How to rescue over-proofed dough

 bread

Has the following scenario ever happened to you? After you have mixed, proofed, and shaped your bread dough, you walk away to do another task while the dough undergoes its final rise. One thing leads to another, until a sudden panic strikes: you forgot about the dough.

You rush back into the kitchen only to see a monster loaf that towers over the loaf pan, threatening to subsume the entire countertop. You immediately stick it in the oven, hoping for the best, only to have those hopes dashed when the dough deflates, leaving a sunken loaf. It doesn't have to end that way, says PJ Hamel of King Arthur Flour. She walks us through the steps of how to save over-proofed dough

Hamel says that if your dough rises too far, you can usually rescue it by gently deflating the dough, reshaping it, and returning it to the loaf pan. She notes that most yeasts have enough oomph for a third rise, with the exception of rapid-rise yeast (not to be confused with instant yeast, which should be okay for a third rise). 

The third rise will take far less time than the previous one, so don't walk away from this one. According to Hamel, the rise may take as little as 20 minutes. She shows side-by-side photos of a loaf baked using the normal two rises and a loaf that was over-proofed and rescued. The over-proofed loaf actually ended up just a tiny bit higher in the end. That's a lot better than the loaf baked straight from an over-proofed state - it couldn't sustain the rise and collapsed in the oven. 

What's it like to audition for Masterchef?

 Masterchef

If you have ever watched any competitive reality television cooking show like Masterchef or The Next Food Network Star, at some point you probably think "how did they come up with these people?" or "I know I could do better than that!" Since the competitiors for these programs are chosen from people from all walks of life, in theory you have as good a chance as anyone to be on the show.

So what's it like to try out for the show? Someone who has been there - she applied for Masterchef - tells Salon what the process is like. Jessie Glenn made it all the way from the initial submission of a video to the on-screen tryouts in Los Angeles. She shares her experience, and after reading her story, you will probably not be rushing to submit your application to any cooking show. 

Shows like Masterchef do not want contestants, or even people who try out to be contestants, to talk about the experience. However, Glenn did not submit the forms that bound her to secrecy, so she's sharing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what happens up to the point of getting that coveted apron. 

She describes the obvious attempt to make sure the contestants question themselves and to manipulate their feelings, along with an intense sense of pressure. Glenn's experience rings true to me - I also tried out for the program several years ago, although I did not make it quite as far as she did.

Christopher Kimball talks recipes and more

Milk Street Kitchen cookbookLast month, Christopher Kimball released his first cookbook post America's Test Kitchen titled Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Kitchen. We've reported before on his acrimonious split with ATK, where litigation is still pending on breach of contract claims. Kimball recently gave an interview to a somewhat unlikely publication, The Washington Free Beacon, known more for its political writing than its food reporting. In the article, Kimball discusses how Milk Street is different from ATK, and he also voices strong opinions on everything from Thanksgiving turkey to recipes

Kimball was quick to point out that unlike ATK, Milk Street doesn't do equipment reviews, nor does it do a science segment per se. He also discusses his new philosophy of cooking, where flavors rank much higher than technique. It's almost a 180-degree turn from the ATK method of rigorous testing of recipes, including dozens of ways to roast a chicken. 

Speaking of which, after nearly 40 years of revisiting the same concepts over and over, you can tell that Kimball is tired of the repetition and wants to do something different. "I have spent almost four decades dealing with roast birds," he says. "High heat or low? Flip it once or twice? Salt breast overnight in the fridge? To brine or not to brine? Stuff or not stuff? Spatchcock or whole? At some point, you just have to move on."

Kimball is now more interested in what kinds of rubs or glazes you can put on the bird, incorporating spices from across the globe in pursuit of bolder flavors. "The world thinks differently about cooking," Kimball writes in his cookbook. "While so much of northern European cuisine relies on heat and time to build flavor-long simmers and roasts fueled by fire-elsewhere, flavors are built by layering bold, simple ingredients. The Ottoman Empire had access to 88 spices." 

When it comes to recipes, Kimball provided an outlook that might seem shocking from someone who spent the better part of a lifetime focusing on creating the perfect recipe. "People mistake a recipe for cooking," he says. "Cooking is performance art-it's what one does with a recipe that matters."

A beginner's guide to the Instant Pot

 Instant Pot

Between holiday hauls and Prime Day deals, thousands upon thousands of people now own an Instant Pot or one of its close cousins. I've known some who have had one for months but haven't taken it on a maiden voyage yet. If you are in this camp, Melissa Clark is coming to your rescue. She's provided us all with a thorough guide on how to use a multi-function cooker like the Instant Pot

Clark correctly surmises that the function you're mostly likely to use is the pressure cooking function. Who doesn't want perfectly cooked beans, tender roasts, and more, all made in a fraction of the normal cooking time? While Clark doesn't get into charts or timing in detail, she does a good job of laying out the basics of how a pressure cooker works, and the difference between manual and natural release, terms that can stymie beginners. 

Also included in the guide are introductions to the many other functions you can use, such as slow cook, sauté, and yogurt making. Clark provides a breakdown of the parts and accessories you'll find with your appliance (I finally know the use for the small plastic cup that came with mine). Best of all, there's a general guide on how to convert conventional recipes to pressure cooker recipes. Armed with this knowledge and advice, you're sure to be enjoying your multicooker in no time. 

A Conversation with Jacques Pépin - My Menus & Apron Giveaway

Legend is a powerful word that carries substantial weight and responsibility. Leading a well-lived life, educating others, contributing to the beauty of the world all adds to the definition of legendary in my estimation. A legend is a role model and a source of inspiration - not all who are famous are deserving of this title.

Jacques Pépin is a legend. His career has spanned over 60 years, he has written almost thirty cookbooks, taught us how to cook on television for decades, he is devoted to his family, his painting is world renowned and rumor has it that he is quite the crooner. He is more than a triple-threat - he is the whole package.

In my cookbook collection, I have many of his titles. One of my favorites is Heart & Soul in the Kitchen which I reviewed last year. This month and next, Jacques has two more books being released: A Grandfather's Lessons (look for a promotion soon on that title) and My Menus which will be available exclusively at Sur La Table in October. 

My Menus: Remembering Meals with Family and Friends is a stunning collection of the chef's menus that have been preserved over the decades - from his granddaughter's First Communion to other special occasions.  In speaking with Jacques, I gathered every meal with family and friends is a special occasion and I vowed to keep that in my mind and heart going forward. These menus have become a history of his life through meals, conversations and time spent with those that matter the most.

On Monday, I had the honor of speaking to Jacques and that will go down as one of the epic moments of my life. Confession time, I was nervous when I dialed his number almost hoping that the call would go to voice mail. But no, that silky French voice on the other end was the legend himself. I feel the need to share what has been going on in my life. My just turned 13 year old son has Aspergers (since birth) and officially bipolar for the last four years. He was admitted to the hospital on August 11 and was an inpatient for twelve days. He is now a patient in the partial hospitalization program since discharge. His team is working on his medications along with therapy and hopefully he will be discharged on the 5th. So, not only was I dealing with exhaustion and stress, I was also nervous calling a world famous chef that I respect and admire and wasn't able to hide behind my keyboard.

Originally, I had the call planned earlier but had to reschedule due to a meeting at the hospital - Jacques was very understanding. Thirty seconds into our conversation, he had me at ease. It was less an interview and more a conversation - sharing his love of family, food and art and my sharing my thoughts on same. I was so engrossed in actually talking to him - I took very little notes and found myself calm and relaxed by the end of our time together.

During our conversation, I asked if his food inspired his art or was it the other way around. He tends to keep his food straight-forward without embellishments - his art is where he is more expressive and abstract. He loves food in its natural form - cooked well without fancy plating. Often times, food can inspire his painting and he finds much of his art has some ties to the kitchen. Recently he was sitting at the dinner table, looking at the food on the table and noticed the sun reflecting off the glasses and relished the beauty in that simple moment. He can also paint an image with his words and I felt as if I was seated at that table gazing on that same image. 

Jacques has a wonderful sense of humor - when asked which gave him more joy cooking or painting. "Cooking, if I am hungry."  I knew it was an impossible question to answer but I did ask what his favorite piece of art was - and he stated that he probably would have to choose the essential rooster that he created and has been a trademark in his Sur la Table line

We talked a bit about family and how proud he is to have worked with Claudine, his daughter, and Shorey, his granddaughter. I mentioned how impressive to have worked with his family to bring their love of food into the work aspect of his life - but when food is family and time together - it must not seem like work at all. Jacques shared stories of foraging for wild mushrooms or fishing off the coast of Connecticut, where he lives, - catching tiny fish - dredging them with flour and frying them up. The man treasures his family and feels that time spent together is the glue that holds a family together.

I asked if he had something sentimental in his kitchen that he holds dear - he mentioned a garlic press from Julia Child and a piece of copper from James Beard and it hit me again that I was talking with a legend. 

We spoke a little of A Grandfather's Lessons and the joy he experienced creating this book with Shorey. The recipes or lessons contained in this book range from fast but elegant, easy to sophisticated - for instance a fish dish that takes just a few minutes but is elegant and presents beautifully to something playful as a curly dog - a hot dog with slits that fries up in a pan. I wondered if there were any plans for a television tie in for this book. Jacques stated that they had just finished filming 36 lessons - each 10 to 12 minutes long - that can be found on Sur la Table starting September 13th (the links are set forth below each recipe in the book). We will have more on this title and a promotion close to the publication date of September 13th.

Jacques, Shorey and Claudine will be touring for A Grandfather's Lessons and you can find their scheduled events on our calendar. Besides a copy of the My Menus book that will be available in October at Sur La Table we also have the gorgeous watercolor apron pictured to the left from the chef's collection as part of our promotion here today for two lucky members. Be sure to scroll down to enter.

I wish to share some advice Jacques provided me with regard to my son. "Get him in the kitchen. Even if he doesn't want to participate - have him sitting at the table or standing nearby. The sights, sounds and aromas will be something that he will always remember." Andrew, my son, is quite often in the vicinity of the kitchen when I am cooking, I try to coax him into helping but right now he is a bit scattered as am I. Each night, I recall this advice and make an extra effort to comment on what I am doing and hope that this will encourage Andrew to eventually participate in the process of cooking. 

Lastly, a few years back I reached out to Claudine and told her it would mean so much to me to have her and her father's autographs for my copy of Cooking with Claudine. Within a week, I received a lovely note, their combined autographs and a singular autograph from Jacques with his trademark little drawing - I told Jacques that this gesture meant the world to me - and reinforces my opinion that legends can be down-to-earth and kind.

Sur La Table is offering two winners a copy of My Menus and a Jacques Pépin Watercolor Apron in our contest open to Eat Your Books members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which piece in Jacques Pépin's collection at Sur La Table is your favorite? (My answer is all of them - and especially the beautiful copper pots.)

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on October 4th, 2017.

Photos used here are courtesy of Jacques Pépin and Sur La Table.


No-Bake Desserts - Addie Gundry, Food Network Star Contestant

The dog days of summer are a perfect time to dig into and enjoy the treats in Addie Gundry's No-Bake Desserts: 103 Easy Recipes for No-Bake Cookies, Bars, and Treats.

In this book, the Cutthroat Kitchen winner teaches us how to combine favorite flavors, from fruit and chocolate to nuts and caramel, into over one hundred easy no-bake cheesecakes, pies, fruit tarts, candies, cookies, bites, bars, fruit desserts, frozen desserts, gelatin desserts, puddings, and single-serving desserts in a jar.  Combining her professional French culinary training with her love of easy entertaining solutions, Addie translates classic favorites from tiramisu to banana cream pie into easy go-to recipes that you'll use all year round. Learn how to whip up Chocolate Éclair Cake, Mini Lemon Meringue Pies, Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar, and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bites with ease.

Food Network fans will recall that Addie is a contestant on the current season of Food Network Star. She was gracious enough to fill us in on some behind the scenes information including her plans for the future as well as sharing one of her refreshing recipes with us today as well.

Besides the grueling schedule of the Food Network Star competition, Addie has been churning out cookbooks - several books have been released and she has many more coming this year, you can check out a list of her titles on her author's page here at Eat Your Books.

When you are finished reading all about Addie and checking out her recipe, be sure to head over to our contest page to enter our giveaway for No-Bake Desserts open to US members.

Q: Hi, Addie, thanks for agreeing to talk with our members today. You have seven titles (I believe) coming out this year can you tell us about them and how long you have been working on them?

We have 4 titles this year (No-Bake Desserts, Family Favorite Casseroles, Everyday Dinner Ideas, and Cookies)! We began production in 2015 and we moved rather quickly! I have submitted 11 manuscripts to St. Martin's Griffin and 2018 will be a big year for the series, as we plan to publish 7 books!

Q: Out of those titles which was the most fun and which one was the most work?

The most fun: No-Bake Desserts. The book is filled with confetti and glitter. All of the recipes are easy and adorable, allowing me to spend more time playing with the styling and really showing the fun behind food!

The most work: Slow Cooker. Slow cooked recipes take time! Making a quick No-Bake dessert may be a 20 minute task where as a slow cooked chicken recipe could take 6 hours! Simply put, it was just more time consuming!

Q: Are you a cookbook collector yourself? Can you tell us about your collection (feel free to share a photo) and tell us who your favorites authors are?

Absolutley! I am a big collector. I love practical books, such as Weber's Grilling and then the not-so practical books like Alinea. And by not-so-practical I mean books that I do not cook from but that I love to look at. In my kitchen now, on display, is Thomas Keller's French Laundry book. This was given to me for Christmas by Chef Keller when I worked for him and I keep it in my kitchen because it reminds me of a saying that he has hanging in his - "What would you do if you knew you would not fail." I like the reminder, as sometimes things can get dicey in the kitchen and in life!

Q: I have to ask about Food Network Star - I was in your corner - when I saw you first come on the screen I told my husband - I know her! (Well, I knew your name from adding your books to our Eat Your Books library). How was that experience?

Haha I love this!! And thank you!! The experience was wild. Absolutley surreal. From spending time with Bobby and Giada to running around like a maniac in that kitchen I just never knew what was next and had to be on my toes at all times. We filmed in February and at the time I was 8 weeks pregnant! I am due in 6 weeks, so life is about to change over here. I filmed for about 5 weeks and no one knew about the growing belly. At one point a stylist told me I should lay off the cake ;) This made it all particularly harder considering I was exhausted and slightly nauseous! The days were long, 15-16 hours and the continuous stimulation was just beyond overwhelming - but in a really good way! It was just a blast. I met some REALLY neat people, cast members that I am still in touch with today and plan to be lifelong friends with. All sequestered together for that long you get to know one another quickly. It's an odd little group we formed and I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot about myself too. It is a LOT harder than it looks! You are given a task and just have to start cooking! The first few minutes in the challenge you may not even know what you want to make but you better start doing something because you don't have a lot of time. It was a lot of fun!

Q: Do you have any regrets about anything that occurred on the show - anything you'd like to do over?

Oh man. Part of me wishes that the producers knew I was pregnant because I think that is interesting! That said, I was only in my first trimester and it is best to keep that to myself. In all honesty I gave it my all! I was passionate and excited and I was bummed to hear feedback that said otherwise. I think they were looking for someone with a HUGE personality and I was just a little too calm haha.

Q: I know that I would totally freeze up making some of those dishes with such a time constraint - what dish came out better than you thought it would? What dish failed that you thought was a winner?

I was worried about the potato salad that I made for the glamping episode. It came out better than I thought but still tasted like canned potatoes, which sort of is what it is!

I was so into my low country boil skewers!! I used Lipton tea in all of my dipping sauces and in the actual dish, I thought it was a winner! Then I got the boot haha! They did like the food and I rarely got any food criticism, it was mostly presentations. So I suppose the recipe was a winner!

Q: What are your future plans - more cookbooks?

Baby and books!! We are so excited for the little one to join us in September! I then plan to continue with the cookbook series. I am not so sure about more television, but I never say never!

Thanks to Addie for taking time from her busy career and baby prep to answer some questions for us.

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

Yield: 1 cake; serves 8 to 10 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Chill Time: 3 hours


My fondest memories of my grandmother are her morning cups of coffee and her long list of icebox desserts that she'd turn to each week in the summer. When I eventually began drinking coffee, both the smell and taste brought back these memories. I don't know if I remember her combining that morning coffee into any of her icebox cakes, but if she did, it would be exactly this cake.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (9-ounce) package chocolate wafer cookies
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 31⁄2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11⁄4 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips or melting chocolate wafers

DIRECTIONS


1. Crush cookies in a food processor to the consistency of wet sand

2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it begins to steam. Stir in the espresso powder and set aside to steep.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whip, whip 2 ½ cups of the heavy whipping cream on high until foamy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

4. In the same mixer bowl (no need to wash using the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and granulated sugar and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl, until smooth. Add the espresso-milk mixture and stir to incorporate. Fold the two mixtures together until no white streaks remain. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

5. Meanwhile, put the chocolate chips in a large bowl. Heat the remaining 1 cup heavy whipping cream over the chips and stir until a smooth shiny ganache forms.

6. Place half the crumbs into a greased 8-inch springform pan and press with your fingertips to form a bottom crust. Spoon in half the whipped filling and smooth. Repeat the layering.

7. Chill the cake for at least 3 hours before serving.

Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

Copyright © 2017 by Addie Gundry and reprinted by permission of St. Martin's Griffin.

French tips for getting the most out of your pressure cooker

 Instant Pot

There is little doubt that Amazon's Prime Day ended with thousands more Instant Pots and related devices being shipped to homes in countries across the globe. Once the unit arrives on your doorstep, however, getting into the rhythm of using it can be daunting if you are not accustomed to pressure cooking. While pressure cookers have been around for decades, they never really caught on in the US. Over in France, however, they have been kitchen mainstays for many years. Food52 brings us advice from the French on how to get dinner on the table faster by maximizing your pressure cooker.

Although most people think of soups, stews, or other one-pot dishes when using their devices, you can also use pressure cookers to replace a step in the process rather than replacing the entire process. French cooks use it as a shortcut to speed up softening of  cauliflower for a gratin, or of chickpeas for falafel, to name just two examples.

You can use your Instant Pot to economize. Making stock from leftover bones and using its power to tenderize tough cuts of meat or difficult to cook vegetables helps you take advantage of lower prices while still making delicious dinner fare. Plus, you will use less electricity than you would running your cooktop or oven.

Another tip to ensure you make the most of your unit is make sure your pressure cooker is easily accessible. If the device is out of sight, it's also out of mind. Leave it on the counter or within arm's reach so you turn to it more frequently.

The little known history of frozen food

Grocery by Michael RuhlmanMichael Ruhlman recently released a new book called Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America. The book offers commentary on America's relationship with its food and investigates the overlooked source of so much of it  the grocery store. The modern chain grocery store is such an ubiquitous part of the average American's life, yet most of us don't know that much about how the food that ends up there is sourced, produced, or distributed. 

Wired has released an excerpt from Grocery that focuses on the birth of the frozen food industry, which can be traced to one man: Charles Birdseye. 

Birdseye was certainly not the first person to freeze food to prevent spoilage, but his keen interest and dedication to the subject resulted in tremendous improvements to the freezing process. He can be credited with introducing not only modern packaged frozen foods, but also to bringing about waterproof cellophane packaging and encouraging the growth of large-scale industrial farming. 

Here's a snippet from the linked article: "Frozen food had been around forever in frigid climes, but it had also made inroads into America as ice became plentiful. The quality of frozen food, however, was terrible. Most of it was frozen in bulk portions, whether whole sides of beef or great blocks of strawberries. The first patent for freezing fish was given in 1862. But because the quality was so bad, frozen food was largely frowned upon.

"Then Birdseye recalled a traditional method he'd learned from watching the Inuit: fast freezing. "My subconscious suddenly told me that perishable food could be kept perfectly preserved in the same way I had kept them in Labrador-by quick freezing!" Read the full excerpt at Wired

Twenty Years of Better Baking - Author Profile - Marcy Goldman

Marcy Goldman started her website Better Baking.com back in 1997 and has built a baking empire stoked by her passion for sharing her well-tested recipes. Currently, she is in the process of moving things over to Marcy Goldman's Better Baking.

When I look through Marcy's baking books, I am always amazed by the uniqueness of her recipes and thoroughness of her instructions.  Marcy is truly a baking icon that doesn't often have the spotlight pointed at her - but she surely deserves to be brought out of the shadows.  She continues to bring her fans quality recipes twenty years after starting her website.

In the ever challenging publishing world, Marcy has turned to self-publishing - and states "Self publishing has changed my life. I think it was my destiny. It is freeing and creative and for me, restorative."

Late last year, Marcy published the first in her Baker's Dozen Series, Best Holiday Cookies. She is baking and testing as fast as she can for the next title - Biscotti which she hopes will be out this month.

One of my dear friends, Laurel Eden, has been a recipe tester and long time fan of Marcy. Laurel shares, "Marcy Goldman is an innovative baker. I had the wonderful opportunity to be one of her recipe testers and it was an incredible experience. I put together ingredients I never thought possible to result in fantastic results. I wouldn't hesitate to try a Marcy Goldman recipe nor recommend one. In addition, my experiences with her have been positive, delightful, and inspirational. Marcy Goldman is a baker, a cook, and a great person."

Below I share a few thoughts on her books. I hope you take some time and explore these titles - all of which I highly recommend - especially the titles devoted to baking for they will add variety and foolproof recipes to your arsenal.  

UPDATE 5/30 - for the next 30 days all of Marcy's books are $4.99 on Kindle - choose the Buy Book option here at Eat Your Books and select Amazon US. With a purchase of any of her cookbooks, you will receive four free months at BetterBaking.com - just email your receipt to editors@betterbaking.com. 

 

The Splendid Table talks to Samin Nosrat

Salt Fat Acid HeatSamin Nosrat has taught cooking for many years. To give you insight as to how well she's done in that endeavor, know that Alice Waters has declared her "America's next great cooking teacher". Nosrat has distilled her knowledge into a new cookbook, named after the simple philosophy that she employs in her teaching. 

The book is titled Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, and basically everything you need to know about cooking is in the title, according to the author. The Splendid Table interviewed the chef and writer to find out more about the book and Nosrat's theory of cooking. She believes that if you master the use of just four elements-Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food-anything you cook will be delicious.

As she explains to Splendid Table hosts Francis Lam, "The whole idea behind  Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is that if you can learn how to use these four elements - which play a role in everything that we cook - you can learn how, why, and when to use them, and make anything taste good with or without a recipe." In fact, Nosrat was reluctant to include any recipes in the book, but acquiesed because she felt no publisher would print the book otherwise. 

Even though Nosrat loves teaching people how to cook without a recipe, that doesn't mean she doesn't believe in or use recipes (whew!). There are times where it makes sense to look to recipes, she says, whether it is for inspiration, exploring an unfamiliar cuisine, or getting specific spice combinations. "As much as I am trying to instill in you this philosophy of instinctual cooking, you also need training wheels; a good recipe can be training wheels as long as you also aren't going to abandon your own common sense and your own sense of agency," she notes.

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