21 August 2007

Bacalao Guisado

Last night, we had one of my favorites, bacalao guisado. Guisado is Spanish for stew.

For a picture and recipe, see Rican Recipies. What my mother-in-law makes is very similar to this, except that she serves avocado and panas (both from our finca) on the side instead of tostones, and she used canned tomatoes.

A similar dish is pollo guisado, made with chicken instead of fish, with the addition of potatoes and sometimes bell peppers and a beer. Here's mama's:

02 August 2007

Pan de Luis Redux

After exchanging email with my online buddy, Chef Bob del Grosso, I modified the first attempt at Pan de Luis to incorporate some of his advice. I got some vital wheat gluten from Hodgson Mill to make up for the fact that I can't get bread flour here. Bread flour contains more gluten than AP flour, so adding gluten helps. Since I bought the gluten online, I wanted to get enough to justify the shipping cost. My wife thinks I went a little overboard, as I now have enough for about 170 loaves of bread. I also bought some instant yeast from Hodgson, since I can't get that here either.

I'm sure Bob's recipe is better than this one, but I decided to keep it simple. I'll get to his at some point.

Since my last attempt, I bought a scale; I now measure dry ingredients by weight. Since I bake more often these days, I've switched from kneeding the dough by hand to doing it in my KitchenAid stand mixer using the dough hook.

Click on the image to see it full size.

Here is the modified recipe. It makes two 2 pound (900 gram) loaves.
  • 1 kilogram AP flour
  • 30 grams vital wheat gluten
  • 9 grams salt
  • 26 ounces room-temperature water
  • 8.75 grams instant yeast
First make a poolish:
  • 340 grams AP flour
  • 3 grams gluten
  • 13 ounces room-temperature water
  • 1.5 grams instant yeast
  1. Combine the gluten, yeast, and flour in the KitchenAid work bowl and mix.
  2. Add the water, mix well.
  3. Cover with a towel, and let sit at room temperature for 5 hours
  4. Stir well and refrigerate overnight
The next day, I make the dough:
  • 660 grams AP flour
  • 33 grams gluten
  • 9 grams salt
  • 13 ounces room-temperature water
  • the remaining yeast
  1. Bring the poolish back to room temperature.
  2. Mix the yeast, gluten, salt, and flour.
  3. Add 26 ounces room-temperature water and the flour mixture to the work bowl with the biga.
  4. Kneed on medium speed for 10 minutes.
  5. Let rise in a slightly oiled bowl for 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in volume.
  6. Punch down, and fold on itself several times to redistribute the yeast.
  7. Let rise another hour, or until doubled in volume.
  8. Divide into 2 equal parts, and shape into loaves, and transfer to a lightly-oiled sheet pan that's dusted with corn meal.
  9. Let rise another hour covered with a towel.
  10. Preheat the oven to 500°F with an empty oven-proof pan in the oven.
  11. When the oven reaches 500°F, pour a cup of hot water in the pan, and close the oven door.
  12. Slash the top of each loaf several times and put the baking sheet in the oven
  13. After 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 475°F.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes more, or to an internal temperature of 200°F.
  15. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.

Click on the image to see it full size.

This bread freezes very well.

Lest you worry, I vacuum-bagged the rest of the gluten, so it should keep for a long time.