Posted at 7:35 pm , on October 5, 2019
In the last few posts, I’ve been trying to cover some of the foundational topics of bread making. Today, I want to take a step back and talk about the steps involved in the overall process. My hope is that this will provide a general framework so that you know what to expect in a recipe, and even maybe start thinking about coming up with your own. Peter Reinhart says that the art of bread making involves 12 steps, I will try to give a brief description of each below:
Posted at 1:00 am , on October 4, 2019
In many bread recipes, a target temperature, or DDT (Desired Dough Temperature) is often specified for the dough for the end of the mixing process. Is it important? Mixing the dough in a specific temperature range encourages proper gas production during fermentation, resulting in the ideal loaf volume for the final product. The DDT may be influenced by factors beyond the ambient temperature. For example, if the water is too cold, it might take longer for the bread to properly rise. On the other hand, if the water is too warm, it will accelerate the fermentation process. By taking DDT into consideration, we can eliminate some of these variables and will achieve more consistency in fermentation, final dough and timing.
What is Desired Dough Temperature (DDT)?
Desired dough temperature is the temperature that the dough should reach at the end of the mixing stage just before bulk fermentation. Continue reading
Posted at 12:52 am , on October 4, 2019
Poolish, levain, biga, pâte fermentée – is there a difference? And what’s the point in preparing a part of the dough separately? In this post, I’ll try to clarify the terminology and the science behind the wonderful world of preferments.
What is a pre-ferment?
A preferment is a portion of dough that is mixed in advance of preparing the final dough. Its main purpose is to increase flavour, strength, and shelf life. Because it is mixed ahead of time, bulk fermentation as well as mixing time is reduced. Preferments can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight, those that are stored in the fridge often assume more of an acidic flavour profile while room temperature preferments have a lactic flavour. Continue reading
Posted at 12:51 am , on October 4, 2019
Baker’s Percentage refers to a standard measurement used in most professional kitchens for yeast-raised products. It refers to the ingredients’ ratio to the amount of flour by weight, where flour or the combination of different flours always add up to 100%.
For example if you have 20g of salt to 1 kg of flour, salt is 2% of the weight of the flour. (N.B. salt is usually between 1.5-2.5% of flour weight.)
Another example, if you have 600g of water to 1 kg of flour, water is 60% of the weight of the flour, we can say that the bread is of 60% hydration.
It’s important to note that the formula’s total percentage will not add up to 100%, only the weight of the flour would. Depending on the number of ingredients, each recipe will have a different total percentage. Say you have a recipe for a bread that has: 100% flour, 60% water, 2% salt and 2% yeast, you would have a total of 164%. Continue reading
Posted at 10:01 pm , on October 1, 2019
Autolyse is French for autolysis, which refers to the cellular process of self digestion. In the world of bread however, it refers to a technique that was developed by Professor Raymond Calvel. You may see the term pop up in bread recipes every once in a while. It involves a slow and minimal mixing of flour and water for a short period of time followed by a resting period, before moving on to the rest of the bread-making process. In this short post I’ll try to provide you with a better understanding of what autolyse is, why we do it, and some of the different ways it can be done. Continue reading
Posted at 8:11 pm , on September 12, 2019
1 3/4 cup vinegar (we used a combination of apple cider and white vinegar 50/50)
1 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp celery seeds
3 tbsp salt Continue reading
Posted at 1:48 am , on September 12, 2019
260g heavy cream
120g gelatin mass
135g cocoa powder
100g condensed milk
100g neutral glaze Continue reading
Posted at 12:31 am , on September 6, 2019
Each summer, I work on a plan to better our existing culinary program at Jean Augustine Secondary School. Since the school first opened in the fall of 2016, I have been taking steps every year to improve the delivery of the program, and ensure that it is engaging and enjoyable for the students. We started off slowly, setting up our new kitchen and preparing meals for staff and minor events. Soon after, we were able to make a connection with a local food bank and our students are now serving the community by preparing meals for those in need. This year, I plan on introducing a few new things to challenge them: fermenting and preserving, glazing mini cakes and entremets, and artisan bread baking. Continue reading
Posted at 7:53 pm , on September 4, 2019
What is gelatin mass?
Gelatin mass consists of two ingredients: gelatin and water. The ratio is usually 1 to 5 times its weight: i.e., 1 part gelatin to 5 parts water. For example, if you are using 10 grams of gelatin powder, you would use 50 grams of water to hydrate the powder to make the mass. Continue reading
Posted at 6:55 pm , on May 5, 2019
Are you a juice person or a smoothie person? Royce likes juice — fruit juice but also veggie-forward juice…especially on those days when we haven’t been eating very healthy. Personally, 9 times out of 10 I would rather have a smoothie than juice. I have a couple of issues with juice. First, from a health standpoint I’m suspicious of the nutritional value because it’s missing so much of the original fruit / vegetable. And second, something just seems really wrong about pulverizing all of these vegetables, only to drink the liquid and toss the rest. Especially given the statistics we see nowadays about food security and food waste! Continue reading