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Old 08-03-2017, 08:05 AM   #1
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New tips from old sources

So I'm sitting here waiting for the English muffin dough that I made last night to do one final proofing before putting them on the cast iron griddle. I have made untold number of English muffin recipes before but none of them thrilled me. This recipe comes from a cookbook from the early 1900s and has you make the dough the night before and leave it out (not in the fridge) so that it overproofs...the thought being that will create large bubbles in the dough.

While waiting, I skimmed through the book to see what else it had to offer and I saw some cooking tips I had never known and now look forward to try.

Cereals: After an initial boil of about 10 minutes, cereals should be cooked over a double boiler for several hours...the slow cooking improves taste. Now I've done crockpot overnight oatmeal but this looks different. Cooking 1-3 hours over a double boiler...interesting.

Bread: Tons of recipes for Graham bread which I've never had...I never used Graham flour either.
They recommend heating up the flour before baking for superior results...new to me...

I'm still reading so I will update with other pearls I find...

Do you have any pearls in YOUR cooking?

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Old 08-05-2017, 04:11 PM   #2
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If any of you ever get to Boston and want to see some weird "receipts", Radcliff College for Women has a library dedicated to women authors of cookbooks dating back to King Henry VIII and earlier. Make sure your bring a pair of white cotton gloves with you. You can learn how to cook a swan with some interesting stuffing for it.

Maryanne Esposito on PBS often goes there for some inspiration. Even Julia has made a trip or two there.
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Old 08-05-2017, 04:29 PM   #3
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Cereals: After an initial boil of about 10 minutes, cereals should be cooked over a double boiler for several hours...the slow cooking improves taste. Now I've done crockpot overnight oatmeal but this looks different. Cooking 1-3 hours over a double boiler...interesting.
My mom always cooked the cereal in a double boiler. But I doubt very seriously she cooked it for 1 - 3 hours! I believe she had the "instant" style of the day... it only took 40 minutes. Just long enough to get 5 kids out of bed, dressed and ready for school but eat breakfast first.

I had a double boiler for years, same as hers and then suddenly it disappeared! Have no idea what happened to it but you can't get them readily now... only steamers. Miss it.
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:25 PM   #4
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Many, many moons ago when I only had two children, I worked the night shift 11p.m. - 7 a.m. One of my first duties when I walked in the door was to go down to the kitchen, get a big bag of "Old Fashion Oatmeal" made by Quaker. I think it weighed five pounds. I dumped it into a huge commercial size pan, covered it with water, and placed the whole thing in a huge oven and set it at 275F.

By the time I left, the kitchen workers were setting up the trays with the hot oatmeal. Of course the patients who were allergic to oats, got Cream of Wheat. I don't know how they made that or at what time they started it. I do know they made that on top of the stove. There weren't many patients that received that. The menu for breakfast never, ever changed. I felt so bad for the patients. A lot of the trays went back to the kitchen with the oatmeal untouched.
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Old 08-05-2017, 07:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rparrny View Post
So I'm sitting here waiting for the English muffin dough that I made last night to do one final proofing before putting them on the cast iron griddle. I have made untold number of English muffin recipes before but none of them thrilled me. This recipe comes from a cookbook from the early 1900s and has you make the dough the night before and leave it out (not in the fridge) so that it overproofs...the thought being that will create large bubbles in the dough.

While waiting, I skimmed through the book to see what else it had to offer and I saw some cooking tips I had never known and now look forward to try.

Cereals: After an initial boil of about 10 minutes, cereals should be cooked over a double boiler for several hours...the slow cooking improves taste. Now I've done crockpot overnight oatmeal but this looks different. Cooking 1-3 hours over a double boiler...interesting.

Bread: Tons of recipes for Graham bread which I've never had...I never used Graham flour either.
They recommend heating up the flour before baking for superior results...new to me...

I'm still reading so I will update with other pearls I find...

Do you have any pearls in YOUR cooking?
I always make steel cut oats and grits in a double boiler. Never bothered with an initial boil and don't go much over an hour though. My oats are terrific but can see how a longer cook time might make them even better.

I don't make bread anymore but when I did, never cared for the taste of Hodgson Mill graham flour, the only brand in the store at the time. They make pasta too and don't like it either. Other whole wheat flours and pasta are great though, in fact, that's all I buy.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
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My mom always cooked the cereal in a double boiler. But I doubt very seriously she cooked it for 1 - 3 hours! I believe she had the "instant" style of the day... it only took 40 minutes. Just long enough to get 5 kids out of bed, dressed and ready for school but eat breakfast first.

I had a double boiler for years, same as hers and then suddenly it disappeared! Have no idea what happened to it but you can't get them readily now... only steamers. Miss it.
I've never had a double boiler per se...I put a stainless bowl on top of my pan of boiling water.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:03 PM   #7
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...I put a stainless bowl on top of my pan of boiling water.
Me too.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:08 PM   #8
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...and the book keeps referencing the "spider"...some sort of cooking utensil...anyone know what it is?
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:24 PM   #9
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...and the book keeps referencing the "spider"...some sort of cooking utensil...anyone know what it is?
This. It's used often in Chinese cooking; mine came with my old wok. I use it when blanching food to lift it out of the boiling water.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:26 PM   #10
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I've never had a double boiler per se...I put a stainless bowl on top of my pan of boiling water.
Me three
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