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Re: Gratin Dauphinois

I think bread baking is definitely a science. Like an unpredictable experiment.

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Re: Gratin Dauphinois

Totally agree, Patf, I have basically given up making bread because of that.  Likewise cakes, which I do rarely, so I have yet to acquire either the science of putting the ingredients together correctly, or indeed to bake it for the required time ... heat, ... etc .. now that IS BOTH an art and a science. And I did science ... including chemistry, most of which I have forgotten ... so for me, cooking is an art, using basic chemistry, but which is much improved by practice, hence it is an art.

Judith
ex W1, via 47 and 11 and now [just] in 34, equidistant from Carcassonne, Narbonne and Béziers, where I hope we'll finally stay!!

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Re: Gratin Dauphinois


Perhaps cooking can best be described as a craft.

"Food and Nutrition" could well err on the side of (health) science.
My name is Richard , not Dick or any variant.
Dick is a crude name for a functional organ that is used as a derogatory name. Any reference to me as Dick will be met with equivalent response. Strange that it cant be policed better.
ex Consultant NHS


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Re: Gratin Dauphinois

Bread is not hard.

Two things, are, in my opinion essential.

The first is patience about rising times. AND the second is using less yeast. I cannot use dried yeast as it makes my husband very seriously ill, and fresh is no problem for him

I used to use under a half of those cubes in France for 7lbs of flour and use about a quarter or less for amounts of flour under that.

Also because flours are so different in their absorption rates, (there is a word for that, but I cannot remember it), that I simply keep adding liquid and until the dough is slightly claggy.

A good knead, get all that frustration about paperwork and general stupidity in the world out, or better still get my husband to knead it as all the men who have helped with bread in our house, have been able to use extra muscle power on that dough and that makes for good bread.

And it is ready to rise when it feels like it is fighting back and firm. I know that they say to pull a piece up to see if one can make a window, but I just gently press my finger on it and if it springs back, it is ready.

Then I lightly oil the whole dough put it in a lightly oiled clean big bowl, cover it and leave it to rise in a cool place for about 4 maybe five hours, or overnight. Then a gentle knead and forming and then I leave for at least two or three hours until the dough has well doubled if not tripled.

The old 1 2 3 is a good way of working things out but they are an approximation. 1pint of liquid, 2 lbs of flour and three tea spoons of salt, but as I use sea salt these days, I have cut that down to three level teaspoons.  And I always put about two tablespoons of olive oil in my dough too, don't know when I started that, but sometimes I forget.


Also when baked, I always cool and freeze immediately in portions that we would use and it is like fresh bread when it comes out each day. I hate day old bread.

I make brioche, pizza bases, tea cakes, and anything else I fancy doing, basically I always use less yeast, although with the sweet things, it requires a little more, but not a lot and never what the recipe says.

I think the 'less yeast' method is Elizabeth Davidson's, but it works.








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Re: Gratin Dauphinois

I love this video - but too energetic for me:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbBO4XyL3iM
I use a robot with dough hook for kneading now.

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Re: Gratin Dauphinois

 Patf wrote:
I think bread baking is definitely a science. Like an unpredictable experiment.

It is in this household. Fortunately Panasonic has it down to a fine art form and includes an excellent and easy to use instructions manual with their state of the art breadmakers.  Mind you, after twenty years of daily use, we've pretty well got the hang of it now. Wink <img src=">


A friend in need's a pest. Get rid.
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Re: Gratin Dauphinois

Idun, that is all most useful and interesting, though I must admit, I too use the breadmaker for the kneeding but not the cooking ... I do think howe ver, that is it the yeast I use which is wrong .. I am encouraged to try your 1,2,3 method, I like that ... simple!!

Judith
ex W1, via 47 and 11 and now [just] in 34, equidistant from Carcassonne, Narbonne and Béziers, where I hope we'll finally stay!!

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Re: Gratin Dauphinois

I have never used a bread maker. No one has ever explained how I could use fresh yeast with one, and I would literally be poisoning my husband if I used dried. I know that modern dried yeasts are miraculous, and do wonder what is in them or done to them to rise so quickly.

Also I have never been someone who uses machines much. Did not even have a whisk when I moved to France, used a fork for whisking until I encountered cream in France.

What gets on my nerves about machines is the fiddly job of washing them afterwards, gets on my nerves, as it is I just have my hands and a bowl and work surface.

My husband has a Kenwood chef with a dough hook, but that will only do small amounts and I like to make up a lot more dough when I get started, and I tried it once but was unimpressed.

With regards to the 123 method, the liquid could be spot on or variable as the flour may take a little less or more, and it is great when it is just right, but I never know. The good thing is that if the dough is too wet I just add a little more flour at a time until it feels right. Too dry and a little water at a time.

One thing is for sure, hand kneaded bread is not the same consistency as machine made.


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