Come all ye self-styled chefs and kitchen users, we must talk.

If Yoda pancakes are wrong, then I don't want to be right. Those are awesome.

Katy wrote:

Is it wrong to be tempted by overpriced cookie cutters / pancake molds from Williams Sonoma?

IMAGE(http://www.williams-sonoma.com/wsimgs/ab/images/dp/wcm/201022/0013/img9m.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.williams-sonoma.com/wsimgs/ab/images/dp/wcm/201023/0014/img2m.jpg)

oh man, I gotta get me some of those! I dont often watch the Totally Rad Show, but the most recent one they employed these cutters in a small cooking feature they did.

As a quick update, my sourdough is doing fine. Made two capital mistakes when baking my first bread though. The loaf was to dry and I put it in the oven at lowest settings to let the dough prove. Obviously, that was above 40°C (100F), so the yeast and sourdough bacteria died. The result was a pretty dense and crumbly bread. Well, I guess that's part of the learning process.

Luggage wrote:

As a quick update, my sourdough is doing fine. Made two capital mistakes when baking my first bread though. The loaf was to dry and I put it in the oven at lowest settings to let the dough prove. Obviously, that was above 40°C (100F), so the yeast and sourdough bacteria died. The result was a pretty dense and crumbly bread. Well, I guess that's part of the learning process.

Whoops. In general, the best place to let dough proof is on the counter under a tea towel.

AnimeJ wrote:
Luggage wrote:

As a quick update, my sourdough is doing fine. Made two capital mistakes when baking my first bread though. The loaf was to dry and I put it in the oven at lowest settings to let the dough prove. Obviously, that was above 40°C (100F), so the yeast and sourdough bacteria died. The result was a pretty dense and crumbly bread. Well, I guess that's part of the learning process.

Whoops. In general, the best place to let dough proof is on the counter under a tea towel.

Do sourdoughs have enough lift to push through retardation?

Not that I'm calling you mentally deficient...a retarded rise is one that's done at very low temperatures, typically refrigerator temps, to retard the yeast activity. Retarded rises take a lot longer (obviously) but develop a lot more flavor and sometimes a finer crumb. I have a hard time skipping this step when I make my weekly pizza dough now that I've tested it out. I'm in the "the cooler, the better" camp. Every time I let my dough rise in a kitchen hotter than 75°F or so it creates off flavors. But I know sourdoughs tend to not have as much lift in general, so I didn't know if they would make it.

Well, it was the first bread made using that sourdough. The guides I read pretty much all state the first few breads won't have enough lift by themselves, so I just put a little yeast in. After he's a couple of weeks old, the bacteria should be stable and active enough, to do the "heavy lifting" by themselves. How long of a rise time do you guys normally allow for?

Minarchist wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:
Luggage wrote:

As a quick update, my sourdough is doing fine. Made two capital mistakes when baking my first bread though. The loaf was to dry and I put it in the oven at lowest settings to let the dough prove. Obviously, that was above 40°C (100F), so the yeast and sourdough bacteria died. The result was a pretty dense and crumbly bread. Well, I guess that's part of the learning process.

Whoops. In general, the best place to let dough proof is on the counter under a tea towel.

Do sourdoughs have enough lift to push through retardation?

Not that I'm calling you mentally deficient...a retarded rise is one that's done at very low temperatures, typically refrigerator temps, to retard the yeast activity. Retarded rises take a lot longer (obviously) but develop a lot more flavor and sometimes a finer crumb. I have a hard time skipping this step when I make my weekly pizza dough now that I've tested it out. I'm in the "the cooler, the better" camp. Every time I let my dough rise in a kitchen hotter than 75°F or so it creates off flavors. But I know sourdoughs tend to not have as much lift in general, so I didn't know if they would make it.

Well, if you're doing the refrigerator rise, then toss it in a big glass bowl with ceran wrap laid gently on top and not stuck to the bowl. It's how I raise my pizza dough.

I baked my second bread yesterday. Switched from feeding my sourdough rye to spelt after my first bread, to get a slightly lighter bread (since I mostly eat bread for breakfast). Naturally, I made mistakes again. First, I got the salt mixed up with sugar, so I had a sweetened loaf. And secondly, I forgot the source of humidity in the oven, so I got a really hefty crust. Well, at least it rose this time and wasn’t to dry. Third time is a charm I guess.

Do you experienced bakers have any hints regarding herbs, spices or anything else to mix in for some tasty bread?

I've put a lot of different stuff in mine. For hints, go to one of those fancy bagel shops and see what combos they use. Bagels are just bread dough shaped like a donut and boiled for a couple minutes before it was baked. Since you're doing sourdough, you're going to have to experiment a bit with the proportions each time.

Crushed garlic (the fresh stuff that comes in the jar in the grocery store) makes the most awesome garlic toast evar. Or you can go nuts and stir in some Parmesan or Asiago, Italian seasonings, and sun dried tomato. Dust it with a bit more cheese during the last 15 minutes of baking.

For breakfast, a swirl of a fruit puree or jam added when you form the loaf for the second rising is good. Once you've kneaded it down, press it out in to a fairly thin square, smear your filling all over like pizza sauce, and roll it up. Pinch the ends, tuck them under, then put it in the pan seam-down for the final rising. I've done blackberries and peaches like that. Or a mixture of raisins, walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon makes awesome raisin bread.

Tonight, if all goes well, I plan on making garlic sausage from scratch.

Norfair wrote:

Tonight, if all goes well, I plan on making garlic sausage from scratch.

My mouth is watering from the thought of garlic sausage. *thread tagged for future reference*

anyone have much luck using "normal" flours for sourdough? I tried it instead of whole wheat and it hasn't been doing nearly as well as it had been. On the same note any ide where to get large amount of flour relatively cheap? (sam club or costco maybe?)

Nosferatu wrote:

anyone have much luck using "normal" flours for sourdough? I tried it instead of whole wheat and it hasn't been doing nearly as well as it had been. On the same note any ide where to get large amount of flour relatively cheap? (sam club or costco maybe?)

As far as I understand it, you need something a little more organic and less processed (like whole wheat), to get the bacterial cultures in the sourdough started. Once they are up and running and the sourdough is a few weeks old and stable, you can take whatever flour you want. Just make sure you always save like maybe a quarter pound of sourdough when you are baking to use it as the starter for the next sourdough. The numbers of the three different bacteria kinds will be pretty well balanced and kick-start the new fermentation. Put it in a Tupperware box and put it in the fridge. It'll be good for one or two weeks. Any longer than thatm the freezer may be a good idea.

But I am sure, the "sourdough veterans" will correct me if I am wrong about something.

I'm not sure if this applies only to wheat flour loaves but if you have two ovens you should start your loaf for 5mins (IIRC) in the hottest oven you can manage and then transfer it to the other oven at normal cooking temperature for the remaining cooking time. I'm not sure if you can emulate that process by just turning down a single oven.

Now that winter is officially here and things are starting to get cold and im on holiday its time for slowcooked yummy stuff.
Tonights warming dinner was Andalucian lamb shanks with saffron.

IMAGE(http://electronaut.linuxgamers.net/gallery/d/3387-2/lambshanks.JPG)

katisu wrote:

Now that winter is officially here...

Wowa, I am dying here of heat in Canada! but the food looks yummy. Time for a snack

Nosferatu wrote:

anyone have much luck using "normal" flours for sourdough? I tried it instead of whole wheat and it hasn't been doing nearly as well as it had been. On the same note any ide where to get large amount of flour relatively cheap? (sam club or costco maybe?)

Sam's definitely carries bread flour in 50lb bags. Pretty sure Costco does as well.

Norfair wrote:

Tonight, if all goes well, I plan on making garlic sausage from scratch.

Welp, I did go ahead and make my own sausage from scratch and learned a few things.

1. Hog intestines are just as disgusting as one would imagine them to be.
2. Grinding meat with a Kitchen-aid stand up mixed is rather easy however it produces a strange unsettling noise.
3. The Kitchen-aid sausage stuffing attachment can die in a fire as far as I'm concerned. It makes stuffing meat into a casing an incredibly difficult hassle that needs at least two more arms for one man to accomplish. It ended up taking me at least two hours to pull off what should be an easy task. If I do this again I'm definitely going to have to find a better way to go about it.

Sorry there are no pictures. I was to busy swearing at hog casings to snap pictures.

They were tasty however.

yeah it turns out both Sams club and costco do... But you have to buy the membership to buy anything at either one

Yea, the membership requirement is a bit of a pain. I carry a membership to Sam's, and I do fairly well by it all in all.

Well, my sourdough is officially dead after one year of nice and fruitful relationship. I'll be starting a new one soon (today/tomorrow) so I'll take some pics to possibly help others make their own starter as well (and to troubleshoot mine if something goes wrong). I'm actually really nervous as to how this new relationship turns out

How'd that happen? Mine is only one month old and working like crazy. Yesterday morning it even climbed out of its container to say Hi.

My loafs numbers three and four turned out mostly the same. Third one was mostly spelt safe for the remaining rye in the sourdough starter. Thought of the salt, thought of the moisture in the oven, put it in a loaf pan and forgot to slit the top crust. So the top crust becoming hard faster than the rest, so the dough in the lower zones of the loaf pan had nowhere to push. It tore apart on one side directly below the top crust.

So yesterday number four went in. I switched from spelt to rye again but only did three feedings of about 100 grams, because I had so much left over from before. Did the same routine as with number 3 safe for not having any yeast around, which I figured shouldn't be a biggy. Thought of everything else, but the dough was a little more moist and thus stickier as number three. Didn't think about that much, put it in the loaf pan and let it rise for two hours. Slit the top shortly before it went in this time, but got the torn crust again. Darnit! Taste has been great for these two though.

For the next ones I plan to only feed rye flour but then mix that with spelt flour when forming the loaf. The reason is that I read that unsoured rye should not make up more than 20-25% of the total flour weight. For spelt that shouldn't be a problem, since it basically is the older and more organic relative of wheat. So I'll have about 33% of rye sourdough and 67% spelt. Now if I only could find a way the loaf keeps its form AND doesn't rip.

Why don't you try making a baguette rather than using the loaf pan?

Do you mean a freely formed loaf or an actual baguette?

Luggage wrote:

How'd that happen? Mine is only one month old and working like crazy. Yesterday morning it even climbed out of its container to say Hi.

I could make up an excuse but I'd say I basically got lazy with feeding schedules and stuff. Some two months ago the starter started to smell a bit like acetone and was not puffing up loaves as it used to. I tried to revive it - left only a little piece with clean jar, water, lots of fresh flour etc. - with almost no success. I'm starting a new one tomorrow, the weather is quite warm so it should start up quickly.

anyone here make mussels?
IMAGE(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4077/4744501595_cc47f97132_z.jpg)
Had these at a local bistro/fine dining and they were amazing for Winnipeg (seeing as its in the middle of the continent and no where near an ocean). I must reproduce or step up my budget for eating out. Seasoned with tomatoes, garlic, and white wine is what the menu said. Served with really thin fries... do those have a name too?

Blotto The Clown wrote:

Seasoned with tomatoes, garlic, and white wine is what the menu said. Served with really thin fries... do those have a name too?

The combination of mussels like that with fries is a Belgian dish called Moules Frites. I've always wanted to try it but haven't found myself in a restaurant that is known to serve a good version of it. Good mussels are really good; bad mussels are really bad. That looks like an awesome dish, I'm hungry now.

baggachipz wrote:
Blotto The Clown wrote:

Seasoned with tomatoes, garlic, and white wine is what the menu said. Served with really thin fries... do those have a name too?

The combination of mussels like that with fries is a Belgian dish called Moules Frites. I've always wanted to try it but haven't found myself in a restaurant that is known to serve a good version of it. Good mussels are really good; bad mussels are really bad. That looks like an awesome dish, I'm hungry now.

Why do I get the distinct feeling that while Moules Frites sounds cool and all, but that it probably means something literally along the lines of "Mussels and Fries"

Nosferatu wrote:
baggachipz wrote:
Blotto The Clown wrote:

Seasoned with tomatoes, garlic, and white wine is what the menu said. Served with really thin fries... do those have a name too?

The combination of mussels like that with fries is a Belgian dish called Moules Frites. I've always wanted to try it but haven't found myself in a restaurant that is known to serve a good version of it. Good mussels are really good; bad mussels are really bad. That looks like an awesome dish, I'm hungry now.

Why do I get the distinct feeling that while Moules Frites sounds cool and all, but that it probably means something literally along the lines of "Mussels and Fries"

You are correct, sir. And nothing beats dipping a few of the fries in the leftover mussel broth

Nosferatu wrote:

Why do I get the distinct feeling that while Moules Frites sounds cool and all, but that it probably means something literally along the lines of "Mussels and Fries"

Heh, you are quite correct. There are a lot of dishes, though, that are also named very basically in another language but have come to take on their own meaning. e.g., Arroz con Pollo, etc.