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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.
I like to make roasted eggplant/aubergine for baba gahanouj, bharta (etc.) on coals that impart a wonderful smoky flavour. I've had good success doing it in a barbecue (actually a Big Green Egg). So, now that it's winter, I thought "why not try it in the fireplace, after the fire has burnt down to glowing coals?" I cut a few slits in the eggplant so that it wouldn't explode, did NOT wrap it in foil, thinking that would just seal out the smoky flavour, and popped it into the fireplace (with glass doors) for 15 min. It came out looking good, perhaps a little under-cooked, but basically OK. The taste was TERRIBLE - very strong flavour of fire place ash. I only had a couple of bites, despite my Methodist ancestors looking disapprovingly over my shoulder, because it really was bad. So has anyone else tried this? I'd like to make it work. Should the eggplant be wrapped in foil? Should I wait until the coals have died down further? Does it depend on the type of wood? This was mainly aspen - crappy firewood at best, but it was free (Methodist ancestors won this time.).
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.)
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:
I got my copy of Eleven Madison Park: The Next-Chapter earlier this year and have enjoyed reading through it several times.
As a result, I have been considering getting the version published in 2011 for Christmas, however, I am not sure if it is a duplicate of the recipe book included with the next chapter set.
So I am wondering if somebody has access to both if they would be able to advise me whether the recipes are duplicated between the two books.
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