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Raamo

Baking with Myhrvold's "Modernist Bread: The Art and Science"

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On 2/21/2018 at 5:03 PM, KennethT said:

Unless you're a tomato farmer, that must be one expensive bread!

As if eGullet, cooking, eating, traveling to eat is about saving money!  To quote my son: "your kitchen toys cost more than my car".

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One of our friends checking out my new Giga5 Jura coffee machine remarked ‘probably cost more than my Vespa’!  Which is correct seeing his Vespa was used when he bought it and the Jura was $5000.

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Aish Merahrah (p. 62)

 

This Egyptian flatbread is a mix of wheat and corn flours, heavily seasoned with fenugreek. It otherwise basically works like a pita.

 

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2 hours ago, chefmd said:

As if eGullet, cooking, eating, traveling to eat is about saving money!  To quote my son: "your kitchen toys cost more than my car".

I'm actually not one to talk!  But what made me think about my comment was that many years ago, I made a sauce from Eric Ripert's book " A Return to Cooking" whose base was tomato water.. I just remember being surprised at how many tomatoes I needed to make enough tomato water for enough sauce for 4 people...

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1 hour ago, KennethT said:

I made a sauce from Eric Ripert's book " A Return to Cooking" whose base was tomato water.. I just remember being surprised at how many tomatoes I needed to make enough tomato water for enough sauce for 4 people...

I don't know what Ripert's technique was, or how much liquid you required, but the quantity really isn't that unreasonable in this particular case. I think the recipe calls for 2kg of tomatoes, and you can use the pulp for sauces, etc. once the tomato water is extracted. Of course, if you do grow your own tomatoes and so have a freezer full (my case), it's a handy thing to do with all the liquid they exude when thawing.

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Last night, I was making a levain for some sourdough to make today/bake tomorrow, and stopped in the middle of throwing out the leftover starter. Can I make a "quick" loaf with this? I recalled a fragment on a page in MB about them baking a poolish, to see what happened.  They said it was ok, but better to add some flour, and actually make a dough.  So I put together a dogs breakfast of white, ww, and dark rye flour, water, commercial yeast and some vital wheat gluten, let it autolyse awhile, salt, half-ass kneaded it a bit and let it bulk ferment for ~6hrs, no folds.  Then I shaped it, let it proof for ~4.5 hrs and baked it in the CSO (Bread setting, 30min@450 + 5 min@450 Conv. Bake because I didn't think it was done - it probably was...).  It looked pretty ugly going into the oven, and I over baked it a bit, but the flavour and the crumb were great.  Quite a strong sour taste, which I love.  It's small, ~500g.  Happy with my Frankenbread, all things considered.

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Modernist Focaccia (p. 5•94)

 

The master recipe for Focaccia in MB uses both a liquid levain and a commercial yeast: the Modernist twist also adds soy lecithin and an increased amount of fat to the dough. This results in what is basically a perfect combination of tender, flavorful crumb and crisp crust. Without a doubt the best focaccia I've ever made. I topped mine with green olives in a chile oil, and ate the whole thing well before it had cooled - mandatory, I think.

 

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Ftira (p. 5•34)

 

This light, fluffy, decidedly not flat bread is somehow placed in the "flatbreads" chapter, which appears to be where they decided to categorize their uncategorizables. It is sort of like an overgrown bagel in shape, with an interior leaning more towards the French Lean end of the spectrum. The writeup describes it as a Maltese bread often used for sandwiches, so that's what I am doing with mine. It crisps up beautifully in a hot oven with a thin, crispy exterior basically ideally for robust fillings. In my case I took a cue from the writeup and made a tuna, caper and olive salad.

 

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48-Hour Rye Sourdough Bread (p. 4•374)

 

I've been meaning to try this one for a while, but obviously timing becomes an issue -- this week the stars aligned (and we had a snow day on Thursday!) so I was finally able to give it a go. You make a relatively straightforward 60% wheat/40% dark rye sourdough with a tiny bit of added commercial yeast (plus a bit of ascorbic acid and diastatic malt powder given the long time involved), then put it in the refrigerator for two days. No kneading, no folding, nothing. Take it out of the fridge, shape, and proof overnight. Bake the following day. Truth be told I was expecting a more aggressively sour bread than I ended up with. This is a very nicely flavored rye bread, and it was certainly easy to make, but it wasn't as sour as I was hoping for given the writeup. 

 

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Our induction cooktop is in the shop - managed to stump techs for almost 2 months (of trips to our house) - 2 of the "burners" don't work which means no large burner and thus no bagels... which makes me sad (I have a large pot that's the lye pot).

 

But the white sandwich bread doesn't require any of that, can be mixed in a food processor, and makes amazing toast.  So this is the 5th time or so I've made it, first time with osmotolerant yeast and actual whole milk.

 

The food processor makes it so easy to mix this bread.  The directions say to oil the top of the loaf - but I haven't done that since the first time - it gets plenty dark without any oil on top.

 

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This is the tallest loaf - likely due to the brand new yeast and being properly osmotolerant.

 

I make it on Sunday/Monday, and it lasts us all week - sure it dries out a little bit - but since we're toasting it it's fine.  We always manage to polish it off each week.  It should make great french toast - but yet to try that.

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Can anyone share the books' basic sourdough method? Not for creating a starter, but for building the bread from there. 

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6 hours ago, paulraphael said:

Can anyone share the books' basic sourdough method? Not for creating a starter, but for building the bread from there. 

Sure. Their basic recipe for 1kg of dough is:

  • 480g flour
  • 315g water
  • 195g liquid levain (e.g. 100% hydration)
  • 10g wheat bran
  • 1g diastatic malt powder

Mix together and autolyse 30 minutes. Add

  • 12g salt

If using a machine:

  1. Mix to medium gluten development
  2. Bulk ferment one hour
  3. Perform four-edge fold
  4. Bulk ferment one hour
  5. Perform four-edge fold
  6. Bulk ferment 30 minutes

If by hand:

  1. Mix until homogeneous
  2. Bulk ferment one hour
  3. Four-edge fold
  4. Bulk ferment 30 minutes
  5. Repeat 3 & 4 five more times

After gluten is fully developed, shape, then proof. Lots of proofing options, but in general either

  • 14 hours at 55°F/13°C, or
  • ~24 hours in the refrigerator
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Matcha Green Tea Sourdough (p. 4•74)

 

This is definitely one of the crazier-looking breads in the book. I'm also not quite sure what to do with it. It tastes quite intensely of green tea -- it's not a bad flavor, but I can't really figure out any way to eat it besides just plain or with butter. It doesn't lend itself to cheese, or any other ingredient I can think of. I am definitely open to suggestions here!

 

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Thanks so much, Chris. 

 

I'm curious to compare results to my current methods. It's interesting that they give refrigerator proofing as an option. My sourdough culture just goes to sleep in the fridge ... it would never work. I used to do it all the time with commercial yeast.

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1 hour ago, Chris Hennes said:

Matcha Green Tea Sourdough (p. 4•74)

 

This is definitely one of the crazier-looking breads in the book. I'm also not quite sure what to do with it. It tastes quite intensely of green tea -- it's not a bad flavor, but I can't really figure out any way to eat it besides just plain or with butter. It doesn't lend itself to cheese, or any other ingredient I can think of. I am definitely open to suggestions here!

 

 

Nutella?

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1 hour ago, paulraphael said:

I'm curious to compare results to my current methods. It's interesting that they give refrigerator proofing as an option. My sourdough culture just goes to sleep in the fridge ... it would never work. I used to do it all the time with commercial yeast.

I almost always take the 24-hour refrigerated option: pretty much all of the sourdoughs you see uptopic from me, with the exception of the first one or two, use it. It fits better into my life :) .

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Had a go at the Ciabatta. Didn't have malt syrup so used honey instead. The dough was so wet it had to be poured into the tin (no way it would have worked on a sheet). Overnight proove in the garage and baked this morning.

 

Not as airy as Ciabatta I've bought but tasted amazing toasted with butter and fois gras for lunch.

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Bagel (p. 5•187)

Onion Bagel (p. 5•197)

 

This is my first time making bagels, and this morning when the dough came out of the refrigerator I was pretty sure they were going to be a write-off. The instructions are quite specific to cold-proof uncovered, specifically with the intent of setting the texture of the crust. But that, combined with a low hydration dough with comparatively little yeast in it results in very unappealing, almost unrisen, quite leathery rounds this morning. With nothing to lose, I simply pressed forward. At first my suspicions seems to be confirmed: when dropped into the boiling water they sunk like bricks, and only rose to the surface after 45 seconds or so of boiling (in a lye solution, rather than the more traditional malt syrup method). But they did in fact rise to the surface eventually, and when baked they rose far more than I expected, so most of them are sort of bun-like, with a closed up hole. Clearly my shaping needs some work. Also, despite the starch slurry, I still found it quite difficult to achieve a uniform layer of topping on them. Despite all that, however, the finished product, while something less than beautiful, has a great flavor and texture. I have some work to do, but as a first go I'm quite happy with these.

 

The dough after cold-proofing:

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Plain bagels after baking:

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Onion bagels after baking:

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Finished exterior of the plain (coated in poppy seeds, white and black sesame seeds, and flaxseeds):

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And the onion:

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Finally, the crumb of the onion:

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@Chris Hennes

 

wow

 

are these the the older fashioned bagel that was really chew-ey

 

or the newer ones that are a bit softer and more spongy so they can be cut in 1/2 for a sandwich ?

 

I knew a person on the W.Coast that started a large and successful bagel chain

 

I asked about the difference .

 

bagels had to be able to be made into a sandwich or no one  ( W. Coast ) would buy them

 

the older chewy items were confined to NYC if they still existed at all.

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3 hours ago, rotuts said:

are these the the older fashioned bagel that was really chew-ey or the newer ones that are a bit softer and more spongy so they can be cut in 1/2 for a sandwich ?

 

These are relatively soft -- I didn't try to make them into a sandwich, though, just ate with cream cheese. Your fillings would need to be pretty robust, the crust on the bagel has some bite to it.

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On 3/3/2018 at 4:33 PM, Kerry Beal said:

Nutella?

You'd think after all these years I would know better than to doubt @Kerry Beal's sense for eclectic flavor combinations, but I have to admit I was skeptical. However, I gave this a try this afternoon and it was pretty good. I'm not really a big Nutella eater, but the flavor combination of chocolate, hazelnuts, and matcha was pretty effective, if a bit unexpected. Thanks, Kerry!

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22 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

 

This is my first time making bagels, [..]

 

 

Its funny how relatable your post is.  Only difference is I dived straight into the modernist version.  Doubts over cold proofing, sinking in the lye, poor forming.  The whole shebang.  I wonder why sinking is a problem?

 

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1 hour ago, repiv said:

I wonder why sinking is a problem?

Presumably it's because they aren't rising as much as a normal recipe would due to the skin that forms. As the skin softens in the water, and they begin to heat up, they eventually lose enough density to float. Really, having them not floating makes for a more even heat distribution, so it's not a problem I'd be inclined to solve anyway!

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Parker House Rolls (p. 4•316)

 

These are exactly what I think of when I think of a "dinner roll" -- light, fluffy, a tiny bit sweet, perfect torn in half and spread with butter, or just used to sop up whatever they are served with. I over-proofed mine a bit (I was making lasagne at the same time, which is always a slower process than I anticipate!) so they browned quite a bit faster than expected. I popped them out of their pan onto a cooling rack and slid them back into the oven upside down while I was baking the lasagne to make sure they were cooked all the way through.

 

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