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By Chris Hennes
A few weeks ago I checked out a copy of Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India from the library, and it is well on its way to earning a permanent place in my collection. I've really enjoyed the recipes I've cooked from it so far, and thought I'd share a few of them here. Of course, if anyone else has cooked anything from the book please share your favorites here, too.
To kick things off, something that appears in nearly every meal I've cooked this month... a yogurt dish such as
Simple Seasoned Yogurt, South Indian-Style (p. 324)
I used my homemade toffee in a cookie recipe hoping that the toffee will add a crunch to the cookie... it didn't turn out well as the toffee melted and didn't keep its hardened crunch form. How can I prevent my toffee from melting in my cookie recipe?
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.)
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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