Cooking For Engineers

Off Topic

Orthogonal Thought - A New Blog

by Michael Chu
Printer-friendly
Sometimes it's easy for me to write articles for Cooking For Engineers, other times it takes a long time to get the prep work and tests done before I can sit down and write something. For example, the last couple weeks, I've baked almost a dozen loaves of bread using the no-knead recipe published in the New York Times and have not gotten something I'm happy with yet - so no article on that topic. I've got several different gadgets sitting here, waiting for me to test and review, as well as a variety of recipes that still need photographing. Somehow, over the last couple years, I've set the bar so high on what I write for Cooking For Engineers, that I'm not able to post an article as often as many of you would like.

So, as an additional outlet, I've started a new blog called Orthogonal Thought which will be a venue for me to write in a much less formal, less researched, but hopefully just as entertaining manner. The entries will be short and the topic will not be constrained. At the moment I plan on discussing some of the books I've been reading, restaurants we like and dislike, and other topics that I have something that I want to tell everyone, but it really isn't enough to post to Cooking For Engineers.

Cooking For Engineers will still remain my flagship website, but for those of you who wish you could read more gibberish from Michael Chu, well, here it is!

Orthogonal Thought
Written by Michael Chu
Published on April 19, 2007 at 01:41 AM
Hide comments
4 comments on Orthogonal Thought - A New Blog:(Post a comment)

On April 19, 2007 at 03:12 PM, youngcook said...
Subject: Good!
Sounds like an excellent plan. I understand that you are busy. I think this is good. Then we don't have to test things either! :D


On April 22, 2007 at 03:41 AM, B'laatu (guest) said...
Subject: Output
From what I have read so far your output is fine with me. It is worth waiting for quality as I am usually inundated with too much quantity.


On April 26, 2007 at 02:19 PM, phong (guest) said...
Subject: no-knead bread
Michael, what have you tried for the no-knead bread? I have settled on 450g bread flour, 380g water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast. I cook it in an 8 quart soup pot, but I am going to try a smaller one tonight. The 8 quart results in a wide and thin boule, which is usually good, but not so much for sandwiches.


On April 30, 2007 at 04:49 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: no-knead bread
phong wrote:
Michael, what have you tried for the no-knead bread? I have settled on 450g bread flour, 380g water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast. I cook it in an 8 quart soup pot, but I am going to try a smaller one tonight. The 8 quart results in a wide and thin boule, which is usually good, but not so much for sandwiches.

I've tried a variety of combinations. Usually 450g flour, 355 g water (started with more, but kept reducing the amount - especially after watching the video a bunch of times), 1-2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast. So, the ingredients are pretty mucht he same as yours except the water quantity. I have gone higher and lower on the water, but achieve the same results - a moist and gummy interior.

I've baked in a 5 qt. enamaled cast iron dutch oven, 6 qt. All-Clad stock pot and 8-qt. All-Clad stock pot. I think I get a little more rise in the Dutch oven, but no change in the gummy crumb. I've systematically changed the temperature and time, and this weekend's attempt had it at 450°F in the pot for 30 min. and completely removed from the pot (to help provide surface area and open space for the steam/moisture to dissipate) at 350°F for 30 min. (Prior attempts to prolong the open pot / out of pot times result in burning the bread - so I reduced the temperature to increase the time.) As always, the bread sings when it cools, but is gummy inside.

: