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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.
We have a local Italian bakery my mom loves, but they are very expensive and hard for her to get to. She also really likes cookbooks (she reads them even if she never cooks from them ) so I was thinking for her birthday I could get her a cookbook that has similar cookies and cakes, and offer to make a few things for her on request also.
I'll obviously look myself, but eGullet is always well informed about the quality of cookbooks so I wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations. The thing about the Italian bakery is that the stuff they make seems to me to be not as sweet as classic American recipes, and often have more complex flavors and also are usually on the light end for whatever the item is. (Like even something that's intended to be dense doesn't have a very heavy sensation in the mouth.)
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with a manual tortilla machine / maker. I am not talking about a tortilla press. This machine basically takes a batch of masa dough that is placed on top, through a roller with a cutter, using a hand crank. The machine will flatten and cut uniform size tortillas. I've been looking at the Monarca brand. The reviews seem to be below average. I'm trying to find ways to shave some labor dollars without sacrificing quality. Our restaurant goes through an average of 300 to 500 tortillas a day depending on business. Thanks for your help!
'Our menu is based on Mexican and Latin American flavors, therefor we can't not have fresh guacamole. We fly through the stuff!! One recipe uses 72 avocados which yields about 20 quarts of guacamole. We go through this amount almost every day. On top of having someone (or a couple of) people pressing fresh tortillas, we are spending a lot of time on this menu item. I can't think of any way to make the guacamole less labor intensive without sacrificing the quality. I have considered table side, or to-order made guac. Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks!
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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