A Petits Fours How-To

Those of you who are familiar with me know I love to do photo tutorials. In fact it can be argued that I do too many of them. But I figure, if the petits fours-making process doesn’t qualify for photography, what does? So here’s a step-by-step for all you petits fours makers-to-be. We begin with […]

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The Wet Dough Advantage

Very wet bread doughs (up to about 80% hydration, or in other words, quite sticky) are very, very popular these days. Why? Well there are two reasons for that. The first is that wet bread doughs create big holes — or “open crumb”, a thing that is very much desired in bread baking circles, since […]

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Tomato Caramel Sauce

The last selection in our sweet tomato serenade is an oldie but a goodie: tomato caramel sauce. When you think about it, tomato caramel is really just the logical extension of tomato jam, only the sugar is cooked to a higher temperature to create a complexity of flavor you wouldn’t otherwise get. What possible application […]

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Short Stuff

So what’s “short” about shortcake, or short bread, or shortening for that matter? A short cake is “short” because it doesn’t rise very high. That sounds like a glib answer to that question, but it’s factually true. Fat, by gunking up the bonding sites at the end of gluten molecules, prevents strong gluten networks from […]

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What makes a fat “saturated”?

Actually the most you can say of any particular fat is that it’s “high” in saturated fatty acids, since every fat, whether solid fat or oil, contains a mix of saturated and unsaturated fatty acid molecules. It’s the proportion of those fatty acids that’s important. You can imagine a fatty acid molecule as a long, […]

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