Martin's personal blog – Baking

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Flour type chart (a.k.a. baking the engineering way)

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:52

If you enjoy any form of "international baking" you may have been confused about the various types of flour listed in recipes and available in super markets. Fear not! For this is nothing a little chart won't fix. :-)

The chart may be a little specific to someone who lives in Taiwan and bakes a lot of Swiss, and occasionally German and American, recipes. Nevertheless, I hope this may be useful as a rough reference.

The covered flour types:

  • Germany: Typen 405, 550, 812, 1050, 1600, 1700
  • Switzerland: Weissmehl, Halbweissmehl, Ruchmehl, Vollkornmehl
  • US: All-purpose flour, High gluten flour, First clear flour, White whole wheat flour
  • Taiwan: 低筋麵粉, 中筋麵粉, 高筋麵粉, 特高筋麵粉

Chart illustrating the following flour types: Weissmehl, Halbweissmehl, Ruchmehl, Vollkornmehl; Pastry flour, All-purpose flour, High gluten flour, First clear flour, White whole wheat flour; 低筋麵粉, 中筋麵粉, 高筋麵粉, 特高筋麵粉; Typen 405, 550, 812, 1050, 1600, 1700
(Click the image for a bigger version. If you don't see an image please donate your current browser to a museum and upgrade.)

More details and numbers: Wikipedia articles on Flour, Mehl, 麵粉


Comfort food

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:14

Because pictures say more than words and because drooling on your mouse or keyboard might make the Logitech stock price go up ...

The legendary [local:/blog/2010/07/21/chocolate-goodness/ Chocolate Cake], now with sprinkles!

The legendary Chocolate Cake, now with sprinkles!

Zopf, a traditional type of Swiss bread.

Zopf, a traditional type of Swiss bread.

A totally new shape of Zopf. It's actually a long, ordinary Zopf turned into a knot. :-)

A totally new shape of Zopf. It's actually a long, ordinary Zopf turned into a knot. :-)


Christmas treats and eyesores

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:48

It's been exactly a month since Christmas, so right about time to post some Christmas photos!

Christians are a minority here in Taiwan but Christmas is obviously far from unheard of. While even in Europe the holiday becomes more and more a purely commercial event as traditions disappear and shelves full of candles and Christmas balls appear shortly after the end of summer, Taiwan has never really known Christmas for anything else than commerce.

It is therefore not uncommon to see a "Merry Christmas" sign on a shop door in mid-summer or decoration that pushes the limits of good taste. These are two "good" examples of the latter:

From the ugly Christmas Tree collection 2010: Seen at a hotel in 新北投 (Xin bei tou)
From the ugly Christmas Tree collection 2010: Logitech lobby in Hsinchu

It seems some people may be misunderstanding the "tree" part in the word "Christmas tree".

So, what is the best way to get through the tough times of ubiquitous eyesore? That's right. Turning a blind eye (or two) and baking cookies! We started with my family's all-time favorite, the "Spitzbuebe":

Yummy Christmas cookies!

They're not quite as delicious or good-looking as the ones my mother makes but they're close - and we have plenty of years ahead of us to practice. If you watch carefully you can even spot a Taiwan-shaped one! :-)


Chocolate goodness

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:30

Last weekend a combination of a friend's request for chocolate cake and the desire to take on fresh baking challenges recently led us to try one of my family's favorite recipes.

I wasn't exactly optimistic about the outcome given that it involves a few steps that my traditional mix-it-all-and-bake cakes don't require. There's separating eggs (who likes to touch eggs?!), melting chocolate in a water bath, glaze-proofing the cake with warm jam, and finally pouring a cup of thick chocolate glazing on top of it, hoping that it covers the cake's surface equally.

Well, despite a few mishaps such as yolk in the egg whites, burn marks on my arms, an overzealous oven, and poor garnishing timing (and, apparently, lack of talent) it turned out quite delicious!

untitled

And just to show you how delicious it is, let's take a look at what's inside ...

untitled

You've got to love the chocolate part. :-)