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October 14, 2005

Explanation of some Terms Used

Atelets--Small silver skewers.

Baba--A French sweet yeast cake.

Bouquet--a bunch of parsley and scallions tied up to put in soups, &c.

Bouquet garni, or Assaisonne--The same, with the addition of cloves and aromatic herbs.

Bourguignote--A ragout of truffles.

Brioche--A French yeast cake.

Buisson--A whimsical method of dressing up pastry, &c.

Capilotade--A common hash of poultry.

Caramel, [see Sugar Stages ]

Casse, [see Sugar Stages ]

Civet--A hash of game or wild fowl.

Compiegne--A French sweet yeast cake, with fruit; &c. &c.

Compote--A fine mixed ragout to garnish white poultry, &c.; also a method of stewing fruit with sirup for desserts.

Compotier--A dish amongst the dessert service appropriated to the use of the compote.

Couronne--To serve any prescribed articles on a dish in the form of a crown.

Court or short (to stew)--To reduce a sauce very thick.

Croustade--Bread baked in a mould, and scooped out to contain minces, &c.

Croutons--Bread cut in various shapes, and fried lightly in butter or oil.

Dorez--To wash pastry, &c. with yolk of egg well beaten.

Dorure--Yolks of eggs beaten well.

Entrees--Are dishes served at the commencement, or during the first course of the dinner.

Entremets--Small ornamental dishes, served in the second and third courses.

Farce,stuffing.

Financiere--An expensive, highly-flavored, mixed ragout.

Flan--A French custard.

Glaze, (to fall to a)--To reduce sauces till they become a jelly, and adhere to the meat.

Glaze--Is usually made from reduced consomme, or juices from the bottoms of braised white meats; it should be preserved in jelly-pots.

Glaze, Glace, or Ice--Is composed of white of egg beaten with powder-sugar.

Godiveau--A common veal forcemeat.

Grand Plume, [see Sugar Stages ]

Grand Perle, [see Sugar Stages ]

Grand Queue de Cochon, [see Sugar Stages ]

Gros Boulet, [see Sugar Stages ]

Gras(au)--This signifies that the article specified is dressed with meat gravy.

Gratin--A layer of some particular article is spread over a silver, or any other dish that will bear the fire, and placed on a stove or hot ashes until it burns to it.

Hors d'?uvre--A small dish, served during the first course.

Hatelets--The same as Atelets.

Lard--To stick bacon, or other specified articles, into poultry, meat, &c.; it is done by means of a larding-pin, one end of which is pointed, the other square, and hollow; the lardon is put into this hollow, the point is then inserted into the meat, and on being drawn out, leaves the lardon standing up in its proper place.

Lardons--The pieces into which bacon and other things are cut, for the purpose of larding meat, &c. &c.

Larding-pan--An utensil by means of which meat, &c. is larded.

Liaison--A finish with yolks of eggs and cream, for ragouts and sauces.

Lisse, [see Sugar Stages ]

Madeleines--Cakes made of the same composition as pound-cakes.

Maigre--Soups, &c. dressed without meat.

Marinade--A prepared pickle for meat, fish, &c.

Mask--To cover completely.

Nouilles--An Italian paste, resembling macaroni; it is flat, instead of being in pipes.

Panada--Bread soaked in milk, used principally for quenelles and fine farces.

Passer--To fry lightly.

Pate--A raised crust pie.

Petit Boulet, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Lisse, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Perle, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Plume, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Queue de Cochon, [see Sugar Stages ]

Poele--A light braise for white meats. The difference between this and the braise is, that in the former the meat, or whatever it may be, need not be so much done as in the latter.

Potage--Another term for soup.

Puree--Any meat, fish, or other article, boiled to a pulp, and rubbed through a sieve.

Quenelles--A fine farce; it is generally poached when used.

Salmi--A highly seasoned hash.

Sauter--To fry very lightly.

Sabotiere, or Sorbetiere--A pewter or tin vessel, in which are placed the moulds containing the substance to be frozen.

Souffle, [see Sugar Stages ]

Tammy--A silk sieve.

Tourner, or Turn--To stir a sauce; also to pare and cut roots, vegetables, and fruits, neatly.

Tourte--A puff-paste pie.

Vanner--To take up sauce, or other liquid, in a spoon, and turn it over quickly

Sugar Stages

SUGAR, Different Degrees of Preparing. The various purposes to which sugar is applied, require it to be in different states; these are called degrees, and are thirteen in number, called as follows:

Petit Lisse, or First Degree Replace the clarified sugar in the preserving-pan, to boil gently, take a drop of it on the thumb, touch it with the fore-finger; if, on opening them, it draws to a fine thread, and in breaking, forms two drops on each finger, it is at the right point.

Lisse, Second Degree. A litte more boiling brings it to this point; when the thread will draw further before it breaks.

Petit Perle, Third Degree. At this point the thread may be drawn as far as the span will open, without breaking.

Grand Perle, Fourth Degree. On still increasing the boiling, little raised balls are formed on the surface of the sugar.

Petit Queue de Cochon, Fifth Degree. Take up some of the sugar on a skimmer, and drop it on the rest, when it should form a slanting streak on the surface. Boil it a little longer, and it will reach the

Grand Queue de Cochon, orSixth Degree. The streak or tail is now larger.

Souffle, Seveth Degree. Take out a skimmerful of the sugar, blow through it, and small sparks of sugar will fly from it.

Petit-Plume, Eighth Degree. The same proof as above; the sparks should be larger and stronger.

Grande Plume, Ninth Degree. Take the sugar in the skimmer, as before, give it a shake, and if the sparks are large, and adhere together on rising, it is at the right point.

Petit Boulet, Tenth Degree. Dip your fingers in cold water, and then into the sugar instantly, and again into the water, when the sugar will roll into a ball, which will be supple when cold.

Gros Boulet, Eleventh Degree. At this point, the ball or bullet will be harder when cold than at the last.

Casse, Twelfth Degree. Prove as above; the bullet should crumble between the fingers, and on biting, will stick to the teeth; at the next point,

Caramel, Thirteenth Degree, It should snap clean. This point is very difficult to attain, for in increasing the height, the sugar is apt to burn; it is better therefore to try the proof very frequently.

Another caramel is frequently used by the confectioner, and is of a deep color; it is made by putting a little water to the sugar, and boiling it without skimming, or otherwise touching the sugar, till of the right color, then take it off and use immediately.

If, on preparing the sugar, you happen to miss the right point, add a little cold water, and boil once more.

Observations. --The skimmer should never be left in the preserving-pan after the sugar is clarified, nor after the scum is removed.

Be very careful not to stir or disturb the sugar, as that would cause its diminution.

In boiling the sugar (particularly the two last degree), the sugar is continually rising and falling; and on falling, leaves marks on the sides of the pan, which the heat of the fire would soon burn, and thereby spoil the whole of the sugar; to avoid this, have by the side of you a pan of cold water, and a sponge, with which wipe the sides of the pan carefully, the instant after the sugar has fallen.

October 17, 2005

Handy Conversions

This can greatly help in converting some of those old recipes into modern methods of measuring. They are in no way exact, but can give you the basics.

Water 2 Cups or 1 pint = 1 pound

Flour 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Sugar Granulated 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

Sugar, Granulated 1 Cup = 7 ounces

Sugar, Powdered 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Sugar, Brown, loose pack1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Salt 1 Tablespoon = 3/4 ounce

Baking Powder 1 Tablespoon = 3/8th ounce or.375 ounce

Baking Soda 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

Cream of Tartar 1 Tablespoon = 1/3rd ounce or .375 ounce

Yeast, Active Dry 1 Tablespoon = 1/3 ounce

Yeast, Compressed 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

Honey 1 Cup = 11 ounces

Shortening and Butter 1 Cup = 8 ounces

Shortening and Butter 1/4 Cup = 2 ounces

Allspice 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Cinnamon 1 Tablespoon = 1/4

Cloves 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Nutmeg 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Mace 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Ginger 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Cocoa 1 Tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Lemon or Vanilla Extract 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

Vinegar 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

May 24, 2007

Tips on Making Homemade Bread

Homemade bread does not last in our house. But I haven't made it in ages since I have been so busy moving all over the place and haven't even had a chance to get settled in....until recently that is. So yesterday I was planning on making some pizza dough (which came out really good) but while I was at it I made two loaves of bread. The thing I always worry about is the yeast. I am afraid to waste so much flour if the yeast does not work properly. So this is what I do to "test" the yeast. First according to the directions for making bread you add a little sugar, about 1 teaspoon, to about 1 cup of warm water and 1 package of yeast. Now for the warm water I just warm it on the stove. I don't have a thermometer so I use my fingers to test the temp. If the water has gotten too hot where it feels just slightly uncomfortable to my finger than it was too hot. If that happens I usually take out a 1/4 cup of water and replace with cool tap water. Never let the water come to a boil, that is WAY too hot. You only want your water nice and warm, about 105 - 115 degree F. So anyway then you pour the warm water over the yeast and sugar that is sitting in a bowl. Cover and set in a slightly warm spot. Come back in 5 minutes. If the yeast water has bubbles on top and a thick frothy coating on top you are good to go for bread making. It also should have this nice doughy aroma. So if your yeast water makes it through active, then proceed with the bread making. If not, then you haven't wasted all that flour.
Here is the recipe I use for making bread, which I usually end up doubling.

1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package yeast (which is about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 - 3 cups flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Dissolve the yeast with 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water as directed above. If yeast is pronounced active then proceed by mixing 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, salt, oil, half of flour mixture with yeast mixture. Mix until smooth. Then stir in remaining amount of flour until you have a nice soft dough.
Lightly knead dough on floured surface until it is smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top, cover with towel or cloth, then let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, which usually takes about 1 to 2 hours. I just place in the oven with the oven light on and it rises beautifully.
Then punch down dough, turn out onto floured surface, resting the dough for about 15 minutes. Then shape into so it will fit in your breadpan. Pinch bottom edges to seal. Place down seam side down, in well greased bread pan (9 x 5 x 3) Cover and let rise again for about an hour, or until doubled in size, then bake at 375 F for 50 minutes, or tap loaf and when it sounds hollow its finished. Remove from oven, then from pan to cool. I always butter the top, but thats optional. Now the hard part. Do NOT cut the bread until it has fully cooled.
This recipe yields 1 loaf.


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About Other Useful Tidbits

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