Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bread Science: the Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread

Emily Buehler's website. Emily is a professional artisan baker and baking instructor who also has a Ph.D. in chemistry (studying reactions of hydrogen on silicon surfaces using a scanning tunneling microscope, according to her short bio).

Bread Science: the Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread

It certainly looks like a good resource at first glance - I will know better when I see the whole book - but the pdf excerpts look good. Not a "recipe" book.

See this review on the Fresh loaf - but here is a quote or two...

"This isn't a cookbook: though there are a couple of formula in the back, it is really about understand[ing] the process (what is happening inside of your bread) and figuring out how your technique can make the most of the good things you want to happen, chemically-speaking, and avoid the things you don't want to happen. It makes a nice complement to all of the baking books you have on your shelf that tell you things like "don't overknead" but don't explain why".

"This book is great. When I got it I read it cover-to-cover in one evening".

The fresh loaf has a lot of other good things to read including more baking book reviews.

We are getting 4 copies of the chemistry and craft book sometime in the next week or 2. You can look them over if you are interested.

I am seriously thinking of using it as a text book for the experimental FST48X Baking Science Class that is being considered.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mondial du pain 2009

Worth a visit to see the photographs of the breads under the "press" tab

It is also interesting to see the strict rules for competition under

Roger Gural of the USA team has some photos also on his picasa gallery. Roger Gural, is a French Culinary Institute of New York City alumni and instructor, has baked professionally for almost ten years, at renowned bakeries such as Bouchon Bakery, Bouley Bakery, and Amy’s Bread.

Roger reported to the Bread Baker's Guild of America forum that the winners were...

1. France
2. Switzerland
3. Italy
Special prize nutrition: Switzerland
Special prize best commis: Isabel Daniels, USA.

Roger thanked Michel Suas, Didier Rosada, Brian Wood, Peter Yuen
and everybody at the San Francisco Baking Institute for all their help in training. I can attest to the quality of the training at SFBI even for dilettante bakers like me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Web resource for polysaccharides/hydrocolloids.

Prof. Martin Chaplin of the London South Bank Univ. has a very good web resource for polysaccharides/hydrocolloids.

It can be found here...

Did you know ?...

Gums that are used in food applications can be used to temporarily bind and stabilize soil ?
Guar, pre-gelatinized starch, and psyllium [mainly arabinoxlyan and better known as Metamucil] are recommended, with application rates codified such places as in the The California Stormwater Best Management Practice Handbooks

I tried it with partial success recently.
The shiny stripe along the top of the cut is where the gums have hydrated and penetrated the soil cracks. This has been partially successful and (fingers crossed) the section past the step in the wall is still OK. The closer section caved in well behind where the stabilizers were placed - taking the whole lot with them.

Is molecular gastronomy just hype ?

A new post from Martin Lersch over at Khymos.

Personally I think it's just a semantic argument and people can interpret the term "molecular gastronomy" as they please.

Meanwhile other types of "gastronomy" and foodways will go on as they've always done.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Peter Reinhart TED video - The ART OF BAKING BREAD

Herve This is blogging

One of the founders of the molecular gastronomy movement is blogging [mostly in French].

Read more about it here

POLYMER - DSC - DMA - GLASSY resources

The Polymer Science learning Center at the Dept of Polymer Science at Southern Miss.

The "Macrogalleria" where the rubber (pardon the pun) hits the road.

See for the glass transition

and this for a demo of...

See... for Differential scanning calorimetry for polymer crystallinity

This is mostly about synthetic polymers but translates closely to food polymers


Mechanical analyses

What is Dynamic Mechanical Analysis, DMA?
for DMA application notes