Angel 7

Baking to me was always something I did reluctantly.  I'm a cook.  Cooks and bakers are distinctly different creatures.  Cooks are the jazz musicians, bakers and pastry chefs are the classical pianists. I never had much confidence when flour, eggs and a 350 degree oven were involved. Until, that is, I began to study the proportions of the fundamental ingredients in order to arrive at baseline ratios for basic flour-liquid-fat-egg preparations and I saw how interrelated these preparations are, that there was scarcely a difference between a pound cake, a sponge cake, a pancake, a muffin and a crepe, that a biscuit dough was simply a pie dough with more liquid and rolled thicker, that an angel food cake (above) was simply meringue with flour folded in.  Here was my "eureka" moment.  (If you have Ratio I describe it on page 55, the moment when it all became clear and, through batter ratios, I learned not to fear death.)

In fact, I became kind of obsessed with them and, always fascinated by visual displays of quantitative information, began making graphs and charts. I love the current cover of Ratio for it's circular take on what I had only envisioned squarely—and its mandala-like design elegantly described my newfound appreciation for the unity of the dough-batter continuum.

But the circle doesn't allow room for notes on some finesse elements for these preparations, such as mixing method, how much salt, what kind of leavening, possible variations.

So I returned to the grid for it's utility.  Donna became fascinated as well, and, in response to strong interest last week from commenters here, she spent several days photoshopping my hand-drawn grid and notes.  And we are now excited to be able to offer here.  I see it as practical art.  I just like to look at it. It is not a poster but a photograph, an 11-by-14-inch chart on glossy photographic paper and due to what we expect to be a low print run, a little pricey.  We need to charge $20 even to cover postage, sleeves, envelopes, sales tax, and paypal's cut.  I think it's worth it as something to hang in the kitchen or post on an inside cupboard door.  But: for those who are strapped right now, as I know so many are, we will eventually offer a PDF if you simply want the info and are fine with a copy from of your printer.

Orders are now closed, thanks for your interest, PDF will be up soon!

For all those who expressed interest, though, here it is.  This is such a spontaneous act, I don't even have a page for it on my site, so here are the instructions: go to paypal, click "send money" and send $20 to michael@ruhlman.com. The concluding paypal page of the order will ask you if you want to include a message on the email i'll get: write "chart please!" and any signing instructions if that's something you would like.  I'm gratified by the interest many people have shown and very pleased and proud to offer it. This is what it looks like:

Ratio 3rd try for blog

Now, time to go make more quickbreads!