September 29, 2022 at 7:14 pm #36629
The last time I was at Costco, a 12 pound bag of KA AP, which I think is the same as Sir Galahad, was still under $8, but spot wheat prices are going up again, though they're still below the high from early summer. The hot dry summer has to be impacting yield, and the situation in the Ukraine is affecting the whole world.September 29, 2022 at 7:23 pm #36630
25 pounds of BRM semolina is currently $43.49 plus shipping at Webstaurant.
Oddly enough, 50 pounds of Durakota semolina is $34.99, plus shipping.September 29, 2022 at 9:31 pm #36631Joan SimpsonParticipant
Aaron your sourdough loaves looks good to me and Mike I enjoyed the video about the scoring too.September 30, 2022 at 5:35 am #36633
I haven't made it through the scoring video but it looks interesting. I like the floured vs unfloured tops.
I usually wait longer before cutting but I really wanted to try it. The first time I met my in-laws they stayed with me because I had more room than Kate. I made a fresh loaf of bread and left it cooling while I went to work. They cut it and squished it almost flat. I guess I should always make some rolls out along with the bread!
The BRM is organic and the Durakota is not so that may account for the price difference. Organic flour is about twice as expensive per pound here. Most of the bakeries use it but I don't notice a difference. The podcast I sent a link to the other day talked about micro plastics in non-organic food but those things are carried with the wind so unless your organics are grown inside they'll have the same problem.
I have BRM semolina from durum wheat and durum flour? I see them both.September 30, 2022 at 11:36 am #36634
Cutting a soft loaf, especially while still warm, without smashing it flat is a bit of an art. Getting even slices is also an art. Some years ago I took a sliced loaf of asiago bread baked in a shaped tin to dinner at my sister-in-law's house, the slices were uniform enough that they asked me if we had a bread slicer.
Semolina is by definition a coarsely ground flour, durum flour is more finely ground, both made from durum wheat. As a practical matter, most semolina seems to have a fair amount of finely ground flour in it. Hodgson Mill, which I can't find locally any more, used to call it 'semolina and durum flour'.September 30, 2022 at 4:14 pm #36635BakerAuntParticipant
We were at my husband's cousins' reunion this week. The two pumpkin pies I took were well received. On Wednesday evening, I put together two pans of cinnamon rolls and parked them in the refrigerator overnight. I baked and glazed them the next morning. About five of the twenty-four made it back home with us, but only because some people had to leave a day early. I have been asked to bake both the pumpkin pies and the cinnamon rolls again.
Because there were so many of us in attendance, my husband, the dog, and I were in a separate little cabin a five-minute walk from the main house. One advantage was that it had its own small kitchen. The little gas stove worked perfectly. I had taken along an oven thermometer, and the oven is accurate. That was not the case with the double oven in the main house, both of which gave the bakers and cooks fits. The food came out delicious, but that was due to their skill.
We stopped by South Bend on the way home today, so that I could do some shopping. I stocked up on our favorite dill pickles at Big Lots, along with some Bob's Red Mill items. I also found a lovely (independent?) grocery store called Fresh Thyme that had BRM whole wheat pastry and BRM pastry flour. I was getting low on pastry flour, so these two five-pound bags should get me through pie season without having to mail order. If the car had not been so packed, I might have bought some of the great fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms. Our other stop was T.J. Maxx for maple syrup, vanilla, pasta, and a few kitchen items.September 30, 2022 at 8:10 pm #36637
Fresh Thyme is a chain, like Natural Grocers. We had one in Lincoln for several years, but it closed, I don't think they really rebounded from the pandemic. They had decent produce and cheese, I wasn't as impressed with their meats.October 1, 2022 at 6:53 am #36638
Thanks Mike. Semolina is interesting. The BRM stuff I have used is like fine corn meal in form. I just put 200g into my pizza dough and will see if it makes any difference. I like it better than bread flour for keeping dough from sticking. I think this weekend I will make regular pizza, biscuit pizza, and ciabatta pizza.
I like the white wheat because it is mellower than the red wheat. I don't know that the softness makes a difference.
The scoring video was interesting. I can sympathize with not scoring deep enough. It's scary.
I wonder if shape affects taste. Looks do. Escoffier said "first we taste with the eye."October 1, 2022 at 12:41 pm #36640
Shape definitely affects taste, though the effect can be subtle.
As an extreme example, consider making a boule (maximizing the interior) and a flatbread (maximizing the exterior) from the same batch of dough. If you want to take it one step further, make crackers or carta di musica.
We concluded this when we took a batch of dough (Reinhart's Pain de Campagne) and tried a variety of shapes: boules, baguettes, epis, fougasse, courunne. After baking we gave samples of them to friends, they were astonished to know all the loaves came from the same batch of dough.
A small boule can be a snack, like a pretzel bite, or a dinner roll. As the size increases, a large boule (like a miche) becomes a completely different experience.
I've been working on a taxonomy of bread shapes and techniques, separating out various factors, including things like bread pan vs free form breads. (A Pullman loaf is distinctly different from an open top pan loaf, too.) Dough that touches a solid surface bakes differently from dough that touches only air.
Braiding also seems to have an impact on taste, and there are literally dozens of braiding techniques. I can think of at least a half dozen 6-strand braids, and that's not yet counting the one from Deli Man, which Jeffrey Hamelman says is the same as one of the 6-strand braids in his book, though I still have my doubts.
Slashing and wash treatments may enter into it, too. (An epi, for example, starts out as a baguette.) I'm hoping to include toppings as well.
I'm working with a friend who is an expert in graphic analysis, what I'm hoping is to develop mathematical models of the major shapes so I can measure things like surface area and volume. This may allow me to compute the amount of outer crust, inner crust and interior, among other things.
I've discussed my theories on bread shape with a number of bakers, Peter Reinhart, among others, they're hoping I can pursue this to some kind of logical conclusion as to the effect shape has on taste.October 2, 2022 at 4:54 am #36649
I had some very old biscuit dough to use and some leftover cinnamon sugar from an attempt at churros - not sure how to keep the oil at the right temp. So I cut biscuits and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on them. Thumbs up from the kids. Kate is on a bucket list trip so she missed them.
The churro recipe said to cook them at 375 but every other doughnut recipe I have says 365. And of course keeping the oil at a constant temp is a challenge.October 2, 2022 at 10:21 am #36655
Churros are made from dough that is essentially a choux paste. There are so many bad versions of churros out there (fast food Mexican places generally ruin them) that I seldom buy them any more, the street food vendors actually seem to do them better.
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