The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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MIchael_O's picture

Recipes Understood, Converted, and Screened

August 17, 2010 - 11:23pm -- MIchael_O

In response to hearing people ask recipe-related questions I have created a


chart that graphs all baked goods (cookies, cakes, muffins, etc) using three numbers. The chart is easy to understand There is some math behind it so I automated everything with a web application called Caked-Face Menace.

milwaukeecooking's picture

Tired of imperial measurements? Check out my new blog.

December 9, 2009 - 8:27am -- milwaukeecooking
Forums: 

I have just started a blog and I am looking for feedback on recipes and other people to try my recipes.  I will have lots of pictures and lots of recipes.  I use baker's percents and scale all of my ingredients.  So, if you are looking for recipes that follow the metric system look no further.  If you also have a blog I will gladly check it out and follow you.  Comments are always appreciated and fun to find.   


milwaukeecooking.blogspot.com

Trialer70's picture

In search of a bread recipe using sour cream and sourdough starter

November 20, 2009 - 9:26pm -- Trialer70

I currently have a wonderful starter that originated from the pineapple juice based starter recipe and would like to find some bread recipes using it in conjunction with sour cream as an ingredient.  I've always liked the texture I get when I use sour cream in recipes.  Anybody have suggestions?  Any kind of bread will do--savory, sweet or plain.  Thanks!

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

I spent my summers on Cape Cod where there were cranberry bogs in our back yard. After the harvest was over there were often many berries just lying on top of the bog that got missed in the harvest and we would collect them and make muffins, cranberry bread and mix them with apple pie - they add a little tartness to the pie that I really like. 


View my recipe for Cranberry Walnut bread  at


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com

Elagins's picture
Elagins

it seems to me that one of the biggest hurdles beginning bakers face is the idea that because something shows up in a book, that's necessarily the way things have to be.

take sourdough culture, as in this thread. Peter Reinhart says, "..." and therefore that's how it has to be. Nothing against Peter Reinhart: he's an extraordinarily great baker and and extraordinarily talented teacher. the problem is simply that a lot of beginners, in their eagerness to "get it right," don't trust themselves.

fact is, we're dealing with a complex set of interrelated physical and biological processes here, and to insist that all sorts of unfamiliar (to those starting out) living organisms *must* conform with one person's observation or experience is, to me, a reversal of reality. we should be paying more attention to what actually goes on and then adjust our expectations.

so consider a starter. so much depends on the original source of the yeast (plum/grape skins? rye? capture from the air? yogurt?). yeast and lacto-/acetobacteria are everywhere and are location specific. then again, what about the flour? rye? wheat? organic? treated? high or low gluten? or the hydration ... acetobacter likes it dry; lactobacter likes it wet. ambient temperature will affect the rate of yeast and bacterial action. cold slows yeast and lactobacteria, but acetobacteria thrive in cooler temps.

reducing all this stuff, not to mention all the other random factors that may come into play, to a timetable is laudable and useful -- in fact, i've done it myself in a baking book i'm writing -- but one person's experience of the interactions among a complex set of factors and events shouldn't ever constitute a sole and immutable truth.

baking, like so many other things in life, is experience-based, and no book -- no matter how experienced the author nor how careful the research -- should ever become a substitute for observable reality.

when i use organic dark rye flour to start a culture, i usually get activity within 24 hours. like the spark from a flint, that germ of a culture needs to be nourished and nurtured over a couple of weeks of regular feedings before you can consider it a finished sourdough starter ... so what matter if the yeasts go active in 12 hours or 72? all that matters is that we capture the spark and nurture it into a flame.

baking formulas are great because they organize information and they convey an experience or set of experiences that generally work within a relatively broad set of limits. but within those limits are infinite variations of time, temperature and the interplay of ingredients ... and controlling those is the art of baking, as opposed to the science.

cookingwithdenay's picture
cookingwithdenay


Have you ever developed an original recipe? Most people think it is some long drawn out process, but remember you are not Pillsbury test kitchen with thousands of dollars and test kitchen cooks to address ever question or issue.


When you find a recipe that is good, reliable and consistent...that's a keeper. If it is not, you have a couple of choices. Rework the recipe, refine it so it works, put it in the "to-do" pile for a later date or toss it. What you do depends on how much time you want to devote to recipe and only you can answer that question.


As you test, and retest, you will find a pattern to the process and it will fall into an everyday groove. I would suggest that you schedule time each month to test or at least review the recipes you are working on. Remember it's not just about recipes, this is a listing of products you can enter into contest, feature in a magazine or newspaper, include in a future cookbook or sell in your home-based bakery. When your bakery is up and running and a local journalist ask...may we have a recipe to attach to your story? What will you say, no they are all secret...


Always have a dozen or so recipes that are uniquely yours that you don't mind sharing...just in case.


You may also want to place a recipe in your marketing materials...not that people will prepare them necessarily, but to show you are open to sharing your knowledge and skill. You are a great baker and this is not the time to be shy!


Now with that said, you don't have to give out your best recipes, just things you don't mind sharing. Give it some thought.


There is an old saying, there is nothing new under the sun, and it is so true. It is easy to add a new twist to something, but food companies spend millions to create new products, it's a real challenge; but every once and a while an independent culinary innovator comes up with a unique and inspiring food, spice or taste. Take a look at what is missing out there on the grocery shelves... get creative. I would love to see an alternative to buttercream frosting, but I have not yet figured out what it should be, something sweet, creamy and not made with all that fat.


 

Erzsebet Gilbert's picture

A belated hello, a blog link with a few recipes, and fictional fanciful tales about bread!

April 2, 2009 - 9:01pm -- Erzsebet Gilbert


Hi, everybody!


Maybe this is a bit silly, since I've already exchanged messages with a few of your wonderful selves and posted my own question about how best to bake bread on a Coleman camp stove - and I received so many fantastic ideas and suggestions - but I hadn't really given an Official Introduction; essentially, I'm a writer and stumbling but devoted baker living in Hungary, and I've been so enthralled by the whole Fresh Loaf community.  

gaaarp's picture

Peter Reinhart is Accepting New Testers

January 18, 2009 - 9:45am -- gaaarp
Forums: 

The day I've been waiting for is finally here!  I've read a number of posts where people refer to testing recipes for Peter Reinhart's books, so I sought out his website a few months ago.  He kept saying he was going to open up his blog to new testers, and the day has come. 


For the next week only, if you would like to test recipes for PR and report back to him on your successes/challenges/failures, go to http://peterreinhart.typepad.com/ and follow the instructions.


Happy baking!

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