Next steps in Charcuterie: Pancetta

Following my experiments with the duck prosciutto, I decided to embark on the next chapter of my charcuterie … Pancetta! Pancetta is dried Italian bacon. The main difference between the bacon we can get in stores and pancetta is that bacon is wet cured, and cannot be eaten raw, whereas pancetta is dried, and is absolutely delicious “raw”. Pancetta can be …

Duck Prosciutto, the grand reveal!

The day has finally arrived! After anxiously waiting for 5 days, I could not resist the temptation, and took the duck prosciutto out for a quick measurement. The breasts have not yet lost all the required weight, but it appears that the breasts are sufficiently dry. The prosciutto were firm to the touch, and I could not resist cutting into one …

My first sourdough bread

After feeding my leaven regularly for 3-4 days, I observed that the leaven was rising and falling according to a schedule. According to Tartine bread, this is exactly what was required for making my first sourdough bread… Bread making is a surprisingly intuitive process, with multiple ways of controlling the texture, shape, and taste of the final bread through difference …

Duck Prosciutto, preparation for drying

The day has come for taking the cured duck breasts out of the bags, and transform from their current state to proper duck prosciutto. The duck breasts were first removed from the bags, and the excess salt were rinsed off. The breasts have lost a bit of water due to the salt, and have decreased in weight by approximately 15-20%. The …

Duck Prosciutto, my first foray into charcuterie

In my recent attempts to become an urban homesteader, I have decided to try my hands at making charcuterie, or preserving meats through curing. Naturally, there is an obscene amount of information out there on the interwebs on how to cure meat, but couple of things that multiple sources agree on, is that: Duck prosciutto is the easiest way to …

My first bread, making the leaven

Recently, inspiration struck while I was reading Pollan’s latest book, Cooked. Within, he described in detail his trials on baking the perfect country loaf from Chad Robertson’s book, Tartine Bread. I too had been fascinated by making bread from a natural leaven, and thought that this could potentially be the next advancement in my bread baking attempts. After buying the …

Science of Cheesemaking

The science of cheesemaking is rather simple. Slight differences in curing techniques and ingredients can greatly vary the texture, taste, and types of cheese. Permutations of techniques lead to seven families of cheese, listed below: Acid coagulated cheese, including cottage cheese, cream cheese, etc. This family is made without rennet, and is coagulated through the addition of acid only. Rennet-Coagulated Cheese, …

On Mozzarella and Bocconcini

Why make Mozzarella and or Bocconcini? While making pizza the other day, J and I noticed the unpalatable taste and texture of store bought bocconcini. Coming from Europe, J was especially amazed at the high cost and low quality of cheeses here in North America. After a brief discussion, I decided to look into what/how long/how expensive cheese making is …

Hello World

I suppose it is fitting to keep the title as is. “Hello world”, after all, is the first step into many of the programming languages that I have learned in the past, and starting this blog is in many ways like learning a new language. I hope you and I can share many things together; the sense of accomplishment at the …