You’ve mixed your dough enough when you can stretch a small piece of it into a translucent sheet without tearing it.
Bread Dough Bread = 5 parts flour : 3 parts water (plus yeast and salt)
We must have craft before we have art, and craft is founded on fundamentals. I’ve long wanted to quantify and explore these fundamentals. And so I set out to write this book.
I find the ratio sheet beautiful. Like a poet chipping away at his words, compressing and polishing until his idea is a diamond, Hestnar has removed every extraneous element of cooking.
He says that everything a cook needs to know—everything, mind you—is contained in five books: Escoffier, Larousse, Hering’s Dictionary, La Repetoire. I tell him that’s only four. “And Câreme,” he says. He pauses. “No one wants.”
We talk about how one learns to cook and what the culinary arts are all about. He is dismissive of recipes with lots of ingredients. What impresses him is a really good cheese sauce.
Technique will ultimately determine the quality of the end result. Ratios are the points from which infinite variations begin.
Chocolate Sauce = 1 part chocolate: 1 part cream Caramel Sauce = 1 part sugar: 1 part cream
Sausage Seasoning = 60 parts meat/fat: 1 part salt Mousseline = 8 parts meat: 4 parts cream: 1 part egg Brine = 20 parts water: 1 part salt Fat-Based Sauces Mayonnaise = 20 parts oil: 1 part liquid (plus yolk) Vinaigrette = 3 parts oil: 1 part vinegar Hollandaise = 5 parts butter: 1 part yolk: 1 part liquid Custards Free-Standing Custard = 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg Crème Anglaise = 4 parts milk/cream: 1 part yolk: 1 part sugar
flour Stocks and Sauces Stock = 3 parts water: 2 parts bones Consommé = 12 parts stock: 3 parts meat: 1 part mirepoix: 1 part egg white Roux = 3 parts flour: 2 parts fat Thickening Ratio = 10 parts liquid: 1 part roux Beurre Manié = 1 part flour: 1 part butter (by volume) Slurry = 1 part cornstarch: 1 part water (by volume) Thickening Rule = 1 tablespoon starch will thicken 1 cup liquid Farçir Sausage = 3 parts meat: 1 part fat
part egg: 1 part flour Sponge Cake = 1 part egg: 1 part sugar: 1 part flour: 1 part butter Angel Food Cake = 3 parts egg white: 3 parts sugar: 1 part flour Quick Bread = 2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part butter Muffin = 2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part butter Fritter = 2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg Pancake = 2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: ½ part butter Popover = 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part flour Crepe = 1 part liquid: 1 part egg: ½ part
The Ratios Doughs Bread = 5 parts flour: 3 parts water (plus yeast and salt) Pasta Dough = 3 parts flour: 2 parts egg Pie Dough = 3 parts flour: 2 parts fat: 1 part water Biscuit = 3 parts flour: 1 part fat: 2 parts liquid Cookie Dough = 1 part sugar: 2 parts fat: 3 parts flour Pâte à Choux = 2 parts water: 1 part butter: 1 part flour: 2 parts egg Batters Pound Cake = 1 part butter: 1 part sugar: 1