Golden Ratio, Golden Bread

Posted by: Ian Beyer  :  Category: Uncategorized

In his book Ratio, Michael Ruhlman explains the ratios behind many basic elements of cuisine. When detailing bread, he explains that bread consists of a flour:liquid ratio of 5:3 (1.66). (Ruhlman also explains that cooking ratios are always done by weight.) This is a good rule of thumb that is pretty easy to remember. After some experimenting, I’ve found that I actually get better results if my flour:liquid ratio is closer to the golden ratio¬†(1.618). This is not surprising, as this ratio is found throughout nature.

Here’s how it breaks down, to make a single loaf around 1.5 lb:

1 lb flour (any combination of bread flour, whole wheat, rye, you name it. At least half should be a good high-gluten flour)

7 oz liquid (can be milk, water, whey, beer, or any combination thereof. Get creative and experiment here. )

1 beaten egg (just under 2 oz.)

1 oz. fat (oil, butter, etc – solid fats should be very soft or melted)

For each 1.5 lb loaf, add the following, dissolved in the liquid which has been heated to around 40 degrees C (100 degrees F). Do this before adding the egg and the fat.

1/2 tablespoon yeast

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon sweetener (honey, sugar, molasses – do not use zero-calorie sweeteners, this is to feed the yeast, not you)

Knead the whole thing for about 10-15 minutes, rise until doubled, punch down, shape, rise again,  bake for half an hour at 350F.


I yam what I yam..

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Uncategorized

We went out to my dad’s place yesterday for some food and family while my grandmother was in town. Yummy buffalo burgers and salmon burgers. We came home with a bag of these:

Yes, that’s a foot-long, three-pound sweet potato, and not a prop from a gastroenterology lecture. (that’s what y’all in the South would call a “big-ass yam”)

My dad grew a 25-foot experimental plot for possible commercial production. He got 80 lbs from that little bed, these were some of the larger ones. He sent us home with 10 lbs of them, which worked out to 4 potatotes. My dad tells me this works out to about a 30,000 lb/acre yield.

Margit made some yummy sweet potato salad (and I’ll share the recipe as soon as it’s declassified)

We also got to pick raspberries:

Most of them ended up inside her belly.

And, a gratuitously cute picture: