Sunday, June 5, 2016

Columbia Huila Coffee

Haven't roasted in a while. I think I have the formula for Columbia Huila down, though.  Kept the heat at about level 6 for the whole time, and the following notes:
  1. Set the heat level at 6 (no idea what the temp is on the stove, but it's a medium heat level)
  2. Roasting chamber at 300, with 14oz of coffee
  3. At 3:16, 250 degrees a strong, slightly bitter smell emanates
  4. Stir, stir, stir
  5. 7:15, approximately 325 degrees, first crack. First crack is like a quiet popcorn popping sound
  6. 9:25 360 degrees, second crack. Second crack is more like a crackling sound, like loud rice crispies
  7. 10:30 and 370 I pulled it off. Still had some crackling going on
Result? A medium-dark roast and a house that smells like coffee!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

White Bread

Well, muh peeps, it's been a while since I posted a bread. This bad ass baby has the original and creative name of "Soft White Bread"! Here's the recipe

4C. Flour
1Tb yeast
1ts salt
2Tb oil
2Tb Sugar
3Tb Powdered Milk Granules
1Tb Vital Wheat Gluten
1 1/2 C. Hot Water

Mix in the stand mixer till it's dough, knead for 10 minutes or so, then let it rest. This needs to rest because the glutens need to relax a lot! I usually wash up whilst it is relaxing because that's about 10 minutes. Then you can finish kneading it. If it's still very elastic-y, then you can let it rest for 5-10 more minutes.

Ferment for an hour or so, then form into a loaf, put in the pan, and proof for another hour or so

Pop into the 350° oven for 30-40 minutes till it's 200°-205° and let cool on a rack until it'

This recipe is my standard with a mod or two (well, exactly two) because I find the powdered milk helps keep it soft as well as keeping it fresher for a little longer.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Guinness Wheat Biga

This bad boy is an experiment. I needed to make bread, but didn't have the three hours it usually takes for all the waiting. 
I usually go to Peter Reinhart when it's time to try something new. His recipes are pretty much my zone since he personally trained me to bake some damn fine bread. (Through his writing, of course). 

So I checked out a Biga recipe which is basically half a loaf of bread which you let sit to ferment in the fridge. I can leave the house that way and don't have to worry about over rising. 
But I wanted to use some of the baking materials I got from the Amish in fall and I wanted to make a wheat bread with the bran and oats on top and everything. So I pulled out the Biga recipe and started to cogitatin'.
I came up with this
2 C AP flour
1/2 C flaxseed
1/4 C wheat (baker's) bran
1t yeast
2/3 C Guinness Draught
Mix dry ingredients until uniform
Using bread hook, mix in Guinness until a stiff ball forms. At this point you can knead with the bread hook or just knead by hand for 5-10 minutes. 
The dough ball should be ever so slightly sticky and you can always knead in more flour if it's too wet. Put that in a plastic zipper bag with 1T olive oil smoothed around inside the bag to lubricate. 
Then go shopping. When you et home your Biga should be about 2X the size and soft. 
You can use this in bread now. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tarelle: From Buddy Valastro's Cake Boss Cookbook

I am a decent baker, fearless and without boundaries. I will cook anything. I mean anything. But, like all skills, I'm better at some stuff than others. For instance, I'm better at cooking steak on the grill than I am cooking hamburgers. It's just a fact. When I need a hamburger cooked on the grill, I ask Julie. She is amazing with the ground beef!

Bread, I understand. I understand most of the science behind it, I "get" how it's supposed to feel when kneading is just about done. I can fix a failing loaf most of the time.

Cakes and me go waaaay back. From the time I was old enough to stand on a chair and watch, my grandmother would let me help bake the cakes. I still have a very soft spot for a cook lemon bunds cake, even if it is a box cake mix.

 But cookies, I don't always do right. I've had chocolate chip cookies come out half raw, half overlooked on the same cookie sheet. And I've had the "softest cookies in the world, you can't screw these up" come out like hockey pucks.

 So here is my first baking experience from the Cake Boss Cook Book. Tarelles! 
Tarelles like your grandma used to bake!
Julie said these taste just like her grandmother used to bake for her. A few sprinkles make them really pop and next to a cup of home-roasted coffee makes for a delicious tea-time snack!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Colombian Huila

I am sorry about the out of order-ness of posting this, but I'm behind on my non-work work. I am also behind on my work-work, but am spot on in both hyphenated-wordiness and XBox One-ificaton.

I roasted some of my Christmas present last week and it ended up being amazing! So I tried to replicate this roast exactly and it looks like I may have been successful.

This roast was extremely easy. I set the stove on #6 and let the roasting chamber warm up to about 300 degrees F. Pour in the coffee, and about 10 minutes later, once the first crack starts, I dropped the temp to about the level 5 mark. the longer roasting time between first and second crack brings out more flavors, I think. After the second crack started, I let it go for about a minute the total time spent roasting was about 15 minutes.

I don't have tasting notes yet for this, But I'll update when I do.

The bag. This is cool cause it's burlap! smokinbeans is a new place I get beans now, it seems to have good beans a little cheaper than some other places

The unroasted beans. This is about a pound

Roasting chamber all ready to go. Note the scientifically designed "agitation flap"

The Final Product


And a closeup. If you look close, you can see very minor color differences in the beans but overall, the color is pretty uniform. And wonderfully dark.

I use the Ball Jar and old spaghetti jars to store and let the coffee Gas Out. Can't wait to open these!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Irish soda bread

Need to test out a recipe for this weekend's Burns Night Bash at Noel's. 

Gonna have to make three of these so hope I find a delish recipe. Here's what I used 

And here's the end result. It's a beaut! Hope it turns out. 

Wish me luck! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Baking Tangzhong Bread

II'm sitting here at my dining room table drinking a Jameson Manhattan and writing this blog post and saying to myself. I really like baking bread. I mean I must like it because this is the 2nd time I've made bread in as many days. I've been toying around with the Tangzhong lately and I really like it!  Basically a Tangzhong is nothing more than a roux made with 15g flour and 75g water. Whisk out the lumps and continue on low-medium heat until it's gone translucent and makes ribbons when you move the whisk around.

Then you get this lovely silky ribbony stuff

So let's get on with today's bread. It's called Hokkaido Milk Bread and I got this particular recipe from Dessert First Girl but I modded it a little so it wasn't as sweet. First you have to make the Tangzhong, that's pretty easy. Next, while the Tangzhong was heating up, I mixed together all the dry ingredients
  • ~4 c. Flour (350 g, I measure with a scale so using a recipe like this is easy for me)
  • 2 t. Yeast (give or take)
  • I used about 25g of sugar (which is about 1 Tb, give or take)
  • 1 t. Salt
By that time, the roux was ready. So I took the ready roux and rendered it into the receiving receptacle with righteous rigor (really?!?) and added the rest of the "Wet" ingredients
  • 1/2 c. Warm milk (warm to the touch)
  • About 2.5 Tb butter (30 g, or about 1/3 of a stick, room temperature)
  • 1 lg egg, "confused"*
A "confused" egg is one that I've forgotten to add till almost the very end and I've basically beaten it enough to break up the yolk and start making it uniform in texture, but not enough to say it's completely beaten. Hey, I'm a busy guy and sometimes I get ahead of myself!
Anyway, you mix that in the old kitchenaid for about 10 minutes give or take (probably less, I'm also impatient) Then you knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes. This next bit is pretty important because it helps the glutens develop: Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before you finish kneading. This also allowed me a little time to get the tools and counter cleaned up so it's really not that big of a deal, and for a guy as impatient as I am, doing something other than staring at a ball of dough is just a good thing.  
Mr. Bread is sitting comfortably watching me clean
  Once you've kneaded it for a second time (make sure you make the bread troll which prevents bad bread.) 
Who's a happy troll? HE's a happy Troll!
  Then of course you have to let it sit for about an hour.  It more than doubles in size after that...but watching that happen is truly more boring than Watching corn grow!
After the magic of time lapse
I rolled mine into just loaves, not the bun-looking roll things that this recipe called for because I like the bread to be fairly uniform in shape. Not that crazy Camel Backed bread contraption.
Waiting to Rise after proofing
  There's a lot of science that goes into this stage, the glutens are developing their pockets of awesomeness and the CO2 is building in the bread and the gasses are building and the water is being absorbed and just wow! Science is so cool! Once they're risen and ready for the oven, I cut the tops and brushed them with an egg wash. I should have brushed first then cut, but I get distracted easily.
Into the oven they go
  And about 35-40 minutes later, the magic of science once more makes ... Um ... Magic!
Science is So Cool!
  Then hack it into slice-like chunks so you can spread ground nuts and gelatinized fruit onto it and consume!
You got some good glutens baby!
  Well that's the end of that, but here's a picture of my dog, who is feeling Dapper after his trip to the groomer!
Murphy is a Dapper Dog!
  I love that Tie! Well, that's all for now, This is my first bread post back after the great destruction times. And I hope this continues to work out. Wish me luck and post a comment!    

Good News, Okay News, Good News, and It's all Gone!

I have some bad news and some good news, and some other good news and some news which is probably neutral in nature, but I'm calling Good News
First the bad news:
It's gone.
That's right, everything from the old site is dead and gone. well, not EVERYTHING, but anything that matters and it's most likely unretrievable.
I'm working on that last bit, but I'm not hopeful at all about being able to get back everything I lost.
It was all my fault too, I panicked when the host service told me I was going to be cut off because some baddies got ahold of my site and made malware inroads to my files. so I pretty much deleted it all. Except the pictures, because who adds malware to an unexecutable file? ISIS THAT'S WHO BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID.
Okay, I've gotten that out of my system, and I'm here to tell you that I'm very excited to be up and running again!
And more Good News! It's more secure, you'll be able to comment and I'll not have to futz with the day-to-day running of a site which is so popular that hackers are constantly banging at the virtual doors.
But the really good news is that we're back! yay! and from now on, I'll be able to focus on content instead of maintenance.
Finally, I'm also on now so I don't even have to blink and the stuff I post here will automagically be updated to facebook and twitter. yes! I'm now going to twit about stuff like a normal human. I may even post to insstagram like the kids do these days!