Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Home Made Yoghurt

I put the Sous Vide Magic into a new environment yesterday.  I've been making yoghurt for the past couple of months but the box I ferment in is quite small and the bizzare electrics inside quite dangerous with exposed 240 volt wiring.  It depends on my remembering to turn it off before I open the lid.  As I've discovered, if it's physically possible to make a mistake, eventually, you will. 

So I thought I might be able to solve all the problems at once with the SVM.  Got a big plastic storage box, put some waterproof christmas lights inside and connected it all up to the SVM set to 42.5 C.  The sensor was picking up the air temperature in the box, rather than the yoghurt temperature.  It came up to 37.5 quite quickly but at that point the lights started to flash and the temperature stopped rising.  Bringing 6 kg of yoghurt up from 30 C to 42.5 with flashing christmas lights just wasn't happening.  I turned it up to 50 for a couple of hours and it held 45 air temperature quite well.  Then dropped it back to 42.5 and that held perfectly overnight.  14 hours later the yoghut came out of the warmer and into the fridge.  A great batch!

6 litres of full cream milk, 660 grams of skim milk powder, 400 grams of the last batch. Hold it all at 42.5 for 12-15 hours

Monday, July 4, 2011

Taking the Fear out of Chicken

I mentioned before that the times for chicken were really guesswork as Baldwin doesn't go down that far. So I wrote to him and asked him to extend the table a bit further down in temperature. I expected him to perhaps add something in the next edition, but instead I got a personal reply!

Pasteurization times (6D reduction in Listeria)
for thawed poultry in a 55˚C (131˚F) water bath 
based on thickness are below:

5mm – 5 hr
10mm – 5 hr
15mm – 5 hr
20mm – 5½ hr
25mm – 5¾ hr
30mm – 6¼ hr
35mm – 6½ hr
40mm – 7 hr
45mm – 7¾ hr
50mm – 8¼ hr
55mm – 8¾ hr
60mm – 9½ hr
65mm – 10¼ hr
70mm – 11 hr

Very best wishes,

I'm quite overwhelmed!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nailing Down the Numbers

Salt free bread seems too easy after all the dire warnings on the net. I made another batch tonight and thought I'd weigh out the ingredients as I went this time. I did a previous post that said how nice it was but had no measures. Pretty pointless.

Everything in grams.

Bakers Flour 724
Yeast 16
Sugar 46
Olive Oil 30
Water 450

In a bowl I mixed the dry ingredients then made a well and added the water and oil. Mixed it all by hand. Kneaded the whole lot up. Left it for 2 hours. Divided in two, kneaded again, rolled into a sausage shape and put in oiled pans to rise for another hour and then baked at 175 C 'til golden.  (about 50 minutes).  Remove from the oven and after about 10 minutes, turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack.  

It works well in the oven, but the same ingredients in the bread making machine aren't good.  Just doesn't seem to cook correctly.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Slightly Less Scary Chicken

Chicken and roast Veg. Hard to imagine a simpler meal.

Put the chicken on a bit earlier this time. Threw it in the rice cooker at midday when I was home for lunch. About 6 pm I chopped up some vegetables, carrot, dutch potato, sweet potato, carrots, eggplant, garlic and a lemon. Threw that in a pan, drizzled it with EVO oil, honey and sprinkled with rosemary leaves. 200 degrees for an hour or so ('til cooked really).

The chicken came out of the bag at 7 (so seven hours at 55.4). Very little water had come out, just a few drops really. I doubt it lost more than 1% in cooking. Sliced up, put on the plate and the roast veg added. Total prep time of 15 minutes at most. 

I feel a bit more confident about cooking the chicken a bit longer. I don't think the result is *quite* as good, but there's not much in it. The chicken is still soft, tender and so flavourful. It has an interesting mouth feel, very soft, but still with a tiny feeling of fibre texture that lets you know you're eating something that was alive not that long ago. Really it's splitting hairs and the result is so much better than any other chicken you've ever had any other way that there's no comparison. These were 7 dollar a kg battery farm breasts that I vac sealed and froze and yet the result is the best chicken ever.