Thursday, April 28, 2011

Loaf sizes

Some standard dough ball sizes that I use when I bake:

Personal pizza, CPK size: 175-200g
14" pizza, thin crust, NYC style: 450g
14" pizza, medium "american" crust (PapaJohn) style: 525-575g
16" pizza, thin crust, NYC style: 600g
16" pizza, medium "american" crust (PapaJohn) style: 650-675g
Regular free-form loaf (boule) of sourdough: 1000g
Small free-form loaf (boule): 750g
"Standard" lean loaf-pan loaf (9.25" x5.25"x2.75"): 800g
Burger & hot dog buns: 92g
Small soft dinner roll: 48g
6"/7" hoagie/sandwich roll: 113g
12" hoagie/sandwich roll: 227g
Demi-baguette, Cheesecake Factory size: 250g
Large pretzel: 155g
Pita: 105g
Cuban bread loaf: 400g
Raisin Bagel: 96g

Bread and loss

Not sadness...not weight loss (really).

How much weight does a glob of dough lose while baking? Estimates are around 7-10%.

Example: a 12" sub sandwich loaf is around 6oz baked.

To calculate:

d - .10d = f
d(1 - .10) = f

d(.9) = f

d = 6oz / .9 = 6.67oz of dough pre-baked to get 6oz baked loaf.

Where d = dough weight in g, and f = final weight in g

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Leidenheimer po-boy bread

Listened to a podcast with Sandy Whann, a descendent (and now owner) of Leidenheimer bakery in New Orleans, which provides french bread loaves for po-boys.

Based on my recent trip to NOLA, my recollections of the po-boy bread, and some research online, here's what I've gleaned about the Leidenheimer recipe:

  1. Uses a sponge process, which is incorporated into the straight dough
  2. Use a proprietary time/temperature/humidity proof
  3. Produces a light, flaky, crisp crust, "one that crinkles as it cools into a distinctive 'alligator skin' pattern". Should shatter into small dust or flakes when bitten into.
  4. Crumb is cotton-candy like, spongy but dry, fluffy but small-holed (not wispy), very mild, neutral flavor.
  5. Crust color is very light golden, if not whitish.

Ingredients from their nutritional info:
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Yeast (2% or less)
  • Soybean oil (2% or less)
  • Salt (2% or less)
  • Sugar (2% or less)
  • Wheat Gluten (2% or less)
  • Dough conditioners and yeast foods (which I won't include in my finished product) (2% or less)
Based on the texture of the crumb, I think it's safe to say it's not a high-hydration dough, I'm guessing no higher than about 65%, but probably closer to 60%. It's also likely a pretty lean dough.

Here's some info on the dough conditioners & yeast foods that Leidenheimer is using in their French bread (with approximate figures I gathered from the very helpful Lallemand web site):
  • Calcium propionate - preservative/mold inhibitor, use level 0.2%, probably added to finished dough (not sponge)
  • Ammonium sulfate - yeast nutrient, nitrogen source, use level 0.04%
  • Calcium sulfate - pH regulator, raises pH, use level 0.1 - 0.6%
If they are boosting pH, it may mean the water they use is too soft, which suggests (not surprisingly) that water quality is key to consistent product.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Just got back from NOLA; beignets

Got back from NOLA yesterday, what an incredible 4-day splurge of eating. So many good restaurants we ate at:
  • Day/Night 1: Cochon for huge dinner feast
  • Day/Night 2: Cafe du Monde for breakfast, Central Grocery for muffaletta, Luke for oysters and other happy hour eats, Tracey's on Magazine for catfish poboy and fried pickles dinner, Coquette for drinks, Napoleon House for Pimms Cups, Yo Mama for late-nite peanut butter and bacon hamburgers (insanely good)
  • Day/Night 3: swamp tour in morning, August for lunch, Luke for oyster happy hour, Le Foret for dinner
  • Day 4: Commander's Palace for excellent jazz brunch, and a pretty good roast-beef po-boy for dinner
I have never eaten so well for so many consecutive days and meals, Got home not too long ago from easter lunch with family, and downloading photos from the to thinking about beignets!

The Cafe Du Monde box lists the following ingredients in this order, so it's probably an indication by weight
  1. enriched wheat flour
  2. milk (powder)
  3. buttermilk (powder)
  4. salt
  5. sugar
  6. leavening (baking powder, baking soda, and/or yeast)
  7. natural and artificial flavoring.
Some thoughts about them:
  1. They were not very sweet by themselves, sweetness all came from insane amounts of powdered sugar
  2. Almost a little custardy inside, very big holes, like highly hydrated dough. Reminded me of churro interior in terms of dampness and texture
  3. Of course very tender!
Some things I observed in person, and confirmed from a YouTube video, the CDM web site, and other online sources:
  1. They use Big Chief hotel and restaurant (H&R) flour for the dough (I saw big bags on pallets right outside the restaurant, and I took a photo). This is a bleached, bromated, unenriched white all-purpose flour, between 11.6-12.4% protein, according to the specs, and is milled in Texas for Koerner Co.
  2. The dough is sheeted and cut into squares by machine, then thrown right into oil to fry, for about 4 minutes. Unknown temp, although the CDM dry mix instructions say 370F.
  3. They use cottonseed oil to fry their dough.
  4. The dough should be soft, almost biscuity soft, and should be only very lightly mixed, so as not to form gluten.
I found a few recipes, this beignet recipe looks the most promising, because it doesn't use yeast. I don't think the CDM recipe (nor their model) require rise time, so use of yeast for rising is out of the question.

Anyway, the trip left me inspired, and wanting to cook more N'Awlins food, and go back to visit soon for sure!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

blue cheese 4 & wings

Made chicken wings tonight, used the Beacon-style fry method: 350 for 2 min, rest for 15 minutes, then 375 for 7 minutes.

Did the blue cheese dip like #3. The recipe below has not been made, but it's been modified as followed for next time:
  • reduced garlic to 1/2 clove; it can be a little pungent
  • reduced parsley to 1/4 tsp, and I grind it with my fingers to make it a powder
  • add a little salt and pepper
Blue Cheese #4 (TBD)

3 tbsp mayo
3 tbsp plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 clove garlic, minced & ground with salt using knife blade
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried parsley
4 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

Mix with fork to really mash those blue cheese nuggets.