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tekobo last won the day on March 4

tekobo had the most liked content!

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About tekobo

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 02/22/1968

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  • Gender:
  • Location:
    England, United Kingdom
  • Interests:
    Cooking, growing vegetables, eating, travelling and, in between all of that, I squeeze in being a workaholic

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  1. tekobo

    Heat Deflector

    I use mine all the time as a heat deflector. I wrap the tray in foil and add water to reduce the smoke from drippings that might otherwise burn off. Were the holes to stop warping or to diffuse rather than deflect the heat? I have had no problems with warping, even when the dish was placed directly on the bars of the fire basket. Anyway, have fun with your new to you toy.
  2. The look is sometimes disappointing but home made bread (almost) always tastes great. Einkorn loaf and mussels made for a simple, tasty lunch yesterday.
  3. Thanks! Soon to be added to cart.
  4. Ha ha. Have fun Aussie! And good luck for when we get out the other side of all of this.
  5. Lots to respond to. Like you, @Syzygies, I was planning on taking a course in bread and/or pizza making. Ironically it was with a flour milling company in Northern Italy, called Petra. I decided against doing it this year, before corona hit, because it was for pros and my bread and Italian skills are not yet up to that level of assault. Maybe by next year this won't be such a risky endeavour. I don't think I have proved much with this one success. Maybe that my starter isn't 'strong' enough to rise a whole loaf using the small amounts of starter that Chad Peterson recommends. In any case, I will approach my next loaf with a bit more confidence with the stiffer leaven by my side. I did order a cheap digital PH meter in the depths of my despair. When it arrives it may give me more data about how my leaven varies for different bakes. This tips and tricks thread isn't meant to be scary and I fear that my trials may put others off. I have had great success in the past using yeast or yeast and leaven. My current desire is to explore the options with leaven alone and that is what is causing me pain. @Basher, that old adage about using the "best" ingredients was never truer than here. If one doesn't get the leaven right, your bread literally falls at the first hurdle. I am waking my starter back up with a view to trying some einkorn bread in the next day or so. Good luck with yours. Here we did a weird lockdown dance yesterday. A couple of baking friends were out of flour, as are all the usual sources. I had to leave some in my porch so one of them could pick it up. Both very happy to be able to start feeding their starter again. I have the Suas book recommended by @Syzygies but have not gotten into it yet. I am a leap in and do it sort of person and have found you tube videos with Chad Peterson, Trevor J Wilson and Rubaud useful for checking my technique. The book I have started to read is called Living Bread by Daniel Leader. I like the look of all the variations you get on basic bread from around the world and look forward to trying them once I have a better handle on doing the basics. One day, one day, I will get around to making a baguette. Two residual questions from me: how do you all store your home made bread? I slice and freeze excess but have not found a reliable way to keep bread fresh if I don't freeze it. It dries out on the counter and goes soft in an airtight container. Should I just get an old fashioned bread bin or is there a secret piece of kit yet to be revealed to me? I wondered if the proofer would be a good storage box. Second question is that I still don't know what these "seedlings" are for. Any ideas? I wrote to the Austrian company that I bought them from but have had no response - probably busy coping with COVID-led demand. And yes, I know how to rotate pictures. No, I don't know why this one stubbornly refuses to upload the right way up.
  6. Congratulations @BIGSHEP. I imagine it must feel great to finally have your very own KK. Awesome.
  7. I have been struggling mightily with my bread making recently. I had got to a stage where most loaves came out well and then things started to go wrong about a month ago and I have been delivering variations on shrunken, flat loaves consistently. Aaaargh. There were so many variables that I struggled to fix the problem, no matter how many times I tried to test an individual stage or method. I even resorted to re-reading other's posts and noted that @Syzygies talked about his flat as a pancake period and how minute doses of ascorbic acid helped him out of it. I didn't want to add yet another variable so I persisted with one last experiment over the last two days. Here is my journey for those who are novices like me. First I mixed and scoop kneaded the dough, using Trevor J Wilson's method. Got that tip from one of @Pequod's posts. Actually, that wasn't the first thing I did. Begin at the beginning. This record is going to be important for when something goes wrong again. This experiment was to test whether my move from one method of making leaven to another was part of the problem. I had been using a stiff leaven, made with 1 part starter to 1 part water to 2 parts flour. My loaves over the last month used Chad Peterson's leaven recipe which is made up of 1 tablespoon of starter to 200g of flour and 200g of water. Weird juxtaposition of tablespoons with grams and much less starter relative to flour in Chad's method. I ended up being busy and left the leaven to rise for longer than my usual 6 hours. It was much closer to 15 hours by the time I got to mixing the leaven in to the dough. I milled the spelt and wheat grain and hydrolysed with 85% water for about two hours before adding the salt and leaven. Adding the leaven and salt later is another Trevor J Wilson recommendation. Works for me in that I can get the flour hydrolysing in parallel with waiting for the leaven to peak. It was 9pm by the time I had finished scoop kneading the dough so I was in no mood to stay up all night folding at half hourly intervals for four hours before shaping so I put the two, separate lots of dough with the Chad leaven on the left and the Bertinet stiff leaven on the right, in bowls in the cool cellar. Cool bulk fermentation like this is great for allowing you to bake sourdough when you are ready and rather than having to stick to strict timings. The dough looked good when I got to it in the morning. I then formed it into balls for the bench rest. I used damp hands to avoid adding too much flour . Here are the balls after the bench rest. Relaxed but the not too flat so I figured they were good to be shaped to go in the banettons. I have been having problems with sticky dough adhering to the banettons so I liberally floured the top of the dough balls and the banettons before laying the balls in the baskets. The good news is that the dough already felt less sticky than normal at this stage. I got the extra rack in the proofer to allow for proofing two loaves at once. Here they are, going in for four hours or so. And here they are looking wet but plump after proofing. I had a load of calls for work yesterday but had marked out my schedule to say when to put the oven on, when to put the dough in and when to get it out between calls. I dashed down to check on progress and this is what I found. It was a dance around the kitchen moment. The lower loaf was better risen than my more recent attempts but it was still flatter than the beautifully plump loaf on the top rack using the stiffer leaven. Letting the leaven go for longer may have helped both bakes but the stiffer dough was the clear winner for me. I wondered if the lesser amount of starter in the Chad leaven will have been expended sooner but, given all my previous attempts used his leaven after about six to ten hours I don't think that the timing is the main reason for the difference. Looking lovely during the agonising two hour wait for cooling. You can't have everything. Still some big holes in the crumb. Something to work on. In the meantime, The Husband delivered half of the plump loaf to my father-in-law as part of his lockdown care package. Father-in-law was very happy with progress and remarked on the softness and plumpness of the loaf. At last.
  8. Yes, I mill the flour shortly before using it. At first the idea of milling was a bit daunting but it is now just part of the routine. Put machine on the kitchen counter, ask Alexa to divide the weight of flour required by the percentage extraction, weigh the grain, pour it in to the hopper to grind and choose the right grade of sieve to get the amount of flour I need. I use a mix of high extraction and whole grain flour in different combinations, depending on the loaf I am baking.
  9. My little bit of hoarding has been to replenish my stock of plain white flour a little earlier than normal I found out that my local health food store would order bigger bags of grain so I picked up this 5kg of spelt on Friday. And these beauties and more came from Austria the other day. So far the einkorn has been very tasty but I have not tried the kamut yet. I bought these "wheat seedlings" and "spelt seedlings" out of curiosity but have no idea what they are. I guessed they might be sprouted or malted grain but those words don't check out in any German translation that I can find. Does anybody have any idea?
  10. tekobo

    The Fire

    You sound like you were offended by my comments. You shouldn't be. I was simply revealing the secret that I have been using my KK as a fire starter. I actually bought a chimney like yours about a year ago but I sent it back to Mr Amazon without using it because I decided I didn't want yet another piece of kit hanging around my (small) garden. Anyways, my current fire play has made me think again about getting that weird leather outfit you liked so much when I last posted about it. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B078N4XZBX/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_2?smid=A1P3LD41QEH1RS&psc=1 Ha. What surprises me is how much it takes to get and keep an Argentinian barbecue hot. Heating half a basket of coal/briquettes in the KK is a good start but not enough for a long cook. I am getting used to a less efficient use of coals in return for having the opportunity to play, with fire.
  11. tekobo

    The Fire

    It's sacrilege, I know, but I think of my KK as an awesome chimney starter. I light coals for other uses in the KK and then either lift out the hot coals individually (binchotan) or lift out the whole fire basket to dump hot hot hot briquettes and/or charcoal into the Argentinian barbecue. Super efficient and no need to buy yet another fire making tool.
  12. I can only dream of making loaves that look as good as @Pequod's and @mackenzie's. Beautiful crumb, blistering and all round goodness. Bravo!
  13. tekobo

    Frango na pucara

    Hey @Tyrus, your new piece of kit is looking way too clean. It'll be good to see it in action!
  14. That's more like my minimum order when I buy a half or whole animal. These hoarders are amateurs, that is all I can say! And NO, I do not want a power shortage round here! Will have to rely on The Husband's hoard of about X hundred bottles of wine to keep us going. Uh. Maybe not so bad after all.
  15. tekobo

    Frango na pucara

    That looks like a lovely sauce and pot @Tyrus. Yes, we all need to try and keep well. Although others are saying you need to catch a little bit of virus to build immunity. We will see which happens!
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