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Chris Amirault

Baking 101

331 posts in this topic

P.S. .... Try making your pizza dough with bread flour instead of all purpose.... more gluten = chewier dough.

The only problem is that more gluten makes the dough a PITA to shape, at least if you're trying to make the dough really thin.

Somewhere here there is a pizza dough thread, which turned me on to pizzamaking, where I discovered that if you put the dough in the fridge for 24 hours, even pizza dough made with bread flour can be turned into pizza without a major fight! Yes!

At last - pizza independence!

If you can remember to make the dough 24 hours in advance :-)


Lynn

Oregon, originally Montreal

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "holy shit! ....what a ride!"

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Let me add that it didn't sink and become a pancake. It was better than edible, and recognizable as a sponge cake. Is it possible, that like a chiffon, that it had to cool WHILE clinging to the pan so that it wouldn't sink?

I didn't follow the instructions to line with parchment, as I'd just run out. I just buttered and floured the non-stick pan.

Thanks Wendy.

Ahhhh, a couple things I see now that you wrote that.

1. Don't use a non-stick pan for baking a sponge cake. And don't butter and flour the pan either. (you'd have been better to change pans if you didn't have any parchement and choose a pan you could de-pan it from.......like a two piece ring mold.....)

2. It needs to cling to the sides of the pan as it rises in the oven and while it cools.

Has anybody besides me noticed how much harder it is becoming to find plain, not non-stick baking pans?

I did finally find a source, and if I'm not the only one who hates non-stick for almost everything (I do have a couple of cookie sheets that are functional), I'll dig up the link and post it ... maybe that's something everybody knows.

One of the things I need is some square pans, and I was shocked at the price of them. I am mystified that square pans would be more expensive than round ones, but I guess I can survive a while longer. But all I can find locally is non-stick.

Blech ...


Lynn

Oregon, originally Montreal

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "holy shit! ....what a ride!"

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A large egg = 1/4 cup.

What about a jumbo egg?

I can't find the information and I am using a cookbook that calls for jumbo eggs.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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A large egg = 1/4 cup.

What about a jumbo egg?

I can't find the information and I am using a cookbook that calls for jumbo eggs.

A large egg is generally not 1/4C in volume. I remember RLB giving a value soomewhere around 3.5T. I'll check when I get home.

According to this primer on eggs (PDF file), it takes about 5 whole large eggs to make a cup, and 4 jumbo eggs to make a cup. And it takes 14 large and 11 jumbo yolks to make a cup.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Patrick, in my experience, 1 large egg usually measures very close to 1/4 cup if not always touching the red line on the glass. I suspect the approximation is fine for pancakes and pasta dough, but precision best for pastry.

Thanks for the primer and the answer I sought.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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FWIW, I checked RLB when I got home, and she gives 3T+0.5t as the volume for 1 large egg, which is >20% less than 1/4C.


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Am I the only one who needs help from you guys?

Could figure this out myself, but thought I'd ask since you might think of something that hasn't occurred to me.

I am baking this cookie from our much missed Alberto. Scroll down for the picture of the Sicilian cookies with a bit of pistachio sandwiched between the chocolate.

The thing is, the pistachio cream (nuts & sugar only) doesn't harden and I really don't want the two halves of the cookie to slide around. So I was thinking of these alternatives:

1) Chop the chocolate and incorporate it into the dough. Shape the dough into crescents or balls, stuffing the center with the pistachio paste. Variation: forget chocolate specks. Just dip tip of crescent into chocolate and sprinkle on chopped pistachios. See #4 below.

Not sure a dough intended for drop cookies would remain a ball or crescent, but I do have another Sicilian recipe with nut flours that I could use instead.

2) Retain this recipe, but use pistacho paste for half of the butter in the dough. Use chocolate alone for sandwiching the two halves.

3) Mold dough in mini-muffin tin, fill center with the pistachio paste and mix chopped pistachios and chopped chocolate to sprinkle on top before baking. This seems the best option thus far. The question is: would the dough in Alberto's recipe work for "tassies"?

Pro: The cream would retain its quiddity and slightly gritty, gooey texture which I like. Mixed into the dough, it would simply impart pistachio flavor which you could do just with nuts.

4) None of the above. Just make these instead (the recipe wonderful BTW), subbing pistachio cream for half of butter. No candied ginger, but definitely knead dried cranberries into one half of the dough.

Other ideas?


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Am I the only one who needs help from you guys?

Genius idea!!

SOMETHING NEW TO DO WITH KOROVA/WORLD PEACE COOKIES

That is, if you happen to have pistachio cream/paste. I have a small jar of very precious organic Sicilian paste that I saved to make special Christmas cookies.

As an experiment, I decided to use a little as follows:

Spread your 1/2-inch slices of the chilled cookie dough onto your parchment paper.

Press down in the center of each with index finger to form a recess, but not a hole.

Fill the cavity with 1/4 t of pistachio paste.

Take a little soft Korova dough and put a thin lid over each brilliant green center.

Bake 10 minutes (I like them softer).

While still quite soft, press a naked (skinned), green pistachio in the center of each.

Beautiful.  Yummy.  Of course, variations are endless, but I love pistachio and chocolate when paired.

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(Boy this thread is ancient...) In the first page, Sugarella gave some advice on cake shrinkage and how it should be avoided. I've noticed that all the cakes I've made separate from the walls of the pan even if the cake itself isn't overbaked (the crumb seemed perfect to me..). I'm worried that if I ever decide to use the springform to assemble a torte, the cake layer will be smaller than the diameter of the form and whatever I put on top will seep down its sides and ruin the effect. Will the shrinkage still happen if I skip greasing the pan or using nonstick spray?

Also, I have an electric convection oven. I've never listened to the advice that I should bring the temperature down, but I've never had a problem with something being overdone.

Thanks for your advice in advance,

Mr. never-have-a-problem-with-releasing-cakes-ha-ha jumanggy


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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OK, Here is possibly the silliest question on the thread, and not entirely to do with baking but what does ISO mean when used in relation to a recipe?

I keep seeing it and can't figure it out.

thanks, polly


How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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OK, Here is possibly the silliest question on the thread, and not entirely to do with baking but what does ISO mean when used in relation to a recipe?

I keep seeing it and can't figure it out.

thanks, polly

ISO = 'in search of'

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Thanks Kerry, it seems blindingly obvious now... :rolleyes:


How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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Cookie texture problem:

On day one, my chocolate cookies have an almost fudgy centre and crisp/chewy edges.

But on day two, the crisp/chewy edges have simply turned hard/crunchy.

How do I get the edges to retain the same crisp/chewy texture as day one?

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OK, Here is possibly the silliest question on the thread, and not entirely to do with baking but what does ISO mean when used in relation to a recipe?

I keep seeing it and can't figure it out.

thanks, polly

Not silly at all. I didn't know what it mean't either so thanks for asking. :)


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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(Boy this thread is ancient...) In the first page, Sugarella gave some advice on cake shrinkage and how it should be avoided. I've noticed that all the cakes I've made separate from the walls of the pan even if the cake itself isn't overbaked (the crumb seemed perfect to me..). I'm worried that if I ever decide to use the springform to assemble a torte, the cake layer will be smaller than the diameter of the form and whatever I put on top will seep down its sides and ruin the effect. Will the shrinkage still happen if I skip greasing the pan or using nonstick spray?

A month late, but still ..... :smile:

The cake shrinks from the pan when you take it out of the oven for the same reason everything shrinks a little (meat, bread, everything) when you take it out of the oven .... because things expand with heat and contract when they cool, so your cakes are fine.

I didn't go back and look but I think I was referring to shrinkage while still in the oven being the problem... at that point you're overbaking.

Hope that helps.

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Yikes, maybe I ought to follow Wendy's advice and bake at 325, then hope for the best. Or, make contraction my primary criteria for taking a cake out of the oven. Thanks, Sugarella.

I enjoyed doing something I learned from Sherry Yard's book: that is, to spin the pan like a frisbee to allow the sides to come up. Anyway, what I got was a slight dome with the sides coming up abruptly just before the end. It made the rim crunchy and good in its own way but not at all what I wanted (not to mention ugly to frost... ugh, I should have sliced the rim off).


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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I know the question has been dealt with before, but I can't seem to find it. :sad:

When I make fresh rhubarb pie or any fresh fruit pie, the filling cooks down, and the pastry is left as a high dome.

I have tried starting the baking at 400 then lowered to 350F. I baked the last one at 350F for 60 minutes. The pastry looks great, the filling is fine, but there's still a big space between the crust and the filling.

How can I get the perfect pie where the filling meets the crust?


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I know the question has been dealt with before, but I can't seem to find it. :sad:

When I make fresh rhubarb pie or any fresh fruit pie, the filling cooks down, and the pastry is left as a high dome.

I have tried starting the baking at 400 then lowered to 350F. I baked the last one at 350F for 60 minutes. The pastry looks great, the filling is fine, but there's still a big space between the crust and the filling.

How can I get the perfect pie where the filling meets the crust?

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I know the question has been dealt with before, but I can't seem to find it. :sad:

When I make fresh rhubarb pie or any fresh fruit pie, the filling cooks down, and the pastry is left as a high dome.

I have tried starting the baking at 400 then lowered to 350F. I baked the last one at 350F for 60 minutes. The pastry looks great, the filling is fine, but there's still a big space between the crust and the filling.

How can I get the perfect pie where the filling meets the crust?

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I don't make double crust pies too often, but when I do I usually precook the filling on the stove. Another option to prevent the dome effect is to make a lattice crust.

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I've never baked a double-crust before, but would more vents help? How about laying a cooling rack or baking sheet on top in the middle of baking?


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Thanks for the input.

I 'm not sure I want to precook the filling as the family prefers the rhubarb to still retain some shape. I do have vents - decorative slashes made by a knife - all over the crust with a circular one in the middle. The lattice crust will work, and I might try a cookie sheet on top for the first part of baking.


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I don't do double crusts all that often but I do remember thinking about this problem of "Airspace" I went back to my Cooks Illustrated library and sure enough there was a section entitled "Apple Pie Airspace" in the December 1998 Magazine. According to CI airspace can be reduced by using a pie crust that is higher in butter fat. The presence of the high fat in the dough makes it more pliable and prolongs the point at which the top crust will set into shape as it bakes. If the crust does not set until late, it will stick close to the filling. Butter fat also interferes with gluten formation in the pasty and weakens the overall structure causing the crust to collapse onto the fruit. It was also pointed out that butter has a lower melting point than shortening, so using more butter will cause the crust to collapse sooner than shortening will. I must admit to preferring an all butter crust and so maybe haven't had as much problem with airspace as I would have using shortening. I have also occasionally substituted about a third of the AP flour with pastry flour and I always try to limit the kneading and working of the dough to prevent gluten formation. Now that I think about it I wonder if the initial high oven temp would set the pastry prematurely and account for some of the airspace problems also. Hope this helps.


Fred Rowe

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I don't do double crusts all that often but I do remember thinking about this problem of "Airspace" 

Thanks! This is more like the solution I was looking for. :smile:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Using more butter and baking at a lower temperature can help, but there are tradeoffs, too. If you like to form pretty edges and/or designs on your crust, those won't hold up as well. Also, using a lower initial temperature may cause the crust to lose some of its flakiness.


Edited by sheetz (log)

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