Category Archives: equipment and techniques

equipment and techniques


Puff! Puff! Puff!! Chapatis (BBB January 2015)

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Chapatis, based on a recipe in “A Taste of India” by Madhur Jaffery; cooking on an electric stove, including a how-to video; a Bread Baking Babes project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) January 2015

I know; we JUST made Indian flatbread! But this one is different – not nearly as rich.

I have the honour of being the host kitchen for this January. And I really wanted to choose bread that is made with just flour, water and salt. Heaven knows that we need to have something plain and simple after all our excesses over the holidays….

The foods of my childhood can still be found in Delhi: many more have been layered on. Morning still start in a haze of familiar smoke sent skyward by millions of stoves and cookers. […] Chapatis, delicate wholewheat breads, are slapped on to cast-iron griddles – tavas. These chapatis will be buttered lovingly, stacked, and then together with the vegetables and a piece of green mango pickle, ensconced inside the compartments of a million tiffin-carriers.
– Madhur Jaffrey, A Taste of India, p. 20


Recently, we have been thrilled with the chapatis we’ve been making. And while making chapatis for some people who make chapatis almost every day might be a little humdrum, for us, the thrill has not lessened. Not even remotely. :-)

Eons ago, when we visited India and were staying with friends, T suggested that I should be showed how to make chapatis. We were all very excited. And when we got home, I tried and tried to replicate the bread. Finally (and I can’t remember where I got the idea), we had major success – because I used very hot water to mix the dough.

Here is what we do to make chapatis: Chapatis (BBB January 2015)

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I’m suffering from flat blonde sandwich bread syndrome

stainless steel bowl summary: making flatbread unintentionally; using stainless steel mixing bowl as a steam chamber; (click on image(s) to see larger views and more photos)

There is nothing so disheartening as having to cut “sandwich” bread diagonally in order to get decent sized slices.

flat-ish bread Lately, I’ve been having a lot of problems with producing flat bread when I haven’t wanted to. The crust is also on the blonde side. I think the flatness is partly because it’s summertime and I may be letting the shaped bread overproof. Or perhaps the dough is too slack. Or perhaps it was a mistake to clean the oven. Maybe our bread LIKES to be baked inside encrusted walls….

But I just can’t believe those are really the reasons!

After reading the following in Lionel Vatinet’s book “A Passion for Bread” (thank you for the recommendation, Tanna!), I remembered about the wondrous success of this hat method in creating oven spring – why oh why did I stop doing this?? Continue reading

O la la! C’est magnifique!

Butter DishI’ve been meaning to post about this for eons! Since last summer, actually….

summary: a French butter dish is fabulous (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

In winter, we almost don’t have to keep butter in the fridge. It’s pretty much the same on the counter as in the fridge; the butter is hard. (heh heh, I cannot help but think of Grandpa’s favourite response: it’s harder where there’s none!)
me, blog from OUR kitchen, annual Scrabble clout and cake fest

Butter Dish To stop the furry black fiend from sneaking onto the counter to eat butter, we have to put a hat on it. We put the butter on a saucer with a custard bowl inverted overtop.

For about 10 months of the year, the standard phrase (spoken through chattering teeth) in our house is “The butter’s hard…”. Then, for about 2 weeks or so, when left out on the counter on a butter plate, it softens a little and then stays at exactly the right softness.

But for the rest of the time, when summer hits with a vengeance, it turns into a semi-liquid greasy mess. In the past, we didn’t dare to leave the butter out. Unless we wanted rancid butter…. :stomp: Continue reading


I LOVE using a Brotform!

summary: thermometer bread revisited, Ken Forkish’s White Bread with Poolish and Saturday White Bread recipes in “Flour Water Salt Yeast” both proofed in a Brotform; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

It was with some trepidation that I used our new Brotform. Silly me. It was dead easy.

The first time that I used the brotform, I was amazed at how easy it was! I just had to plop the shaped bread into the well-floured (I used rice flour) form, cover it with a bowl and an hour or so later, it was ready to bake!

just shapedfully risen

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