Joe Pastry Baking Techniques, History, Science

Web Name: Joe Pastry Baking Techniques, History, Science






I do this for the love of it.(But money never hurts).Click to Donate Archives: Archives: Candy Bar Nougat Recipe Nougat is a classic treat that s traditionally served on its own with nuts and dried fruit mixed into it. But that nougat is not this nougat. This nougat is the kind that many staple candy bars (your Snickers, your Milky Ways, your Three Muskateers and Baby Ruths) are based on. It s not difficult to make, particularly if you ve had experience making candy syrups or buttercreams (the real ones). You ll need a digital candy thermometer like a Thermapen and a stand mixture to make it happen. 3 cups (1 lb. 5 ounces) sugar3/4 cup (8 ounces) light corn syrupabout 1/2 cup (4 ounces) water3 egg whites pinch of salt1 tablespoon of sugar READ ON Next Up: Candy Bars This is one of the advantages of working with 13-year-olds: they think of things you d never have come up with on your own. Like making your own candy bars. Casting about on the web, I see there are quite a few home made candy bar recipes out there, but almost all of them appear to [ ] READ ON Oooh..COOL question, reader Monica! Whether you re deep frying, sautéing, or coating a madeleine form to help create crispy edges, fat plays a key role in creating the sensation of crispiness I described below. At least in cooked foods.The reason is that fat facilitates heat transfer. When we coat chunks of potato with oil before oven-frying them, or melt butter in a skillet before frying a steak, what we re doing (other than lubricating the food so it doesn t stick to the cooking surface) is creating the conditions for the quick migration of heat — from the oven air to the potato or from the pan surface to the meat. READ ON On Crispiness Crunchiness Reader Dan, who apparently made some fancy florentines over the weekend, asks me to speculate as to why crispy and/or crunchy foods are so darn delicious to human beings. Dan, you ve positively made my day. I’ve long been fascinated by the subject of crispy and/or crunchy food. Sure it’s an odd thing to take an interest in, but everybody needs a hobby. And anyway I get paid for it to some extent. As many of you who’ve read my bio know, I work quite a bit with food growers, packagers and sellers. And almost all of them — save for the beverage makers — are concerned with crispness or crunchiness to some degree, for the simple reason that it s a highly valued attribute in food. READ ON Making Really Fancy Florentines You ve got to hand it to Thomas Keller, he never does anything half-way. Take florentines. He starts with a simple nut-and-candied-fruit cookie, and by the time he s done he s got an ultra-rich, hand-held nut-and-chocolate tart. I guess that s why he s out there making the big bucks and I m sitting here typing in my garage. But then I bet he doesn t get to listen to Bootsie Collins while he works like I do. Ahh the name is Pastry baby!So where was I? Oh right, florentines (again). Start by assembling your ingredients and preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the sweet pastry (pâte sucrée) dough on a piece of parchment on your work surface. The parchment sheet will be your template as you roll. Make sure the dough isn t rock hard, just out of the fridge. Let it sit until it softens up. READ ON The Secret to Fancy Pastry Joe, I m frustrated. Every time I set out to make a fancy pastry it ends in disaster. I don t want to give up, I actually consider myself a fairly accomplished baker, but I just can t seem to get the fancy pastry thing right. Should I stop wasting my days and stick to the breads and cookies I know? Help!Lindy, I feel your pain. Spending a long day making components for an elegant pastry, then having the whole thing collapse into a rich and delicious mess it can be a terribly aggravating thing. It happens to me far more than I admit on this blog. READ ON Reader Ali wants to know the history behind sourdough bread. At first it seemed like an impossible question to answer, but then I though maybe not so much. Bread starters date back to when the first cro-magnon put down his bowl of einkorn gruel to go join the bison hunt, then forgot about it. That was about 10,000 years ago, and I m still grateful to whoever-it-was. But really, natural starters in general aren t what we re talking about here. Rather, the question has to do with the specific type of starter that North Americans call sourdough . For indeed, sourdough is a term that originated in the States and in Canada, and as come to be a sort of generic term for a starter. What we call a sourdough a Brit might call a barm a Frenchman a levain , a Belgian a desem , an Italian a lievito and so on. READ ON Can I make real, sour, sourdough bread if I don t live in San Francisco? So asks reader Dean (and Liz, and Darren, and Susan). The answer is a definitive maybe . There s no question that bakers in the Bay Area have the edge when it comes to creating very sour breads. However truly sour, naturally-leavened loaves are possible in other regions of the country (or world), provided you can manipulate your starter s moisture level, temperature, and rising/proofing times in the right way. Allow me to explain. All bread starters are tag teams of yeasts and bacteria, with yeasts being primarily responsible for the rise, and bacteria for the flavor. The lion s share of that flavor comes from acid, which is produced by different types of bacteria in varying amounts. As you might expect, the starter bacteria the thrive in the Bay Area,  L. sanfranciscensis and L. pontis, are world champs in realm of acid production. L. sanfranciscensis produces unusually high levels of lactic acid, while L. pontis makes mostly acetic acid, which is the stuff that gives vinegar its sharp flavor. READ ON Making Basic Florentines If there s a better complement to a scoop of vanilla ice cream than a well-made florentine, I don t know what it is. Crisp and nutty, but also a little caramelly, with a sophisticated citrus tang .these really make you feel like a person who understands what s good in life. The secret to knocking these out of the proverbial park is home made candied orange peels. Yes it s an extra step, but who doesn t want to be able to tell the world that they candy their own orange peels? Begin by assembling your ingredients and placing the nuts and orange peel in the bowl of a food processor. READ ON What is Dough Stretching? Reader Jane happened to mention dough stretching in the comment fields of the below post on sourdough starters. The comment elicited several follow-up questions about dough stretching and yeast in general, which I thought I d answer here on the main page instead of in the comment fields. So let s get down to business: what is dough stretching? It’s pretty much as it sounds — a process by which you gently tug bread dough into an elongated shape as it rises, and then fold it or roll it back up into a lump and let it rise some more. You generally start the stretching at about the mid-point of the initial rise (after mixing your bread dough, but before you shape the loaf). READ ON

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