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Is there a discussion in the book about the purpose of adding ascorbic acid? I just saw the contest #2 in which the recipe called for it. I'm curious because a woman I know on the internet used to work in a bakery in Vietnam, and said that to get similar results to the banh mi there, you need to add ascorbic acid. Does it act as a gluten relaxer? Traditional banh mi have a very tender and crisp crust, and a very light and tender, relatively closed crumb.
By Tuber magnatum
Having experienced the "Edible Balloon" dessert at Alinea, I have been on a quest to try this at home. Only recently was I able to find purportedly a recipe:
https://www.buzzfeed.com/raypajar1/these-edible-helium-balloons-are-dessert-from-the-future?utm_term=.ut6r3PnMk#.acGNVWmd6 the video of which is found below.
I tried this and probably no surprise, it failed. The bubble collapsed / popped with only a little distension. I wasn't sure if the problem was that a "secret" ingredient (e.g. some kind of surfactant to stabilise the bubble or using a different kind of sugar) was missing. Or maybe I didn't allow the mix to come to correct temperature etc. Elsewhere I thought I had read that the original recipe was in effect some kind of taffy. Has anyone else had success, or do any candy makers /modernist chefs, have suggestions they are willing to share?
By Dave the Cook
Modernist Bread is out now, but maybe you haven't taken the plunge. Here's your chance to win your own copy, courtesy of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Cooking Lab has provided us with a couple of other prizes that will go to a second and third winner: second place will win an autographed poster and calendar, and third place will receive an autographed poster. They are also providing an autographed bookplate for the first place winner's copy of Modernist Bread. The rules are simple: we are going to post recipes from the book that the team at The Cooking Lab has graciously provided for this purpose. To enter into the contest, you need to bake one or more of these recipes and post about them in the official contest topics by the end of November 2017. Winners will be drawn at random from those posting pictures and descriptions of their completed loaves. Complete rules and other details can be found here.
For part two, we're featuring another cornerstone recipe from the book: Direct Country-Style Bread. The only leavener here is instant yeast, so production time is considerably shortened. The relative lack of flavor compared to long-proofed doughs is offset by the use of whole grains. Courtesy of The Cooking Lab, here's that recipe (extracted from the book and reformatted for purposes of this contest):
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and I think I have a plan.
I was keen on cooking the turkey sous vide, but have been vetoed by my a family member- "you can't feed grandma that bacteria-laden turkey! it never got hot!"
I've tried to explain the process, and the safety, but I conceided. I'm cooking for a bunch of traditionalists, so I'm trying to keep it interesting, yet familiar and not too out of the box.
I think I may have a more interesting plan now anyway.
It goes like this-
Break down the bird (from my CSA with Allandale Farm in Boston, MA, removing the breast skin in-tact
break down the carcass, pan-roast it, and make stock.
Make a tenderloin by stacking the breasts and glueing with Activa RM, and wrapping with the skin.
two questions on this front:
How long can the rolled "tenderloin" sit before cooking- can I roll it out 24 hours before showtime?
Is there a decent way to add some flavor between the breasts- chopped sage/thyme, etc. or will this negatively affect the process? Will it cook OK?
Braise the dark meat, following this Daniel Boulud recipe (ish.)
Confit the wings. I currently have a test batch curing overnight, rubbed with a ton of salt, thyme, bay leaf, clove, tellicherry peppercorns, garlic, and some juniper. Picked up 7.5# tub of Hudson Valley Foie Gras duckfat for the cook.
In addition, I'm going to do some truffled mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup with some smoked duck breast, and some veg- brussel sprouts, and something to keep the kids happy. Also pondering family-style (really partner-style) mac and cheese in some very small le crusets, following the Hattie's recipe.
Is it worth brining the bird?
I'm looking for reactions to this plan, and any improvements possible, or a good old-fashioned critique.
HOST'S NOTE: This post and those that follow were split off from the pre-release discussion of Modernist Bread.
Figured I don't need to dump all this into the contest thread - so I'll post here. My journey to making my first MC loaf.
Her's the poolish after >12 hours:
Not pictured - water with yeast in it below the bread flour and poolish
That went into the mixer and not long later I had a shaggy mass:
That rested for a while - then mixed until medium gluten formation - a window pane that was both opaque and translucent (no picture for that slightly messy part)
Folded and rested, folded and rested, I think this is 1/2 the mass now ready to rest one final time.
Proofed it in the oven - I have a picture of that but it's just foggy window oven
Then it went into the oven, here it is at max temp - 450 with steam turned on.
And the crumb - this is awesome bread:
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