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ajmill1978

Can you pre-make waffle batter day before cooking?

Yeah, but that's still an acid/base reaction to produce leavening, so you're going to want to keep your dry and wet ingredients separate, as mentioned above.

Can you pre-make waffle batter day before cooking?

Doh, but that won't work with egg whites. Hmm...

Can you pre-make waffle batter day before cooking?

It will lose its airiness. The egg whites folded in inevitably meet the fat of the rest of the batter and lose their structure, releasing the air.

Other recipes that use baking powder or baking soda will also not work overnight because the leaveners will be neutralized.

What you *can* do is mix the wet ingredient and dry ingredients up separately the night before and keep them in ziploc bags in the fridge. Then just mix together the morning of.

The Vegan Experience: How To Make Great Vegan Soups

If you're looking for something that simulates the slippery mouth feel of gelatin, try a bit of xanthan gum. Usually 1/2 to 1 tsp per batch does it.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide To Pan-Seared Steaks

Yes, the oil does get it that much browner. But only if it's in constant contact, like in a pan on your range. Oil just drips off in the oven, so it's only getting infrared heat under the broiler.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide To Pan-Seared Steaks

Salt is salt, it doesn't really matter what form it's in once it dissolves. But, kenji is right about the second part; it's much easier to sprinkle salt evenly when it's easier to grip between the fingers. It's also easier to prevent over-salting when in a fluffy state, since the salt is less dense.

Ask a Chef: Best Way to Make Turkey on Thanksgiving?

@Alex! - Moisture released from the oven is already lost from the bird, so no worries there.

The real effect of opening the oven is heat loss. I suppose this results in an overall lower average cooking temperature, which *might* result in a slower "coasting" of the bird to its final temperature. It definitely allows you to season/color the skin so it's more presentation-friendly. That's about it.

We Try the New Ruffles Ultimate Chips 'For Men'

@redfish - Eat too many fire hot cheetos and your gums will start to exfoliate. Can you finish a bag without them starting to bleed?

Food to comfort in hard times

I'm in the soup/stew crowd. Except that it always takes me about 10x longer to cook it than it should. Maybe I just find the act of cooking an easy way to escape. And then I end up with like a million plastic containers of soup and just me to eat them; which is depressing in its own right.

Oh and spicy things. Like go out and buy a bunch of habaneros and Rotel and stuff. And add them to my soups and stews until I get a blisteringly hot, self-castigating concoction. The resulting crying helps too.

DIY: How to Make Greek Yogurt at Home

Many use a heating pad set on low underneath and the jars and wrapped/covered in a regular towel. Best to find a heating pad with variable temp control rather than just two or three settings. Then experiment with water until you get the right temp and always leave it on that temp.

Glass cooktop

Bartenders friend will clean up any polymerized crap that gets stuck on your cook top surface. Just scour it down once a week and you'll be fine.

Count your calories? Think again!

A bomb calorimeter is a very one-use item. It burns food and measures caloric content in terms of what size campfire it would make. It has nothing to do with human health, except that it can reliably compare bonfires from our various meals. And this is what the FDA requires for labeling. Because it's easy to calculate.

The problem isn't that inefficiencies result in wasted calories, its that they result in stored calories...aka fat.

Simple food = best meals

Bread, stinky cheese, olives, wine = perfect meal.

No cooking, compatible with most ambient temperatures. Cured meats optional.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

And the next slide answers that.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Bagels, lox, cream cheese, and...is that vodka?

Gadgets: Polar Ice Tray

Doh, never mind. I was able to calculate ~2.5in per side from the volume.

Wish we had an edit function.

Gadgets: Polar Ice Tray

Thinkgeek says the dimensions are 4.3x4.3x3.8, but don't specify if that is the tray or the final cube. I'm assuming tray, but if you can clarify the dimension of the cube, that'd be helpful.

Freezing dough

Oh, and use cooking spray/touch of oil in whatever you're using to hold the dough before freezing. Makes it much easier to take it out later.

Freezing dough

Frozen dough works fine, though it will have a slower rise than usual once it thaws. You want to let the dough rise first so the yeast is fully active before putting it in the freezer. You can freeze after bulk formation or after shaping your loaves (but before the final rise)

If you're freezing after bulk fermentation (i.e. to pull out what you need over time to make different breads) I find to useful to divide the dough into smaller zip bags and press flat so they freeze/thaw faster. Once thawed, just recombine, shape and rise. If you're freezing finished loaves, freeze right after shaping, before the final rise. It will take longer to thaw, but should rise normally.

You can plan on the dough lasting up to 6mo, depending on how stinky your freezer is - it's the odors that affect the dough most.

Serious Sandwiches

How do you define a sandwich, though? Bread + fillings? Do lobster rolls count? Calzones - or do they go with pizza? I consider tacos a sandwich of a different stripe, considering there are more taco shops than delis in my neck of the woods; what about them?

The sandwich tag is just fine for me.

Bread Technique: Folding the Dough

I should also add that "folding" the dough is just another, gentler way of "punching down" between rises or just before shaping. With wetter doughs, this process preserves that open, airy structure that is their hallmark. Where a more uniform crumb is desired (e.g. sandwich loaf), you press out large air bubbles as you shape. In any case, folding or punching down steps perform the same basic process of developing structure. They just differ on when (or how often) you do them.

Bread Technique: Folding the Dough

It's because kneading high hydration doughs is actually much less efficient than kneading a stiffer sandwich type loaf. Even though the gluten forms in the wet, sticky mass, it's too loose to develop structure. The folding realigns the strands/sheets of gluten, much like folding a towel makes it sit up nice and puffy.

This Week in Pizza

@benlee

Thermal mass will affect how much heat capacity you have, but doesn't affect thermal conductivity, which is how fast that heat is transferred. In fact, stacking tiles puts a significant layer of air between them with a very low thermal conductivity.

I did some napkin math and determined that the heat capacity of the steel plate is around 3.55 kJ while that of sandstone/slate/limestone (approximating a standard ATK-recommended stone) is 4.50 kJ - on the same order of magnitude. That said, the thermal conductivity of steel is at least an order of magnitude higher than "stone".

So, the dough is receiving a higher wattage (heat per time) with a steel plate, even though it has less "thermal mass". If time weren't an issue, the stone material would have more heat to donate, but the pizza is generally cooked long before temperature of the pizza equilibrates with the stone.

I suppose the draw of using steel (or cast iron, for that matter) is that you increase your chances of a charred, crispy bottom before the rest of the pizza "sets" and cooks through. The top of the pizza is going to be cooked by convection and radiation and is unaffected by stone material.

Ultimately, a neapolitan oven takes advantage of the low thermal conductivity of stone to build much higher temperatures. At 700-800 degrees in an insulated oven, there's enough heat available that it really doesn't matter what material you cook it on.

Best and Fave ways to have Yukon Golds??

Oddly enough: mashed. I know starchy Idahos are traditional for light and fluffy mashed potatoes. But I like mine a bit more creamy and dense without using a ton of butter and cream. Waxier potatoes accomplish this, but you just have to be gentle working them.

Is there something I'm missing with the major coffee chains?

Honestly, I think Starbucks brews their drip coffee too hot, extracting too many bitter compounds. I absolutely love their "House" medium roast coffee. But when I get it at Starbucks, it comes out very bitter and I have to add half&half. When I buy it at the grocery store (whole bean) and brew it at proper temp (190-195F) with my aeropress or keurig, I drink it black and it tastes delicious.

20 posts on front page?

20 posts on the front page seem excessive. I'm not even through 10 before the navigation and etc. bits on the right side are exhausted. Perhaps making the pictures a bit smaller or limiting the front page to 10 or 15 posts will make it less of a scroll-fest?

Food Philosophies

Whether she intended or not, sharonrouco's thread inspired a few interesting points to think about. How we define our personal food philosophy depends a lot on our knowledge of food, it's production, distribution, consumption, and nutrition.

For example, we can define food philosophies in several different ways:

1. Biochemical - all food is made up of fats, sugars, proteins, water, and some modifications thereof; there really isn't much difference except in which iterations can be digested vs what can't.

2. Nutritional/dietetic - where food choices are made to promote healthy lifestyle, e.g. fast food vs balanced diet; south beach vs atkins vs vegetarianism (as a way to promote health); avoiding gluten for celiac disease or certain dairy for lactose intolerance.

3. Moral/ethical - the prototypical example being misinformed vegetarianism (all meat is evil, but cheese is humane) vs veganism where the only reasonable arguments stem from concerns about husbandry; "organic" also falls into this category.

4. Batshit crazy (TM, Adam Kuban) - which applies to pure "raw" or "paleo" diets, "purging/cleansing/detox" diets, liquid/pill diets, won't eat foods that begin with the letter "B", etc.

I think most of us fall into #2. We make informed choices about our food. We may be right and we may be wrong about our understanding, but ultimately we're trying to balance taste and functionality with our diet. Even die-hard "carnivores" are still making a decision based on taste, as opposed to a moral or ethical stance.

The more you know about food, the more you begin to realize how arbitrary the distinctions are being made by proponents of #3 and #4. A lot of plant products involve animals at some point in the process and I think that was the point the OP was trying to make.

The problem is, as you move down the list, you move away from science/facts and more towards lay theories, trendy books/diets, infomercials, and just plain batshit crazy (tm) subjectivity.

SE on Food Safety

I've said it before and I'll say it again: SE really needs to do a semi-regular series on food safety issues. Not just the regular vague tips on refrigeration or cooking temps, but some debunking of layperson myths and posing some real life "what if" situations - like the recent power outages in the NE US.

I realize that there are probably liability concerns, but it wouldn't hurt to put some feelers out for a contributor in academia or commercial business with credentials.

100% whole wheat bread machine dilemma

I have plenty of recipes for bread machines and for ovens, so I'm not looking for a recipe. I'm looking for advice on how to *fix* a recipe.

My roommate turned 99% vegan 6 months ago, plus this E3 silly craze so he won't eat anything unless it says "whole" or "brown" on it. But I think he's tired of paying $6 for a loaf of all-natural, dolphin safe, free range, sprouted toenail bread - only to have it mold up on him 3 days later. Neither of us have the time or the inkling to make scratch 100% whole wheat loaves during the week, but I *do* have a zojirushi mini that I use periodically for regular style bread and mixed grain loaves.

So, I took it as a challenge to come up with a 100% whole wheat loaf that tastes good and that he can slice for sandwiches that has no cow milk (soy is fine), minimal added fat, a touch of maple syrup, and it can all be dumped in the bread machine. I adapted a recipe that works great in loaf pan in the oven, but fails miserably in the vertically-oriented zojirushi. The result is dense, with the consistency (and taste) of a bran muffin: delicious, but not 'sliceable' because it crumbles.

I've tried tweaking moisture content, yeast, salt, etc., all to no avail. It rises beautifully in the bucket, but shrinks considerably during baking. The only thing I can think of is that there just isn't enough gluten to counteract the bran in the whole wheat he bought for me to work with. Am I missing something? Should I just try adding a tbsp or two of vital wheat gluten (which I'd have to go out and buy)? I don't normally use soy milk or maple syrup in baking; could they be the culprit? Or, is there a new age trick like adding xantham gum or lecithin to the mix?

Recipe:
ww flour: 285 g
soy milk: 100 g
water: 85 g
maple: 20 g
oil: 10 g
salt: 5 g
yeast: 1.5 tsp

The cycle runs 3:40 total, 20 min each for 'prep' and kneading and the remaining three hours split, more or less hourly, between two rises and a bake.

Site suggestion

"The Food Lab" and "Taste Test" articles needs their own links under the "Our Sites" tab (or maybe even their own category?).

The articles are comprehensive, self-contained, and have a particular tone to them that separates them from the purely informational and exposition articles that pop up throughout the day. They bring a bit of objectivity to the SE project and should be recognized as such.

That isn't to say that they can't be included under AHT, Slice, Drinks, or Sweets if they deal with that topic. It's easy enough to just tag those articles with the right metadata. It'd just be nice to be able to look back on those SE 101 lessons and peer-reviewed suggestions without having to manually filter through the glops that the crazy search engine returns with.

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