Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Impatient Baguettes

October 27, 2015


3 loaves.    takes around 1.5 hours from start to eating.

1) Warm up the oven for a few minutes with a pan of warm water in the oven.  I put this on the top shelf… since otherwise, you steam the bread a bit.        You don’t want the oven very hot, just warm so that rising the bread goes faster.   Maybe 120 degrees.     The water will keep the bread from drying out.
2) In the kitchen Aid Bowl measure:
a) 250 gram bread flour.   (~4 cups.)
b) 1 Tablespoon. dry active yeast.  (A packet is close enough)
c) 1/2 teaspoon salt.
d) 1 cup + of water.   (you can add a little more depending on the flour type. this is about 260 grams of water.)
3) Mix briefly together then let sit for 10 minutes.
4) TURN OFF the oven if you haven’t done so already.
5) Beat the dough in the kitchen aid on high until it pulls off the bottom of the bowl.      (It starts out nearly like pancake batter, but beating it for 15 minutes on high in the kitchen aide should develop the gluten enough that it will hang together, start pulling off the sides of the bowl, and then off the bottom of the bowl.   If you’re using all purpose flour, it will probably take longer.     if you’re using some portion whole wheat, it will come together faster, but the texture wont be as stretchy, so I’d recommend adding a little more water.)     KEEP AN EYE ON THE MIXER, as it likes to start walking along the counter towards the end of this!

6) Meanwhile,  Line deep french bread pans with parchment paper:  *IMPORTANT*!   (You want it a little wider then the bread trough so you can fold it over on the bread, and as it rises, it has some extra to keep the wet sticky dough off the pan. )
7) I just use my hands to rip the dough into 3 or 4 long loaves, and then place it on the bread pans, leaving 2-3 inches to the ends of the pans.  (Otherwise it will ooze / rise out of the pan)  It will stick a bit to your hands, but not too much if the gluten has been developed properly.     You can tear pieces off and re-adhere them to redistribute the dough, since it’s tricky to divide it evenly.

8) Fold the parchment paper over the top of the loaves.. (optional)
9) Rise them pans in the oven (Turned off) for 15-30 mins     Good to check at 15 minutes to make sure the pans aren’t overflowing.  You want them just ABOUT overflowing… but not quite.

10) Gently pull the Pans out of the oven.   The parchment paper should have opened a bit as the loaf rose inside of it.
11)   If the dough is running out of the end of the pan, just fold the end over and stick it to the top of the loaf.
12)  Optionally, you can distress the top of the loaf a bit.  ( you can lightly score the tops of them , or brush an egg wash on… or sprinkle with flour.)   I’ve not played with all of these yet.
13)  Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, with the pan of water still in there.  (This will take around 20 minutes.)

14) Bake for 20 minutes.     The bottoms brown faster than the tops at least in my french bread pans…
15) Roll the loaves over in their pans, remove the parchment paper and bake another 5- 10 minutes with the tops down until they’re golden brown.
16) Cool.    Store in paper bags.        Crust will be crunchy fresh out of the oven…    it will soften for the rest of the day.  The next day the crust should dry out and firm up again.

Originally derived from Jason’s Quick Ciabatta recipe (google it) , except for the rising, and lack of pizza stone.. etc. etc….   really a different recipe now.


Impatient Mozarella Recipe

June 14, 2013


  • 1/16 teaspoon lipase
  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid
  • 1/8 teaspoon rennet
  • Water.
  • 1/2 gallon non-homogenized milk (super fresh required.. otherwise you get ricotta)
  • Salt to tast ~1.5 teasoon.


  • Slotted Spoon
  • 4 qt pot
  • microwave
  • microwavable bowl
  • stovetop
  • thermometer which can read from 80 degrees F to 120 degrees F.


  1. Add the milk to the pot.    Sprinkle the Lipase on top of the milkIMG_5046
  2. Dissolve the citric acid in 1/4 cup water.   Ensure it’s completely diluted.  (I nuke it to make it go faster.. then add some more cold water or an ice cube to cool it down again.)
  3. Add the dissolved citric acid to the milk while stirring vigorously.IMG_5047
  4. Turn the stove on medium or medium high (extra impatient)
  5. Stir the milk until it reaches 88degrees F.   (Just like Back to the Future. )IMG_5049
  6. Vigorously stir in the rennet. (20 seconds)
  7. Stir the milk in a swirling motion, just enough to keep it moving.
  8. Milk will curdle around 104-120 degrees F..     If it hasn’t.  your milk is awesome and you should probably add some more diluted citric acid.
  9. STOP STIRRING AS soon as it curdles.IMG_5051
  10. Wait 30seconds of a minute..
  11. Using the slotted spoon Start collecting the Curd to one side of the pot.    (takes a couple minutes.IMG_5053
  12. If you’ve hit 120 degrees F, or if the curd is stretchy “melting off the slotted spoon” label it into the microwaveable bowl.IMG_5057
  13. Drain the first batch of whey off of the bowl back into the pot.IMG_5064
  14. Put the cheese on the edge of one hand so that both sides hang off..    let gravity strech it.     If it wont stretch… then put the bowl in the microwave with the cheese and nuke it for 30 seconds and try again.  (May have to do twice.)IMG_5072
  15. Add the salt to the newly accumulated whey in the bowl and mix it in with the other hand.IMG_5068
  16. Dip the cheese in the salted whey.
  17. Repeat the gravity stretch, dunk process until the surface of the cheese is smooth looking.    Don’t over stretch or it will be tough.
  18. That’s it.    Eat within a few hours     Don’t refrigerate.

Feta Recipe

April 5, 2011


I started out cheesemaking about 4 years ago with this book here: From which I had mixed results.  It’s not very exacting in its use of language which drives me a bit  crazy.   But most the chesses have turned out well.  If not exactly as they should be, they’re still delicious.    It also seemed to have very inconsistent measurements for things like rennet and culture.

My Feta (I use cows milk sadly, since I have no reliable source of goat milk) *occasionally* gets runny after a few days (but still delicious as a cracker spread) , so I’ve backed WAY off the culture, and increased the salt which inhibits culture growth.


Finished Product

Time: (45 minutes actual work… spread over over 12 hours) Difficulty: Easy



You can get most of the following for  much cheaper from various places.   I only grabbed them all from the same place to make this easier to follow.

1 Gallon Whole Milk (NOT Ultra-pasteurized!!)

1/2 teaspoon MA11 culture

1/4 teaspoon lamb lipase (if not using goatmilk)

1/2 teaspoon calcium chloride (if using homogenized / pasteurized milk)

1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1 Cup Cool, non chlorinated water

Distilled water for the above. (I skip this now and just use tap. )

1 1/2 teaspoons non-iodized salt (kosher or sea salt)



Steel measuring spoons

Curd knife Stainless Steel Pot (1 gallon min)

Small sauce pan.  (I’m too lazy for this step anymore)

1 small bowl.

Cheesecloth.  (i’m bad I use the dispoable plastic variety as I don’t like boiling it afterwards with baking soda to clean it.)   Cheese making is messy enough with out all that!


Accurate low temperature thermometer  (Meat thermometers are generally OK (clean of course).   Candy thermometers NO!)


1) Fill Sink with Hot water from the tap, Set Gallon of milk in the water to start warming it up. (Target Temp is 86°F)

Preheating Milk

2) Meanwhile, Sterilize equipment (NOT THE THERMOMETER!!!  IT WILL BREAK / MELT if it’s low temperature. I use denatured alcohol and a paper towel to sterilize that. )    by boiling it with some tap water in the Stainless steel pan for a few minutes. Drain somewhere clean.   Sterilization is probably less of an issue for this cheese, as it doesn’t really age.


3) Boil distilled water in small saucepan to sterilize. Cover and place in refrigerator to cool.  (I lately have been skipping this step.. just using plain filtered water…   doesn’t seem to impact feta. )

Sterilizing Distilled Water

4) Wipe down the milk container and pour milk into the stainless steel pan. Check the temperature, place the pan back in the water in the sink if it’s not at 86°F yet.

Milk into sterlized pot

5) Once the Milk reaches 86°F, add the lipase (1/4 t. ) and the culture (1/2 t.) Let it sit on top of the milk for a minute or two, then stir it in with the curd knife.

Forgive the bizarre aspect ratio. Stupid wordpress

6) Remove Pot from sink. Let sit covered for 1 hour, periodically checking the temperature. (If it goes below 86, put it back in the water bath in the sink to warm up.

7) After the hour is up, add 1/2 Cup distilled water from the fridge to the small bowl and mix in the 1/2 t. Calcium Chloride. Add to the Milk, stirring well.

8 ) Mix the remaining 1/2 Cup of distilled water with the 1/2t. rennet in the small bowl. Add to the milk and mix well for a minute. (If the milk starts to curdle, then STOP mixing immediately)

9) Leave for 1 Hour and do not disturb.

10) By now you should have a yogurt looking mass of curd which may have pulled away from the side of the pan.

11) Cut it into half inch cubes with the curd knife: (hold the curd knife vertical and cut a grid, then hold it at a 45 degree angle to cut the columns of curd in the grid.

12) Let sit for 20 minutes. (Or longer at 86 if you want firmer cheese.)

13) Meanwhile cut a large square (2 ft square of cheese cloth) line the colander.

Collander lined with Cheesecloth

14) Drain the curds through the cheesecloth.  (This can be quite messy pouring the curds into the cheese cloth.   The longer you waited, the less messy.

15) Bring the corners of the cheese cloth together and tie off. Hang the cheese cloth from something to drain for 4 hours.  (Or overnight is what I usually do)

All Tied Up

16) Unwrap the cheese cloth. Place the cheese in a large glass storage container an cut it into 1” cubes. Add salt and gently mix.


17) You can eat immediately (well ok.. let it sit at least a few hours for the salt to diffuse) or keep up to a month and a half in the fridge. (Cheese gets better with aging, though sometimes gets gooey. Still tastes great though. )