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

Friday, January 16, 2009

A konjac glucomannan resource

H. Zhang , M. Yoshimura , K. Nishinari , M. A. K. Williams , T. J. Foster, I. T. Norton. 2001. Gelation behaviour of konjac glucomannan with different molecular weights

Biopolymers Volume 59 Issue 1, Pages 38 - 50

The full text PDF can be sourced through the OSU library via the Biopolymers journal home page


Also known as "Miracle noodles"

Honey crystallization

I guess honey gives you energy; therefore why it's a topic for the DOE.

From a more conventional sources - the N a t i o n a l H o n e y B o a r d F o o d T e c h n o l o g y / Pr o d u c t R e s e a r ch Program

Scienceline The NYU Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.

Some food rheology primers and resources

OTHER FOOD RHEOLOGY PRIMERS: it might help look with these different perspectives

-From Pawan Takhar, Ph.D.Assistant Professor - Food Engineering at Texas Tech U.

If the link does not work try typing "rheology ptakhar" into gOOgle; it should be the first hit.

-From Dr Mukund V Karwe ( from Rutgers Food Science

Why food rheology
Why might a school - not us - have an entire department devoted to food rheology ?

There are entire symposiums devoted to food rheology - for example -The International Symposium on Food Rheology and Structure - ISFRS 2009

Proceeding from the last 3 symposia can be found here

And food rheology hits the big time in 2005...

This abstract from NATURE could be a interesting read too. You should be able to access the full text PDF from a OSU based computer. Raffaele Mezzenga is an Assoc. Prof. at the Polymer Physics Group of Université de Fribourg Universität Freiburg in Switzerland.

If anyone develops a deep interest in this aspect of food science - this free pdf book by Prof. James F Steffe of Michigan State U. is a good resource...

Kelly Ross and Martin Scanlon. A fracture mechanics analysis of the texture of fried potato crust. Journal of Food Engineering 62 (2004) 417–423.

Well according to the authors, and I quote, "In spite of their [potatoes] economic importance, the potato processing industry has had difficulty in evaluating and controlling one of the french fry’s most important quality attributes––fry texture".

The aim was then...
"an investigation of the fracture properties of the crust of fried potato. As stated by Lima and Singh (2001a), there is a paucity of information on the mechanical properties of this component of a very popular processed food. Well defined measurements of mechanical properties are especially important for engineering modelling of the effect of given unit operations on the texture of individual regions of the fry".

An answer looking for a problem ? Maybe.