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18

Salt has unique properties in how it interacts with the taste buds. While it has its own "flavor" it also has the ability to enhance some flavors while blocking your ability to experience others. While I could go on, all I would be doing is repeating much of what I learned watching The Food Network's Alton Brown. He goes in depth for the episode "The ...


15

First of all, lye is not "water boiled with ash". You might be thinking of potash, which used to be used as lye, but virtually all food-grade lye today is sodium hydroxide. In terms of its function, it largely raises the alkalinity (pH). Baking soda does too, but sodium hydroxide is far more potent - let's just say you don't want to get any on your hands ...


14

Alkaline solutions are used in different qualities in doughs. I am afraid that you mix something up here, so I don't know which you mean. One use is to enhance the Maillard reaction, which Aaronut already described. This is indeed done with lye. But nobody is incorporating lye into the dough (this would be quite dangerous). Instead, the formed pieces are ...


10

I love using a pastry cutter, something like this: It does the best job cutting butter or shortening into flour. Every now and again while using it I use a fork or butter knife to remove the big blockages.


10

Not only does salt affect the taste of baked goods, it reacts with the dough chemically to slow the action of leaveners, and to change the texture. Here's a brief synopsis, which discusses how salt has an effect on water absorption, as well : http://www.progressivebaker.com/resources/tips_effects_of_salt.shtm


9

While I cannot give an absolutely definitive answer, from visual observation of the picture you provided, that is simply the pattern that would develop when a small cylinder lies across parallel wires of a grill at an angle. The contact surface is an ellipse where the biscuit was in contact with the grill, the width and length of which were determined by ...


8

Another reason for strong alkalis in cooking is to quickly breaks down the flour gluten, instead of having the dough sit around for a long time to 'soften' it This is used in hand pulled noodles and in cookie dough that is extruded or piped Common bottled cooking Lye water in supermarkets is mostly potassium carbonate and some sodium biphosphate. In powder ...


7

I used to use a pastry cutter, but it was hard work and a pain in the butt clearing the blockages. So I switched to using a food processor. It's so much quicker, and providing you cut the cold butter into 1x5cm sticks, it yields perfect results with just a few pulses.


7

They are probably unsalvageable, sorry. There are two possibilities for the bad taste. If you didn't have much fat in the dough, then what you are getting is probably an alkali taste. It is bland and subtly bitter. Alkali (basic) stuff can be neutralized with acid. But for the neutralization you need to mix your alkalic stuff with acid in a liquid ...


6

I usually use my hands, working on soft butter chopping small pieces with my fingers.


6

If neither a rolling pin or food processor are available substitute a wine bottle or large can of juice.


6

It is highly likely those biscuits benefited from the skills of a food stylist. They will have used any number of techniques to ensure the biscuits look as good as possible for the photo, possibly including some that would render them poor tasting or even inedible. Among the things they might have done are: Controlling the lighting to put the biscuits at ...


5

I would think you'd be able to. I'd look for recipes on camping websites for baked goods in dutch ovens, as it'd be pretty similar. You should be able to pull off biscuits and brown bread pretty easily. And I'd tell you about cakes cooked on campfires such as upside-down cakes, but you're the one who asked about it earlier.


4

Generally, I've only heard of the plastic bag or the food processor. I have seen people who just bash the packet of biscuits on the kitchen top. Jamie Oliver likes to do that with slabs of chocolate! Otherwise use a heavy duty snack-lock bag or else wrap the plastic bag in a tea towel. It helps to have a small hole for the air to escape.


4

Can the old trick of putting them in a plastic bag and hitting them with a rolling pin be improved upon? Why? It's quick, easy, and effective. If you're looking to avoid wasting a bag, then the food processor works well enough... But then you have a food processor to clean! One suggestion: use a heavy rolling pin. I have a marble pin that's too awkward ...


4

The texture of a cookie is based on much more than the fat used, shortening or butter. In fact, within some basic limits, they are fairly interchangeable in most cookie recipes, flavor not withstanding. Switching to part or all vegetable shortening will not yield a flaky texture. The method by which the ingredients are combined, and how the cookies are ...


4

Since you ask about other tools, I recommend avoiding the mixer altogether and instead grate frozen butter into the flour. If you have a food processor you can use the coarsest grating blade--chilling the bowl and grater first will help keep the butter cold will help--but it goes quickly by hand with a coarse grater. The key is to get the butter distributed ...


4

The 'ridges' are created by the biscuit cutter, browning may or may not be aided by an egg wash, but given the short bake time, I doubt it, if your biscuits don't brown evenly, rotate the pan 180° after 4 minutes. (that said, yes, those in the picture are almost certainly props...)


3

The recipe is fine; if you follow it carefully it should work. Things you might mess up: Baking powder isn't baking soda; make sure you have baking powder. If you leave the dough alone for hours before baking, the baking powder will expend itself. It's silly, but make sure you used a tablespoon of baking powder, not a teaspoon. Working the dough longer ...


3

I seem to recall that in Moroccan cities there are often 'neighbourhood' ovens where you pay a small amount to have your bread baked, because few people have their own ovens. You cut a distinctive design in the loaf so you can tell which is yours when you go back to collect it; the whole system is extremely ancient. The ovens are usually wood-fired clay ...


3

To further answer the part of your question about replacing lye, you might also be able to use culinary lime from Anson Mills (and apparently some Walmarts according to the article). I'm pretty sure it is made of calcium hydroxide, also known as "cal" to Mexicans. Concerning the purpose of lye in your recipe, in addition to the affect it would have on the ...


3

Coat the outside of the cake with a moderate layer of icing to bind the stick cookies. This is analogous to the mortar behind facade bricks in building a wall. You could also put a drop of icing underneath the bottom, but that probably is not necessary. Update: I just noticed in the photo you can actually see some of the icing between the cookies, ...


3

The paddle should be used for this. You'll want to do it on a lower speed, probably no higher than 2 or 3. You'll have problems with the flour flying up before you have trouble with the butter melting. It will also help to chop the butter up some before putting it in.


2

Macron are in my experience much softer and more meringue like than amaretti, which are much more firm with a biscuit like texture.


2

According to this article the main difference is that French macaroons are usually sandwiched together and enjoyed alone while amaretti (pre-cursor to French macaroons) are used both as a cookie and often as an ingredient. Both are prepared from almond paste and meringue.


2

I prefer to put them in the food processor and pulse until I get the desired consistency.


2

Baking times are never exact, as there can be considerable variance in the product and environment. The three most likely variables to affect total necessary baking time are: How thick the biscuits were rolled How moist they dough was Actual oven temperature accuracy For this reason, there is normally a test or indicator for doneness. The best possible ...


2

You need to make sure you use the right measurements when translating recipes from the US to the UK as the UK uses imperial measurements which are different from US measurements. There are also differences in cream fat content and egg sizes. Teaspoons and tablespoons are the same, so don't worry about them. First, pint measurements, as the UK doesn't use ...


2

I'd recommend that unless you're just stacking oreos on top of each other, that you use something else for structure and then afix the oreos on using icing as a mastic. Typically, you'd use one of the following: A hollow structure made of gingerbread sheets, fastened together A bit of dense cake (eg, pound cake), cut down to the proper size Rice crispie ...


2

Much of the bitter taste in whole wheat products is a result of the hard red wheat used. In the last few years more companies like Bob's Red Mill, King Arthur Flours, and other have started distributing whole version of hard white wheat. A simple way to reduce the bitter flavor without decreasing the overall nutritional benefit of eat whole grain bread is ...



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