04 April 2012

Tweaks, Cooking From a Book, Small Projects

No culinary creations or anything really out of the ordinary; my project at work launched so I'm finding more time for cooking. But slowly, ever slowly, ramping back up. On non-culinary news, I decided to spend the weekend immediately after launch participating in a game jam and ended up finishing a game, solo. I didn't manage much else the entire weekend, except a bit of recipe iteration for lunch before the jam began - the rye soda bread. I toned down the almond milk from 1/4 cup to 3 tbsp and oiled the ramekins lightly. They came out better, especially after a light grilling after letting them cool and eating them as tiny PBJ sandwiches.
 I also did a quick recipe from Momofuku, trying to convince myself that not everything in it requires massive time/ingredient investments. So I took a recipe with five ingredients and cut it down to four, completely removing part of the dish. Go me. I cooked "Asparagus with Miso Butter and Poached Egg" minus the egg. The recipe name is the recipe itself - you cook the asparagus in butter so it browns, and you mix butter with miso, heat it with a pinch of sherry, and decorate the plate with it. That seems simple and, frankly, it is. Yet miso adds a ridiculous amount of depth to the dish, pairs with the asparagus, and elevates the dish to something refined. I ate it with sushi rice topped with furikake and pan seared yuba, which worked well.
 I'm also back into bread, given a somewhat more relaxed schedule. For my first loaf in two weeks, I did 30% whole wheat, 70% hydration, with a pinch of fennel seeds. I tried a half-rise the night of mixing, and a finish/proofing stage the morning of cooking - it still had too much pop in the oven - the scores were very wide instead of very deep. I'm at a loss to fixing this, though I will keep experimenting - options are using steam for once, less proofing, more proofing, and better shaping techniques - there may not be enough tension in the dough.

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