I love pancakes on winter mornings. And I find something terribly satisfying about pancakes with an over-easy egg and bacon—the savory bacon and the sweet pancake and syrup expertly mediated by the versatile egg.  I got to thinking about them recently after a commenter on a recent post announcing the Ratio 2.0 release wrote that for five bucks he’d do the math himself. It kind of annoyed me, but I couldn’t figure out why until I thought about pancakes. I always remember that I prefer a 5% brine, so that however much water I use, I can multiply that by .05 to determine the salt quantity. But ratios aren’t simply math, they’re about the proportions of several ingredients. No matter how many times I make pancakes, I always check the ratio. Moreover, they scale to Read On »

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The new version of our Ratio app is now available, with a thrilling new feature. You can create your own custom ratios. For instance, while the 5-to-3 flour-to-water ratio, or 60% water, is the standard baker’s percentage for bread, many prefer a wetter dough, as high as 86% for the no-knead doughs. Now you can create and save your own ratios. You can devise your own specific recipes and save them to your recipe library. And of course the app still functions as an all-purpose recipe calculator for 32 fundamental preparations. Simply type in the amount of one ingredient and the app automatically tabulates the amounts of all the ingredients. Scale recipes up or down as needed. Want pancakes but have only one egg? Type that in to tabulate the correct amount of flour and Read On »

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I stopped stuffing our Thanksgiving turkey reluctantly, as the stuffing was always my favorite part of the meal when Grandma Spamer made it. But my goal became a perfectly cooked bird, and you can’t cook a turkey perfectly if it’s stuffed. So now I make what we must refer to as dressing, no matter what Mario says (“That’s what you put on a salad.”). Dressing denotes that it’s stuffing cooked in a pan. And it can still be the very best part of the meal! Thanks to a versatile ratio, it’s a no brainer. Dressing, and there are infinite variations, is little more than a savory bread pudding. To make a great dressing you make the liquid a custard, the ratio for which is 2 parts liquid and 1 part egg, here 24 ounces stock Read On »

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Taking a bit of a break with Ma in West Palm—Goodbye, Cleveland grays!—but wanted to keep up the culinary inspiration via Donna’s photos. Here a basic bread ratio of 5 parts flour to 3 parts water can be turned into pizza dough, flat bread, or even a braided loaf with kosher salt My Bread Baking App has more info or watch this video. Or have a look at these past bread posts: pretzels, multigrain bread, no knead bread, and challah.     What is The Book of Schmaltz? Find out on Vimeo; then win a copy of the app from Edamam’s giveaway on Pinterest.   © 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.  

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When I was a boy, my father looked at me in the rearview mirror and asked why was I so quiet. I said, “I have nothing to say.” Sometimes I have something to say, and I get overheated. Right now, I have nothing to say. Unlike a daily newspaper that has to say something on schedule, has to lead with some story, I don’t. I’m a strong believer in not speaking generally (there’s too much noise as there is) but especially when I have nothing to say. (To be honest, I wouldn’t even be typing this except that I can’t stand Friday’s picture of Rose’s grenadine any longer.) I suggest that whenever you have nothing to say, you fry something in oil, such as green beans dipped in tempura batter, which was how we got Read On »

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