Alex Talbot and Aki Kamozawa, husband-and-wife chefs and the forces behind the popular blog Ideas in Food, have made a living out of being inquisitive in the kitchen. Their book shares the knowledge they have gleaned from numerous cooking adventures, from why tapioca flour makes a silkier chocolate pudding than the traditional cornstarch or flour to how to cold smoke just about any ingredient you can think of to impart a new savory dimension to everyday dishes. Perfect for anyone who loves food, Ideas in Food is the ideal handbook for unleashing creativity, intensifying flavors, and pushing one's cooking to new heights.
This guide, which includes 100 recipes, explores questions both simple and complex to find the best way to make food as delicious as possible. For home cooks, Aki and Alex look at everyday ingredients and techniques in new ways--from toasting dried pasta to lend a deeper, richer taste to a simple weeknight dinner to making quick "micro stocks" or even using water to intensify the flavor of soups instead of turning to long-simmered stocks. In the book's second part, Aki and Alex explore topics, such as working with liquid nitrogen and carbon dioxide--techniques that are geared towards professional cooks but interesting and instructive for passionate foodies as well. With primers and detailed usage guides for the pantry staples of molecular gastronomy, such as transglutaminase and hydrocolloids (from xanthan gum to gellan), Ideas in Food informs readers how these ingredients can transform food in miraculous ways when used properly.
Throughout, Aki and Alex show how to apply their findings in unique and appealing recipes such as Potato Chip Pasta, Root Beer-Braised Short Ribs, and Gingerbread Souffl�. With Ideas in Food, anyone curious about food will find revelatory information, surprising techniques, and helpful tools for cooking more cleverly and creatively at home.
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December 28, 2010
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Excerpt from Ideas in Food by H. Alexander Talbot
No-Knead Brioche Dough
Makes two 9 x 5-inch loaves
Good brioche is an amazing thing. The bread is light, buttery, and full
of flavor. It can be somewhat labor intensive in its original form, so we
were immediately intrigued by the idea of creating a no-knead version.
Normally the butter is beaten into the dough, but here we melt it and
add it to the wet ingredients. The long resting period allows it to be
fully absorbed into the dough without all that extra work. This may
seem like a large recipe, but the dough can be used to make various
sweet breads like the sticky bun recipe that follows, and the plain loaves
6 1/2 cups/975 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/100 grams sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons/20 grams fine sea salt
? teaspoon/2 grams instant yeast
8 large eggs
1 cup/230 grams room-temperature water
1/2 cup/135 grams milk
1 pound/450 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Milk or heavy cream for brushing the loaves
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Whisk to
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, water, and milk. Once
they are well blended, whisk in the butter. Pour the wet ingredients
into the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon
until the liquid is absorbed and there are no lumps. The mixture will
resemble muffin batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it
rise at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. The dough will rise to
approximately one and a half times its initial volume.
Using a rubber spatula, gently loosen the dough from the bowl.
Dampen your hands with cool water and, with the dough still in the
bowl, slide one hand under one side of the dough. Fold that side of the
dough into the center and press down gently so the dough adheres to
itself. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the folding process. Do
this two more times. After the fourth fold, flip over the dough so the
seams are on the bottom. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it
rise at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. The dough will double in
Repeat the folding procedure, ending with the seams on the bottomn.
The dough is now ready to use.
To Bake the Brioche
Divide the dough in half. Place each half in a greased 9 ? 5-inch
loaf pan. (You can also bake half and reserve half for the sticky bun
recipe that follows.) Cover the pans with a towel or plastic wrap. Let
the dough rest in the pans while you preheat the oven to 375oF
(190?C) or 350oF (175?C) with convection.
Brush the loaves with milk and bake on the middle rack of the
oven for 1 hour. The loaves are done when they are a deep golden
brown and sound hollow when tapped firmly with your finger. Cool
for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Turn the loaves out of their
pans and return them to the rack to cool completely.