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Messages - UnConundrum

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Chit Chat / Re: How to maintain a pizza stone
« on: June 01, 2009, 08:04:45 pm »
With a stone, you have to make one pizza at a time, and really should give it a few minutes to recover temperature between them, unless you burnt the first one ;)

A BGE (Big Green Egg) is a ceramic cooker, usually used for smoking, and has a temperature range from about 180F to 1200F.  It is far different from a Webber.  You use only lump charcoal with one, as opposed to gas or briquettes.  It's ceramic is about an inch thick, so it holds temps for a long time and keeps moisture in for those long cooks.

Chit Chat / Re: How to maintain a pizza stone
« on: June 01, 2009, 02:25:54 pm »
I use a pizza stone all the time in my BGE for bread and pizza.  In the picture below, you can see I'm making naan, and the stone doesn't look anything like it did new...

This may depend on the quality of the stone, but to clean it, I just let it bake at high temperatures with nothing on it.  I've heard that with an oven, you should be able to leave it in the oven during a clean cycle.  Everything on it will be reduced to ash.

With regard to using it, a longer pre-heat is better.  You want it to hold the temperature after you put the pizza on.  If you have a convection oven, turn the fan on during the pre-heat period, but remember to turn it off before you add your pizza.

News about Thermomix / Re: Interesting Link
« on: May 31, 2009, 01:06:42 am »
Agreed.  My unit is nothing special from US standards.  No voltage conversion or adapters.  Just plug it in :)

Chit Chat / Re: Welp, I'm back
« on: May 30, 2009, 02:29:22 pm »
That's mine.  Actually, it's charcoal fired, so I can take it to competitions.  There, we just fill it with water to use for cleaning and sterilizing utensils...  clean/rinse/disinfect.  But it sure comes in handy :)

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 :)

That water spinning in the opposite direction must really affect things down there  ;D  When I first got mine, I too took it apart each use.  Pretty quickly I noticed that the self cleaning did a great job unless there is a cooked on coating on the bottom...  I haven't poisoned anyone yet ;)  Made the barley risotto tonight.  Love that recipe!

I rarely have to take my TM apart to clean.  I just use the self cleaning method, filling it half way with water and a small squirt of dish detergent.  Let it process for a minute or two at a relatively high speed (making sure it doesn't overflow). 

I find that sometimes when I cook something in it, the bottom of the bowl will have some residue, and then I use a plastic scrubbie.  Otherwise, only pasta dough seems to be too dense to clean with the self cleaning method....

Recipe Requests / Re: Bakers flour??
« on: May 29, 2009, 02:28:43 pm »
JWorth, what are you baking?  Sometimes higher gluten flours aren't needed, even though the recipe may call for it.  It's appropriate for really dense doughs like bagels and soft pretzels, but isn't necessary for a simple white bread.  If you're making a mixed flour bread, it may be necessary to make up for the reduced gluten in some other flours, such as rye.  When you're comfortable with the recipe, try it once with regular ap flour and observe the differences.

Introduce Yourself / Re: Bonjour from Montreal, Canada
« on: May 29, 2009, 02:21:52 pm »
Belated hello MrSpock! 

I'm a frequent visitor to Montreal and absolutely love the restaurants there.  You do know you have a cooking shop in Montreal that offers ThermoMix demos and I guess sell the units?  I believe they're holding ThermoMix cooking classes too.  They're on St. Laurent, on the downtown side of Little Italy; I can't remember the name.

Bread / Re: The Bread Thread - Garlic Knots
« on: May 18, 2009, 03:12:58 pm »
With regard to a convection conversion, I've seen some indicate that 25 degrees (F) should be added, and even as high as 50 degrees.  So, if the bread is to bake at 425 (F) in a convection oven, I'd try 450 instead.

When making bread, there are several things going on at once.  The yeast gives off carbon dioxide as it eats some of the sugars in the bread.  That's what causes the bread to rise.  This can be encouraged by adding things the yeast likes to eat (like malt) or increasing the temperature somewhat.  Once the yeast has done it's thing, you can't revive it.  So, if something has over risen, and you punch it down, it will probably remain down.  There are also bacteria in the bread that contribute greatly to the flavor.  They operate much slower, and prefer cooler temperatures.  Consequently, the development of a good rise and flavor is a balancing act between the yeast and the bacteria.  Allowing the bread to sit overnight gives it time to develop flavor while not exhausting the yeast. 

That said, if you're using a recipe, stick to the recommendations in the recipe.  If the recipe is designed for a 2 hour fermentation, it will probably have more yeast, and a variation of salt and sugars, designed to have the dough ready to bake in 2 hours.  This same recipe may not work in  an extended fermentation. 

Chit Chat / Re: Just checking in
« on: May 14, 2009, 02:20:10 pm »
Well, I was taking the pictures, so no self portraits, but here's a picture of me taking a picture :)

Chit Chat / Re: Just checking in
« on: May 14, 2009, 03:27:30 am »
You can see pictures of last weekend here:

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.

Introduce Yourself / Re: Hi from Jworth
« on: April 12, 2009, 03:09:59 pm »
Hi JWorth, Nice to meet you :)

Chit Chat / Re: hey everyone!
« on: April 11, 2009, 12:14:07 am »
Me too.

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