making bread tips

in no discernible order:

1. stretch test, after kneading, the dough should stretch without breaking. then it’s ready to let stand. Also google, window pane test for brioche breads, and more buttery pastry breads.

2. organic flour the best, there is gluten flour and bread flour, investigate 🙂

organic bread flour

high gluten flour

difference between a.p.f. and bread f.

3. Once dough reaches and internal temperature close to the boiling point 98c which is the temp at which starches gel (pretty useful piece of info), the bread is done. sounds like you could make bread in a microwave without browning. Check microwave brioche!

4. after mixing the ingredients and before kneading, allow to rest for 20 mins for water to get fully absorbed. Autolyse. Here, there’s an excerpt from the wikipedia entry on proofing:

Autolyse is an optional dough process. It refers to a period of rest after the initial mixing of flour and water, a rest period that occurs sequentially before the addition of yeast and other ingredients.[8][9] This rest period allows for better absorption of water and helps the gluten and starches to align. Breads made with autolysed dough are easier to shape and have more volume and improved structure.”

5. Four to six hours to rest after kneading at room temperature of 72f, the hotter the room the faster it will rise and the less the flavors will develop. slower rise better flavor. I have never let rising for more than 2 hours, and have yet to slow rise in the freezer, so far, an hour to an hour and a half has been enough.

6. after first rise, knead quickly but don’t overwork, just get rid of any big pockets of gas. let rest for about 2 hours.

7. Oven spring!!! ok, im updating this posting, I underestimated the power of a hot oven, specially in the first few minutes of baking. In order to get the most oven spring, bread needs to heat up really fast, before the crust solidifies (read below), and become hot enough that water in the dough and CO2 can expand the most. Then! you can set the oven oven at 425-450. pizza stone or flipped cast iron pan, a Dutch oven would work too. let oven preheat, an hour is not unreasonable.

8. keep some humidity inside the oven helps keep the crust from setting to fast, and why would you want this? well, because if you want bread to rise, you gotta keep the crust soft, otherwise, the dry crust will contain the volume of the bread, stopping its expansion. You can spray water in the oven. maybe pour a cup or 2 of water in a baking sheet. As long as you dont over do it, remember that every time you open the oven door, the temperature drops.

9. allow the bread to rest for 30 mins at room temp. this is needed to allow the starches to gel and set.

10. bread goes stale even faster in the fridge. freeze or keep at room temperature.

some example bread recipes:

Dutch oven bread

English muffin

French bread

boeuf bourgignon

crazy good:

2lbs beef for stew
1 bottle of cab
3 strips of thick bacon
2 onions
2 carrots
3 stalks of celery
10 white mushrooms
chicken broth
5 garlic cloves
cup of tomato sauce
2 tbs flour
thyme
parsley
bay leaves
salt
pepper

it’s all about caramelization of the meat in batches, deglazing the bottom of the pot used for browning, bacon fat, caramelizing the veggies as well, deglaze, keep bottom from burning, do not pressure cook and roast in oven instead for 2:30 hours. this way it wont burn at the bottom.

scallops with mango sauce

this is a pretty simple recipe but I had a few flaws in the execution:

ingredients:

10 U7 scallops
bacon fat.
brine in saline solution for 10 mins. pat dry.
medium high heat. 3 mins per side until caramelized. mistake: should probably deglaze the pan between batches or switch to a stainless steel, less porous pan. do not use non stick pans.

cauliflower
cream ad salt to taste. purée in blender.

mango
a little bit of orange juice
purée in. blender. refrigerate.

baby arugula
olive oil, white vinegar. lime zest, pinch of Dijon mustard, salt.

garnish for the scallops:
finely chopped parsley
lime zest
sea salt

done.

awesome roast beef

4 pounds of good meat for roasting.
I used twine to give it some shape.

brine:
half a cup of kosher salt
half a cup sugar… could reduce this amount by %50
2 tablespoons garlic paste
3 green onions chopped and crushed
3 sprigs of rosemary, crushed.
bring to a boil, chuck it.
ziplock bag, 24 hours max. refrigerate.

oven at 380f, brown meat, still cold from fridge, for 30 mins.
lower temp to 220f and roast for 2 hours.

place meat directly on oven rack and place a baking sheet underneath to catch any drippings.

let meat rest for 20 mins before slicing.

done.

Corned beef!!

Simple recipes. Look up. Turned out really good. Boil for 1 hour in pressure cooker. Just water, no stock.

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My first cheese!

the real mozzarella calls for thermophilic culture and no citric acid. acidity develops in the fridge over a 24 hour period. curds should melt at 170f

Using veggie rennet.., not sure if it’s still proper cheese but that’s all I could find in the store.

1 gallon of whole milk (I should try non homogenized milk next time)

1.5 teaspoons (corrected from 1.5 tablespoons erroneously used previously) of citric acid added to the milk before warming it up.

4 drops of rennet, directly into the milk that’s been heated to 92f… Next time, will dilute it in Luke warm water. 1/4 of a cup before adding. when trying with animal rennet better results. nicer curds.

Let set… 45 mins to 12 hours.

Drain whey via cheesecloth. Reserve whey for storing cheese later.

Heat curds in the microwave 30 secs at high heat. More whey will be released. Start kneading the curds. This process usually needs to be repeated 4 or more times to the get stringy mozzarella quality. Add salt and spices at this stage.

Make a whey and salt brine and keep the mozzarella balls immersed in it. Store in the fridge.

Used this vid as a reference:

DIY immersion circulator demise

And finally I ruined my IC. In a stupid attempt at making cheese at home. The coils heated the milk to 70 degrees celsius and the temperature around the coils was hot enough to burn the fat in the milk and create a crust that caused them to overheat and fry. here the photo:

DIY immersion circulator

Here are some pics of the first immersion circulator I ever used. Built it form scratch based off a DIY project by Scott Heimendinger feature on his blog seattlefoodgeek.com

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Ever since I built it, I’ve been introduced to a new understanding of how heat affects foods. Best 75 bucks I’ve spent. If you wanna get serious about cooking, and you are a control freak. this is the path.

Spherification testing

Sodium alginate and calcium chloride. Basic spherification. Amount of alginate was too high, need to test with half the percentage, I think I went up to 2%

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