Huffle Puff

There are more than a few stories about how puff pastry evolved. An oft-cited one involves a Renaissance pastry chef by the name of Claudius Gele whose sick father was prescribed a diet of water, flour and butter by his doctor (the doctor was later burned at the stake for not knowing what the hell […]

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Making Puff Pastry II

In sharp contrast to the first step of puff pastry making, step II is where you get to really get in touch with the inner Neanderthal. It’s the butter block stage. The recipe instructs us to put room temperature butter into a food processor with a small amount of flour and blend it. Once the […]

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Making Puff Pastry I

Almost every puff pastry recipe I know calls for equal amounts of butter and flour (by weight). They only vary in the amount of salt or lemon juice they use, or in the case of this recipe, by the types of flour used. In my experience, you don’t need to worry about cutting down the […]

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Salt Rising Bread

Being new to the South (I actually think of Louisville as being only South-ish), I was naturally blindsided when a local friend asked if I’d ever heard of salt rising bread. Some sort of odd Appalachian delicacy, I assumed. On investigating it a bit I’m fascinated, since it’s a type of bread that’s leavened by […]

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American vs. French Flour

All those home bakers seeking to produce a baguette equal to the one they had in Paris last summer may need to scale back their expectations a little. Not because Americans aren’t capable of making excellent baguettes (we are), but because there are a few factors of the baguette-making process that we in the New […]

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Yikes!

I had a look at the poolish a little while ago and…yikes! Only nine hours had passed and already the thing was domed, bubbly and rarin’ to go! So I went ahead and mixed up the dough. It’s supposed to rise for two hours before being shaped, which means the loaves will be finished some […]

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Switcheroo

I changed the source for the puff pastry recipe I’m going to do this week. I was planning to get very democratic and go with this recipe from About.com that seemed serviceable. However, I’ve since visited King Arthur Flour’s web site and found a far superior one. So that means I’ll be doing two King […]

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Pizza Pizza

So ya know…I made a little pizza last night. I know, I didn’t say a word about it, but come on, do I have to tell you every little thing that goes on between me and my oven?. Normally the wife and I order out, but since pizza really isn’t so great around here (we’re […]

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How long does butter keep?

I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of baguette baking the last week, but haven’t budged an inch on the Danish dough. Seeing as how it’s already Wednesday, I’m thinking I’ll pick that up next week…which will be just shy of too late for my $20 stash of butter. Much longer in the fridge and […]

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