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

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Steamed Buns (KM p. 388)


This is  pretty typical recipe for steamed buns, although they go to great pains to point out that you can really steam pretty much any bread recipe. Of course you don't end up with a crisp crust, but sometimes that's desirable (I guess. Maybe.). Filling these is optional, but I made a sort of Sichuan-esque filling with black beans, chili oil, Sichuan peppercorns, dark and light soy sauce, and shaoxing. Overall I was happy with them: I've never been to China so can't compare to the buns there, but they were certainly as good as any I've had in the US. Bonus points for being one of the few breads where eating them directly after baking doesn't brand you a barbarian.






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Ancient Grain Bread: Durum, Barley, and Quinoa (KM p. 105)


20% durum wheat flour, 10% each barley and quinoa flours, and the balance high-gluten bread flour. Inclusions are toasted flax seeds and sprouted brown rice. I've never thought to sprout rice before, and the book doesn't actually contain any instructions for that one. They have a long list of other grains to sprout, but despite a recipe calling for it, no info on sprouting rice. It turns out it's much slower than the other grains, or perhaps needs to be soaked longer. I actually started sprouting the rice the Tuesday before last, and it was just now ready as an inclusion this weekend. I soaked it for 12 hours and then followed the usual procedure of rinsing twice per day, but it took a long time to germinate. At any rate, it worked fine as an inclusion, but was overshadowed by the toasted flax seeds, both in terms of flavor and texture (not to mention appearance). Overall the bread is quite good, I'll probably make this combination again.





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Ancient Grain Bread: Spelt,  Dark Rye, and Bulgur (KM p. 105)


This week's entry is 25% spelt, 10% dark rye, and 5% bulgur. I couldn't find bulgur wheat as a flour, so I ground it myself in the blender, then sifted it through a fine mesh. The inclusion is toasted amaranth, and the topping is amaranth, which makes a tremendous mess; probably even more so than millet. The bread is quite good: a nice texture and good flavor from the spelt. I didn't pick up much in the way of rye flavor, though. 10% is probably below the lower limit of detectability, to my palate anyway. That's probably true of a lot of these ancient grain blends: it's obvious there is something different in each of them, but the exact blend is not discernible. I will probably play around some with going the whole 40% as a single grain to isolate the tastes of the individual grains. Next week's entry will be predominantly buckwheat, which they have a recipe for. After that, we'll see...





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