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What have you cooked lately?


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#21 Nonny

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:39 AM

"Bland" is a matter of taste.    ;)

Yeah, I figured whole wheat pastry flour for something like focaccia.    :)
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#22 Alica

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 12:47 PM

^As a naive UKer, what is this "pastry flour"? I've never heard of it!
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#23 GiGi

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:10 PM

View PostNonny, on Mar 29 2010, 06:39 AM, said:

"Bland" is a matter of taste.    ;)

Yeah, I figured whole wheat pastry flour for something like focaccia.    :)
That is what my BF said about the last batch. But I needed more rosemary, my little plant needs to grow more before I can get two tablespoons off at a time so I had less rosemary than before (moving sucks when you leave behind a ten year old herb garden)


View PostAlica, on Mar 29 2010, 10:47 AM, said:

^As a naive UKer, what is this "pastry flour"? I've never heard of it!
It is a different type of wheat I believe. It is used a lot for bread, but I find it too heavy for pie crust.
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#24 Nick

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:00 PM

Same old wheat, differing amounts of gluten.  Gluten is the protein that gives doughs and baked goods their stretchy/chewy quality.  Less protein makes for more tender (and sometimes denser) baked goods.  In order by most gluten to least:

-Bread Flour
-All-purpose Flour
-Pastry Flour
-Cake Flour

Pastry Flour can be hard to find, but you can substitute 2 parts cake flour and 1 part all-purpose flour for the same end result.

#25 GiGi

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 06:52 PM

^ Not quite "same old wheat" the type of wheat determines the protein content. So in a sense we a both correct.

Hard Red Winter Hard, brownish, mellow high protein wheat used for bread, hard baked goods and as an adjunct in other flours to increase protein in pastry flour for pie crusts. Some brands of unbleached all-purpose flours are commonly made from hard red winter wheat alone. It is primarily traded by the Kansas City Board of Trade. One variety is known as "turkey red wheat", and was brought to Kansas by Mennonite immigrants from Russia.[

Soft Red Winter Soft, low protein wheat used for cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, and muffins. Cake flour, pastry flour, and some self-rising flours with baking powder and salt added for example, are made from soft red winter wheat.
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#26 Nick

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:30 PM

Oops!  Right you are.  I incorrectly assumed the protein content was just changed by the processing method.

#27 GiGi

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 09:10 PM

^ Ah, but you got it that it is the protein content that is the difference, I never knew that!
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#28 Alica

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 07:04 AM

^And then I presume cake flour is what we call self raising flour? I guess I kinda assumed you didn't have that over there since most American recipes I've seen call for plain/AP flour and then add the baking powder independently. Some UK recipes do that too of course - and then I have various recipes which call for both SR flour and baking powder/soda! Confusing ^_^
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#29 Nick

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:02 AM

View PostAlica, on Mar 30 2010, 08:04 AM, said:

^And then I presume cake flour is what we call self raising flour? I guess I kinda assumed you didn't have that over there since most American recipes I've seen call for plain/AP flour and then add the baking powder independently. Some UK recipes do that too of course - and then I have various recipes which call for both SR flour and baking powder/soda! Confusing ^_^

I don't think so.  Cake flour refers specifically to low-protein flours for more tender cakes and biscuits and such.  Self raising/rising flour has baking powder (sodium bicarbonate, an acid salt & filler) mixed in, which when heated at baking temperatures releases carbon dioxide gas, forming bubbles in the dough or batter.  If a recipe calls for both self rising *and* additional baking powder, it probably needs a little more "lift" than the standard self-rising mixture.

Edited by Nick, 30 March 2010 - 09:07 AM.


#30 BklnScott

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:47 AM

I'm so glad I don't know how to cook just about ANYTHING that requires dough or even flour.  I'm better off not knowing!

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#31 GiGi

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 11:11 AM

View PostNick, on Mar 30 2010, 07:02 AM, said:

I don't think so.  Cake flour refers specifically to low-protein flours for more tender cakes and biscuits and such.  Self raising/rising flour has baking powder (sodium bicarbonate, an acid salt & filler) mixed in, which when heated at baking temperatures releases carbon dioxide gas, forming bubbles in the dough or batter.  If a recipe calls for both self rising *and* additional baking powder, it probably needs a little more "lift" than the standard self-rising mixture.

That is correct, cake flour is very different, so it must be the low protein, I was told by a professional baker that a cake can only be made with cake flour, don't even try it with anything else. I haven't seen cake flour around here, all the natural food stores have whole wheat pastry flour so if I want a traditional cake then I buy a boxed cake mix.
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#32 Alica

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:09 PM

Ahh, I see. Thanks for the info everyone! Very interesting :) though I seem to make cake just fine with standard flour. My family and friends like it anyway! We have ginger cake today, nom nom nom.

Edited by Alica, 30 March 2010 - 12:09 PM.

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#33 Nonny

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 01:00 PM

View PostGiGi, on Mar 29 2010, 11:10 AM, said:

View PostNonny, on Mar 29 2010, 06:39 AM, said:

"Bland" is a matter of taste.    ;)

Yeah, I figured whole wheat pastry flour for something like focaccia.    :)
That is what my BF said about the last batch. But I needed more rosemary, my little plant needs to grow more before I can get two tablespoons off at a time so I had less rosemary than before (moving sucks when you leave behind a ten year old herb garden)


View PostAlica, on Mar 29 2010, 10:47 AM, said:

^As a naive UKer, what is this "pastry flour"? I've never heard of it!
It is a different type of wheat I believe. It is used a lot for bread, but I find it too heavy for pie crust.
:lol:  Still a matter of taste.  I don't bake pies anymore, but I always made the crust with ww pastry flour.  I almost never eat pie anymore, but when I do, I find white flour crust bland.  I like a strong wheat flavor, and I prefer hard wheat flour for bread.    :)
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#34 Nonny

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 01:12 PM

View PostGiGi, on Mar 30 2010, 09:11 AM, said:

View PostNick, on Mar 30 2010, 07:02 AM, said:

I don't think so.  Cake flour refers specifically to low-protein flours for more tender cakes and biscuits and such.  Self raising/rising flour has baking powder (sodium bicarbonate, an acid salt & filler) mixed in, which when heated at baking temperatures releases carbon dioxide gas, forming bubbles in the dough or batter.  If a recipe calls for both self rising *and* additional baking powder, it probably needs a little more "lift" than the standard self-rising mixture.

That is correct, cake flour is very different, so it must be the low protein, I was told by a professional baker that a cake can only be made with cake flour, don't even try it with anything else. I haven't seen cake flour around here, all the natural food stores have whole wheat pastry flour so if I want a traditional cake then I buy a boxed cake mix.
I'll probably go back to baking cakes, because I just don't like the bakery product.  Too sweet, too rich, too light and airy.  I like spice cake and pineapple upside down cake, both of which can be made with ww pastry flour, and both of which are better dense and less sweet.  Some natural foods type bakeries can manage them, but most professional bakers make light and airy versions I find icky, and there's a reason for that.  Making old-fashioned cakes takes skill.  If you don't mix them just right, you get a brick.
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#35 GiGi

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 05:42 PM

^ I agree, actually. I have made many cakes like carrot cake, spice cake and even chocolate cake that turned out fine with a mixture of whole wheat and all purpose flour. But if someone is looking for a classic bakery cake they may be expecting something different. But like you I can't eat that stuff, there is nothing to it, I want to feel like I am eating food and not something related to Wonder Bread.

I have an old fashioned cookbook with recipes from the 1800's, I haven't tried the cakes, mostly the cookies and pies and liked those a lot.
"Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do all creatures." -- HH The Dalai Lama

#36 Nikcara

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:16 PM

I agree too, actually.  I like my cakes to taste like something other than sugar and frosting.  Carrot cake and chocolate cakes are my favorites.  

All this is making me want to bake
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#37 Balthamos

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 12:22 PM

Last thing I (and OS13) cooked was spag bol. However I forgot to add flour to the sauce to thicken it up (I was making things up as I went along). It tasted great it just didn't stick to the spaghetti.

#38 Nick

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 12:11 PM

I made Chili for the office potluck, and it's a hit.  I based it on this recipe:

http://allrecipes.co...ili/Detail.aspx

I added a bit of super-dark chocolate at the end, it gives the chili a nice velvety texture.  The habenero I got must've been a lot more potent than when I made this recipe the last time, because it turned out a good bit spicier than I had intended, but I added an additional can of diced tomatoes and a can of black beans to mellow it out a tad.  Next time I think I'll skip the habenero entirely and add some pureed chipotle instead.

#39 BklnScott

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 12:21 PM

Damn, that's some chili recipe!  I'll have to try it.

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#40 T_H_Phoenix

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 01:09 PM

My wife and I wanted to try a pulled pork sandwich (we've been watching a lot of Guy Fierei's DDD recently), but we don't have a smoker, so I found a recipe by Tyler Florence for doing it in the oven.
The pork is prepared with a dry rub, ad after it has been cooked and pulled apart, a wet sauce is mixed into the pulled pork, and the made into sandwiches.

It turned out great!  Mind you, this being Quebec, there is no real authentic barbecue for us to compare it with, but the taste was good, it was simple to prepare and cook, and pork is cheap :)

Dry Rub:
3 tbls paprika
1 tbls garlic powder
1 tbls dry mustard
3 tbls coarse salt
(not called for, but I added 1 tbls onion powder)

Mix all of the above together, and rub into pork roast. 5 to 7 lb shoulder or Boston butt.  Let the rub work for at least an hour, or as long as overnight in the fridge.  Place in a roasting pan (we used a dutch oven, uncovered) cook in a 300F oven for approximately 6 hours, or until roast is falling apart, and a thermometer placed in the thickest part reads 170F.

Cider Vinegar Sauce:
1 and 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until sugar dissolves.

When the roast is cooked, let it rest for 10 minutes before before pulling apart with 2 forks.

We tired it two ways.  I mixed the sauce in with the pork, and made a sandwich with it.  My wife put the pork on the bun and poured the sauce over it.  We both agree that mixing the pork with the sauce first was the better way.
The recipe calls for topping the pork with spicy coleslaw in the sandwich. We used a vinegar based slaw that we usually have on hand, and it was good, but I think a mayo based one will be better next time, too much acid otherwise.
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