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Old 03-26-2007, 10:20 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bowie, MD near DC
Posts: 6
New member: bread; beef with freezer burn

Hi, My name is Franette. I am a mother of 6 born between 1979 and 1988. I love cooking and sewing and I am just starting with real estate. My husband Gil re-did our kitchen 2 years ago and the pictures are still up at Scherrs.com if you want to see the photos. I think there is one of me in there making breakfast.
I like to make bread, but my bread always is a bit heavy. I'm not sure how to get a light loaf which still taste's good. I tried with and without extra ingredients such as buttermilk and cream, eggs, butter, milk, potato, etc. When I only used water, it got hard very fast. Any suggestions?
Yesterday I found a package of porterhouse steaks in the back of the freezer. It was expensive, but had some freezer burn. I was looking on line for suggestions to use such meat and ran across this site and decided to join.
I didn't really find any answer to my question, only that such meat needed to be tossed out. I cut off the outside edges and then sliced it thinly and made pulgogi: I marinated it in seseme oil, soy sauce, and some sugar along with sliced onions and chopped garlic. Then fried it. (I served it with white rice, toasted seasoned seaweed, kimchi, and spinach [lightly boiled and drained; seasoned with seseme oil, rice vinegar, soysauce, sugar and seseme seeds]). Everyone liked it. Not the best use of an expensive piece of meat, but better than throwing it away.
I have traveled a lot: Far East, Near East, Europe, Central America (I lived in Guatemala for 1 1/2 years). My daughter-in-law is Italian and she and my son lived with us for several years so I learned some Italian cooking from her. I have a son-in-law who is a sous-chef in a Japanese restaurant in Switzerland. He is half-Japanese and half-Swiss and is qualified in Swiss, French, and Thai kitchen from the cullinary institute he graduated from. I didn't learn a lot from him, but did learn some by cooking together. I have another daughter who is engaged to a Japanese young man and another son who is engaged to a young lady from Tiawan. I need to learn more about Japanese cuisine and also about Chinese cooking. My other 2 daughters are not engaged or married yet.
I like to experiment with recipes to perfect them: stuff like cakes, eclairs, pancakes, bread, pie crust. I love making soup and also making sauces.

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Old 03-26-2007, 11:00 PM   #2
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Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 16,324
Well, Franette, first...welcome to DC. You have asked a number of questions and have a wonderful food history. Especially that of learning from your extended family.

Now, as for the beef, the first thing I would recommend...and this is something I do...is to keep a dated "log" on your freezer door of what you put inside. I have a simple "wipe-off" board that serves me well. On it I put the name of the item or dish and the date I put it in the freezer. I also make a notation about whether it's beef, poultry, pork, fish, etc. because some of these foods have shorter freezer lives. It is rare that I have to throw anything out using this system.

When it comes to bread, you might want to purchase a bread machine. I have two, actually, and many times both are in use. However, I don't use them the way most people use them. I most often use the DOUGH cycle, which kneads the dough for me and puts it through the first rise. Once the dough is through with this stage, I then shape it the way I want, let it rise for the second and final rise out of the machine and always end up with lovely bread. Light, not heavy, and golden brown.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:00 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 48,293
Welcome aboard!

Freezer burn on meats is nothing more than a spot where the moisture has been taken out of the meat-it's super dried out. There is no harm in eating meat with some freezer burn. You could just trim the burned parts and proceed. Your solution was quick thinking to rescue a good piece of meat.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:57 PM   #4
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 8
Im new too, today I joined. What I find useful is to cut a post it note in half and put the date on it...tape over it or if its in a container, I place the sticky part on the lip not to touch the meat inside. It works great for me.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:46 AM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bowie, MD near DC
Posts: 6
I know people made light bread before the bread machine came out. Also, when kneeding the bread by hand, you put so much love and energy into the bread. Any suggestions on how to make a light loaf which tastes good by hand? Also, in my experience, when I used twice as much yeast, the bread really tasted yeasty. It may be that bakeries use some other yeast than the one available in the grocery store. There are so many variables with bread -- so I kneed it at least 15 minutes and let it rise until doubled at least twice, sometimes this took longer than the recommended time. My bread tastes good and has even small air pockets, but it always seems to be heavy, kind of solid like a country loaf. I'm aiming for soft and fluffy.
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