in the batter and see how long it takes to fall over!
  6. Well, OK, but there are a lot of posts online that says that bread flour should be OK. Also, I NEVER use cake flour for anything. I'll use milk instead of sour cream and yogurt, but that won't be as acidic. Acidity is important if you're using baking soda, but not really for baking powder. Your recipe calls for a very small amount of leavening, maybe half that of most recipes. I have a hard time understanding how that contributes to fluffiness. I'd agree that a thicker batter may be the solution.
  7. So, I'm stumped. I can't seem to make fluffy pancakes. They come out kinda flat. I use the standard baking powder/flour ratio (1 tbsp/2 cups, with fresh baking powder!). I usually use bread flour, but sometimes all-purpose. What's the trick? My baking powder biscuits and breads always come out great.
  8. DougL

    Rice in a slow cooker?

    If you spend a little time typing, you could tell me how they are different. I know they're "not nearly the same". I just don't know how they are different. I'm determined to read the instructions on rice that I buy in the supermarket. You are determined to tell me those instructions are wrong. I think we're done here.
  9. DougL

    Rice in a slow cooker?

    I happened upon some research that suggested that arsenic levels in rice can be pretty high. One way to reduce those levels is to soak the rice overnight and drain the water. Then cook with a 5:1 ratio of water to rice for 15 minutes, and then pour off the extra liquid. Hah. BonAppetit calls for 2:1 for long grain, with 2.5:1 for brown rice. In fact, they say "If you don't add enough water, the rice will be underdone and likely burn on the bottom before it's done gently steaming. If you add too much water, the rice will be sodden, mushy, and overcooked." Now, it is VERY interesting that the water:rice ratios for rice cookers are quite different than for stovetop or slow cookers. I had never researched this before, and I don't use a rice cooker, but I'm seeing 1.5:1 or 1:1 as noted. So I'm baffled. How does a rice cooker work so differently than a stovetop or slow cooker? I mean, it's just all about heat, no? I KNOW how to make great long grained rice on the stovetop, and the ratio is 2:1. Period. I believe it also has to do with evaporation, so the longer you cook, the more water you have to allow to be evaporated. That doesn't make perfect sense, because stovetop rice cooks very fast, and there can be little evaporation. As a result, you shouldn't need extra water.
  10. DougL

    Rice in a slow cooker?

    OK, I think I get "long grain converted rice" here in the U.S. The directions on the package say 2:1, and all the slow cooker for rice reassurances on the web give the same water:rice ratio. See, for example, http://www.food.com/recipe/perfect-crock-pot-rice-16465. Or here http://www.livestrong.com/article/458453-how-to-cook-rice-in-a-slow-cooker/. That's fascinating that in China, the 1:1 ratio is standard. I have the Rival crockpot cookbook, and what it actually says about rice is that if you're adding it to some other recipe, add the same amount of water with it. That's a little different than just cooking plain rice. Yes, I absolutely agree that you can't necessarily trust things on the web, but there are loads of people who claim that you can prepare rice in a slow cooker. You can! It just doesn't come out very well, at least for me, and I'd like to understand why.
  11. DougL

    Rice in a slow cooker?

    Plain white rice is the cheap white rice you get in the supermarket. Spend a few milliseconds on the web, and you'll see beaucoup reassurances that slow cookers are GREAT for making rice. I "get" slow cookers, and use them for a lot of things, but I never tried making rice with them. Contrary to these reassurances, I am not impressed. Nobody said it was "better" with a slow cooker, but there are a lot of conveniences in using one. The 2:1 is the standard water:rice ratio for just about any rice I've ever heard of.
  12. OK, everyone says that rice is GREAT when made in a slow cooker. I tried it on HIGH several times, and it cooks up well in 2.5-3 hours, but is quite sticky. Sure not fluffy. Nothing like stove-top rice. I'm using plain white rice. I'm using the standard 2:1 water:rice, with salt. I don't lubricate the sides with butter, because it doesn't burn or stick to the sides. I did that once, and wondered if I needed to. Did it again without the butter, and it worked fine. But sticky every time. As in, sticking to itself. The rice spoons out in big clumps. Is there a trick? I've heard about people who rinse their rice, to get the excess starch off (sort of a PIA), and I've heard about people who only add the rice to the water once it has heated up. Not clear if these things are done to make fluffy rice, though.
  13. Just a basic stir fry of the collards leaves them quite tender. I don't associate "long cooking" with collards at all. Unless maybe you're trying to render the thick central stem more edible? But virtually all recipes for collards call for that stem to be trimmed away. I don't think anyone is suggesting that collards originated in the southern U.S. They were brought over from Europe. But I'm wondering what other vegetables are a local "staple" that actually grow better somewhere else.
  14. Well, let's just say that collards are considered a southern *staple*. Look it up. Not so in the north. We actually don't use them mixed with meats, as southern cuisine would have them. They are great stir fried in some oil, ending up a lot like more tasty spinach. Put some ginger and or garlic in too. We also use them routinely as a salad green, though they are much more nutritious than most lettuce. In fact, their nutritional value is comparable in many respects to kale but, in my mind, they taste less bitter. Though they both grow well in cold weather, it's true that kale is a bit more freeze hardy, and collards are more accepting of some warmth. I just find it surprising that such a good vegetable is considered "southern" as in, it doesn't really belong in the mouths of northerners except those who want to "go southern". It sounds, however, like collards are indeed successfully moving north in some areas.
  15. Thank you all. Fascinating. Interesting that you can get them in Canada. I was in Portland and Seattle and never saw them there. They are in every single supermarket in Texas though. Yes, it makes sense that they came to the New World with slaves, but it's a bit odd that their use hasn't migrated northward. As I said, they grow wonderfully in cold climates and, in fact, they'll go to seed pretty quickly when the weather warms up. Then again they may have a reputation connected to southern slavery, and perhaps as a poor man's vegetable, which may make them culturally unfavored up north.
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