Sunday, January 20, 2013

Finding Ingredients & Equipment

Finding Ingredients

Thanks to Eli's friend Emily for reminding me that if she wanted to try any of the recipes, some of the ingredients or equipment are unknown to her and may be hard to find.

This is the day of the internet, and I am often ordering even mundane ingredients like flour through the King Arthur website (especially when they run the no-shipping deals).  This saves me time and energy, although the UPS man isn't necesarily a fan.

So anyway, here is a list that I can update when someone asks me "huh? whats that and where can I get it?"

Websites:
Some good website sources for baking ingredients and cooking:
King Arthur Flour : kingarthurflour.com
The New York Bakers: nybakers.com

Filling (ready made)
  • Chocolate Schmear and the other "schmears" are canned fillings from Love 'n Bake, the home baking arm of American Almond company, a commercial baking supply company located in Brooklyn. They have a great website, lots of fun recipes and information. http://www.lovenbake.com/blog/ or www.americanalmond.com .  Some of their products are available in Shop Rite (in the kosher experience section) and Whole Foods.
  • Israeli chocolate spread is a product, not a name brand. You can find it in stores that have large kosher sections (Shop Rite's kosher experience for example).  There is also a website: www.israeliproducts.com , but you have to order $100 worth of items in order to avoid shipping. Israelikosher.com is another site you can check out.
  • Pomegranate (the kosher supermarket in Flatbush, Brooklyn) has it all............
  • Baker's Choice is another company that has baking supplies including really good imported cocoa. The company is in Spring Valley, NY, but you can find their products in large kosher sections in supermarkets - especially around Passover.  They don't offer on-line retail orders; however, their phone is listed on the website: http://www.bakerschoiceny.com/
Flour:
  • I most often use King Arthur Flour.  Bread, white whole wheat and all purpsose are available in many supermarkets these days.  Bob's Red Mill (in the natural foods section) is another good choice. If you are just starting to bake and paying $5 for a 5 lb bag of flour hurts, Hecker's unbleached will bake a better product than Pillsbury, White Medal or the house brand, but doesn't rise as beautifully as KA (KA has a higher protein content & this affects the rise.)
  • Specialty flours can be ordered on line at King Arthur (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/) or in the supermarket from Bob's Red Mill or Arrowhead Mills.
  • Shop Rite has a large selection of flour, Whole Foods has a nice selection of high-end specialty flour.
  • Trader Joe's carries white whole wheat flour that seems to be the same or similar enough to KA that I do use it.
Pans:
  • Use good pans, make the investment, it's worth it. I've been using the same loaf pans for many years- wash them and dry by hand, don't bang them around too much and they will serve you well for a long time. I don't have a favorite brand, but USA pans, Chicago Metallic and Kaiser are some brands that make good baking pans.
  • Parchment paper (available in all supermarkets, in the baking aisle) help you skip greasing in some cases and will help make sure that your baked product is easily removed from the pan.
  • Baker's peel - you can pick one up in Bed Bath and Beyond, along with other kitchen supply stores.  
Yeast:
  • Fleishmann's or Red Star active dry yeast work well (need to be activated, look at the Challah recipe for a description of this process).  Keep in the fridge or freezer (if you buy it in bulk).
  • Fresh yeast is difficult to work with and unless kept under ideal conditions can fail.
  • Instant yeast will mix immediately with water and flour.  I use SAF red label and order it from the King Arthur website. (It's cheaper from King Arthur than Amazon as I type this).
  • SAF gold is instant yeast meant for sweet dough. It has a bit of citric acid mixed in....does it improve sweet dough?  Honestly, I haven't used it enough to make a definitive statement about it, check back with me in 2014.