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Topics - UnConundrum

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Bread / Sweet Potato Rolls
« on: April 25, 2010, 04:36:05 am »
At first I didn't think I'd like the spices, but they're nice.  I added currents today and they worked really well too.  You can find the TM recipe HERE

Bread / Norm's Onion Rolls
« on: January 03, 2010, 10:20:08 pm »
Hi guys!  I've been busy for a while and haven't done much conversion with my TM until today.  These rolls are based on a recipe posted at TheFreshLoaf HERE .  My adaptation with pictures can be found HERE .

Hope everyone has a safe and healthy new year!

Chit Chat / Need Pavlova help !!!
« on: August 23, 2009, 09:57:45 pm »
Not only have I never baked a Pavlova, I've never tasted or even seen one.  Ever fearless, I decided to give it a try.  It's still in the oven in the cool down phase, but I've noticed these huge fissures.  I know it's supposed to crack a bit, but these look excessive.  Is this normal?  If not, any ideas what I did wrong?

Chit Chat / Welp, I'm back
« on: May 30, 2009, 02:46:18 am »
If you haven't noticed, I'm finally back.  Everything culminated with my son's graduation party last weekend.  If you're interested, you can find pictures at  We had just under 60 guests, and I did all the cooking.  Portions were so big, the TM didn't get used much except to make some whipped cream for the deserts.  I think I chopped some onions too :)

Chit Chat / Just checking in
« on: May 14, 2009, 03:02:42 am »
Just wanted to stop in quick and say Hi.  I haven't abandoned you all, and I appreciate the personal messages checking in on me.  It's just a really busy time for me right now.  Last weekend we had the ECG, which is like a big picnic here at my house attended by kitchen knife collectors around the US.  We had about 40 people attend.  I cooked off a 27# chuck roast, made rye bread, Sicilian pizza, and donuts for the crowd.  I have a BBQ competition on Friday and Saturday this weekend, and Sunday is my son's graduation from Law School, so I have to run from final submission at 1:30 Saturday, to my house to clean up, and then about 90 miles to my son's school to take the family out to a 5:00 reservation for dinner.  Then next weekend, it's another picnic party, this time for about 50 (or more) friends and family as a graduation party for my son (planning 2 chuck roasts and many pounds of bbq'd chicken thighs...  (of course, gotta make rye bread to go with the smoked chuck).  So... life's been pretty hectic, but I'll be back.

Chit Chat / Revolution is in the air!
« on: February 07, 2009, 02:57:26 am »

I couldn't take it any longer!  Blood was let.  Casualties claimed!  There is rice pudding in the fridge!

Tips and Tricks / How do you reset the time
« on: February 02, 2009, 02:22:36 am »
Is there some trick to clearing the time other than holding in the - sign until the time is gone?  Seems to be a real PIA to just hold that button in.  Should be some kind of reset or clear button....

Chit Chat / Got a new toy :)
« on: January 24, 2009, 03:37:58 am »
Look what the postman delivered :) 

I realize most of you aren't into knives, but this is a Shigefusa, about 21 cm.  There's about a 2 year wait for one of these :D

Recipe Requests / Risoni
« on: January 20, 2009, 04:45:59 am »
Would you cook Risoni in your TM?  If so, how?

Desserts / Chocolate Pudding
« on: January 20, 2009, 02:20:47 am »
Chocolate Pudding  
Number of People: 4 (or 6 smaller)
      700     grams Milk  
       35      grams Corn Starch  
     120      grams Sugar  
      1/8     tsp.  salt  
     150     grams  chocolate chopped or pieces
        1      tsp. Vanilla


1. Put the milk in the TM with the butterfly. Set to 10 minutes speed 3 @ 90C.
2. Mix the corn starch, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Slowly add this mixture to the milk through the hole in the lid.
3. Around minute 8, the pudding should be thickening and the temperature at 90C. Slowly add the chocolate through the hole in the lid.
4. Just before the end of the 10 minutes, add the vanilla through the hole in the lid (leaving just enough time for the vanilla to mix in). The pudding should be nice and silky.
5. Pour into 4 (or 6) individual pudding cups.
6. Place in refrigerator to chill (about an hour).

NOTE: To avoid a skin, top the pudding with plastic as soon as possible, right on the pudding. If you like a skin, cover the bowl with plastic, leaving an air space between the plastic and the pudding.

members' comments
mimzim - I made it today and four hours later it has not set.
Made it again today, even doubles cornstarch, still not set.

Bread / The Bread Thread - Garlic Knots
« on: January 17, 2009, 06:20:28 pm »
Garlic Knots

Easily serves 4 and more

     400 grams flour (all purpose is fine)
     240 grams water (room temperature)
      25 grams olive oil
       8 grams salt
       8 grams sugar
       2 grams yeast

Place all ingredients in the TM bowl and process @ speed 5 for 3 seconds.

Process at knead speed for 3 minutes

Divide into 2 equal parts

Shape into balls

Store each in a container with oil for an hour

Use or place in the refridgerator.


I thought I'd start a thread on bread baking and share some of what I've learned over the years.  The recipe above is just a tool to use for the discussion, but it works too.  It's sitting out in my kitchen now, and I'll bake it later.....

First, I thought I'd go over baker's math.  With baker's math, you make a formula instead of a recipe.  The foundation is that the flours you use equal 100% and the other ingredients are percentages of the flour's weight.  So, in the "recipe" above, the flour is 400 grams which is 100%. 

Liquids are considered "hydration" and the percentage can vary from bread to bread.  Most "artisan" breads are higher percentages, that, in turn, result in more and larger holes.  A dryer bread is more dense.  The percentage is usually between 60% and 80% of the weight of the flour.  In the recipe above, if you add the liquids,  (the water 240 grams and the oil 25 grams) you'll see that it is about a 2/3 ratio (actually 66%) which is on the more dense side.  I make a LOT of breads in the 80% range by hand, but find that a machine is too harsh on them, making it more like a batter than a dough. 

Salt is an important ingredient that helps control the yeast.  Usually it's about 2% of the flour weight.  This works out exactly in our example.

Sugar is optional, and there is no percentage to talk about.  Just be aware, the more sugar you add, the darker your crust will be as it caramelizes, and there is risk of premature burning.

When you add oil (or butter, or any other fat) to a dough, as we have done above, it is considered an "enriched" dough.  I find that the oil in this particular dough tenderizes it.

Yeast is a little more difficult.  It is generally 1% of the flour's weight, but that was based on cake yeast.  With the more common yeasts the math is a bit more difficult.  For the new instant yeasts, you use about 1/3 of the cake yeast weight.  So, the actual math would mean we need 1.333 grams in the recipe above.  I rounded up to 2 grams. That still seems like a small amount.  Remember, we don't want to taste the yeast, but do want to taste the results of the yeast on the flour and sugars.  We need to give the yeast time to work to develop those flavors.  If you add too much yeast, it will rise quickly, but will taste of yeast and not the results of fermentation.

So, we have a basic formula of 100% flour, 60-80% hydration, 2% salt and .33% yeast.  My baguettes are just that with an 80% hydration, so a recipe would be 100 grams of flour, 80 grams of water, 2 grams of salt and .33 grams yeast for a very small loaf ;)  Note that we add those figures to equal 182.33% (for the baguette dough and 168.33% for our garlic knots).  This may be strange, but we'll work backwards in a minute and this number will be very important.

There is another term called DDW which stands for desired dough weight.  This s the total amount of dough we wish to make.  My precision in the dough knot recipe was lost as I was converting back and forth to the metric system, but I was looking for two .75 pound dough balls or a total of 1.5 pounds (approximately 680 grams).  So.... I'm searching for a final weight of 680 grams.  And I know that with the formula I want to use, 680 grams should equal my 168.33 %.   If I divide the 680 by 1.6833 I get 404 grams for 100% or the weight of the flour.  I rounded that to 400 grams for easier math and weighing.  If I multiply the 400 grams by our 66 percent hydration, we will see that we need (rounded) 265 grams of liquids.  In our recipe, I split that between 240 grams of water and 25 grams of oil.  Two percent of the flour weight is exactly 8 grams. and .33 percent of the weight is 1.3 grams for the yeast (like I said earlier, I rounded up for the yeast for other reasons beyond this discussion.  If you add 400 + 240 + 25 + 8 + 8 + 2, you see that we have 681 grams, almost right on target :)  Using baker's math I can expand the formula to whatever ddw I need.

I'm going to take a break for lunch and put some of the garlic knots into the oven....  I'll reply to this post to continue the discussion and recipe.

Chit Chat / Speaking of BBQ
« on: January 10, 2009, 04:22:18 am »
As I mentioned, I compete a bit with BBQ.  Also, I dabble with computers a bit.  We're expecting a snow storm tonight, so I was thinking that it would be great being snowed in tomorrow with a big hunk of beef.  So, I just put a 16.5 pound (8 kilo) chuck roast on the BGE (Big Green Egg).  I have a device called a "stoker" that is an electronic monitor of temperatures in the BGE, and can control a draft fan, thereby controlling the temperature.  I have a probe in the dome, a probe at grid level, and a probe in the meat.  It should take 12 - 18 hours to cook.  If you care to monitor the  temperatures you can view the graph by clicking HERE.

Chit Chat / Different strokes for different folks
« on: January 08, 2009, 03:35:20 am »
I noticed that a lot of tastes change with geography.  For example I think I saw one recipe that called for less sugar the English version versus the Australian version...  Amanda indicated in another thread that perhaps canned tuna may not be that popular in Oz.  I'd guess that here in the States, we consume more fat and beef in our recipes.  Are there other "geographic" differences that should be taken into consideration when converting or sharing recipes?

Chit Chat / Do you guys have?
« on: January 07, 2009, 03:56:28 am »
Do you guys have club based stores like Sam's Club and Costco in the land of Oz?  They are my favorite place to by meats here in the US.  I can buy Delmonico steaks for under $7 US/pound (little under 500 grams) and the chuck roasts I used for the community meal were only $2.09/pound. 

Welcome / Happy 300th
« on: January 03, 2009, 01:30:19 am »
Seems like we're growing expodentially :). Must be due to all the great members.  Congrads.

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