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Cake flour (NOT "cake & pastry" flour) in the GTA!

@julesrules Thanks! I'll check it out. That's super-convenient for us too -- we live at Monarch Park & Danforth.

Mar 23, 2014
olynyk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cake flour (NOT "cake & pastry" flour) in the GTA!

Back when my wife and I lived in the U.S. (Boston) we used King Arthur unbleached cake flour for cakes (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop-i...) and King Arthur pastry flour for pies, croissants, etc. (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop-i...).

Note that these are NOT the same thing! The cake flour is a higher-protein blend than the pastry flour. The cake flour is milled from harder wheat, too.

In the GTA, we can only ever find so-called "cake and pastry" flour -- see attached photo, taken 2014-03-22 in a Loblaws. It produces worse results for cakes AND pastries (especially cakes).

Any thoughts? Anyone know of where you can get real cake flour? King Arthur brand would be awesome. I've also heard of Swan's Down cake flour, but can't find it anywhere (someone long ago on Chowhound recommended T&T http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/105378 but I can't find it in my Cherry St. T&T).

I know you can order King Arthur online but it's expensive to ship internationally, and for flour, you don't want to be stocking up on a two-year supply at one time in order to save on shipping!

Mar 23, 2014
olynyk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

@cowboyardee Thanks for the advice! See my reply to John E. above re: patina, and my reply to Chemicalkinetics below re: sharpening.

Oct 29, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

@John E. yes, you can use mustard to put a nice patina on a carbon steel knife in a hurry (takes about 15 minutes). It doesn't have to be mustard, it's just that mustard is (a) acidic, (b) thick enough that it doesn't dry out in 15 minutes, and (c) lumpy enough that you get an interesting pattern of more/less oxidized steel. It's apparently quite beautiful in some cases: rainbow shimmers.

See e.g.: http://forum.multitool.org/the-mod-sq...

In the case of my new gangster-stainless cleaver, it sort of put a patina on there, but it's kind of rusty-looking in spots (brownish). It may have been a mistake, haha.

Oct 29, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

@Chemicalkinetics, well, that was a high-resolution photo, but I guess chow.com reduces the size. I might upload another photo of just the stamped characters to see if someone can translate it (maybe it says what material it is)?

And yes, I'm going to sharpen it myself. My diamond stones (see attached image) that I use on cheaper knives should work, although they're awfully small for this massive cleaver. I might try to pick up some larger ones.

Oct 29, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

So here's what I ended up getting, at least for now: a cheap stainless (I think) "JQ #2" cleaver from Tap Phong Trading Co. in Chinatown on Spadina.

It's pretty dull, and the metallurgy seems really sketchy, like they just took a stainless bar stock, cold-rolled it, and ground the edges. Will update in a few months after I've used it and see how it is going.

I put mustard all over it (see photo) and it gave it somewhat of a patina, which shouldn't happen if it's real stainless, right?

It was only $20. If it doesn't last, I'll chuck it and get a CCK at the outlet store at the Pacific Mall. Good to be back in Toronto!

Oct 28, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Where to get an ethically raised duck in/near Toronto?

(Replying to my own thread...) I wonder if one if the farmer's markets in the towns outside Toronto might be a place to look?

Oct 14, 2013
olynyk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to get an ethically raised duck in/near Toronto?

Thanks Charles! I was at the port lands T&T earlier today actually, I'll check out the Wingtat duck next time I'm there.

Oct 13, 2013
olynyk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to get an ethically raised duck in/near Toronto?

Hello hounds,

I'm looking for a shop that will sell me a cleaned, dressed duck (frozen or fresh) that was ethically raised. Meaning, it lived outside, and didn't live in a tiny cage for its whole life. (Perhaps even shot wild?)

Any recommendations?

Oct 13, 2013
olynyk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

East Asian grocery near east Danforth (Greenwood-Coxwell)?

What's the best place to go for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean supplies if you live in Danforth East (Greenwood-Coxwell area)?

The problem with searching "Asian grocery" on Yelp is that it returns all the South Asian stores on Gerrard, which don't carry miso, dashi, etc.

Walkable/transit-able options are best, but any recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Sep 18, 2013
olynyk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Is there such a thing as an espresso/barista/coffee class you can take?

I ended up taking the 2-hour Espresso 101 class at Barismo. It was great! We tried the beginning, middle, and end of an extraction in order to tell the difference, tried extracting at too low and too high of temperature, learned how to grind and tamp properly. All in all, very good! And instructor Chris was laid-back and didn't make it too threatening. (Barismo can be kind of intimidating.)

I would recommend Barismo's Espresso 101 for just about anybody who has bought a high-end home machine.

Jul 05, 2013
olynyk in Greater Boston Area

Is there such a thing as an espresso/barista/coffee class you can take?

@Klunco I signed up for my wife and me for the Monday July 1st, 2013 Espresso 101 class at Barismo! I'll post on this thread afterwards to let people know how it was.

Jun 05, 2013
olynyk in Greater Boston Area
1

Is there such a thing as an espresso/barista/coffee class you can take?

@Allstonian seriously... that's a bit pricey, given that we'll both want to attend the class!

It's also, I think, pitched a bit above the level I'm looking for. It's meant more for people who want to actually work in a real cafe, or start their own.

May 22, 2013
olynyk in Greater Boston Area

Is there such a thing as an espresso/barista/coffee class you can take?

Great idea! I will probably call Barismo to see about a private class *before* asking a friend :)

May 22, 2013
olynyk in Greater Boston Area

Is there such a thing as an espresso/barista/coffee class you can take?

@Klunco the only problem is, they offer the Espresso 101 once a month, and only three students at a time! June 3 class is already sold out.

I'm going to by 2/3 of the spaces available for the July 1 class when it's announced, if I can, haha

May 22, 2013
olynyk in Greater Boston Area

Is there such a thing as an espresso/barista/coffee class you can take?

@Klunco oh man, that's perfect! Thanks!

May 22, 2013
olynyk in Greater Boston Area

Is there such a thing as an espresso/barista/coffee class you can take?

I'm looking for a beginner-level class that will cover: how to properly grind coffee and pull a great shot of espresso! Something that is maybe 3–6 hours long would be ideal. I am located in Somerville but anything in the Boston area would work.

Has anybody had any experience with Coffee Solutions (coffeesolutions.net) in Hopedale? It's a bit of a hike, but apparently they sporadically have beginner classes. Their bread-and-butter seems to be more advanced classes (for cafe owners, etc.).

The reason I'm thinking of this is that I plan to get my wife a new espresso machine and burr grinder for her birthday. I'm a drip coffee drinker but she makes espresso every morning, and our four-year-old Cuisinart EM-100 is on its last legs. (The pump is weak and getting weaker by the day.)

Also, we've been using a blade grinder and I understand that going to a burr grinder is the only way to get any kind of real quality espresso at home.

I thought that a class we could take together to get the most out of the new machine might be a nice addition to the gift.

Any suggestions are appreciated! Thanks.

May 22, 2013
olynyk in Greater Boston Area

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

@GH1618 very good point. The two tasks (bones, squash) are different and probably call for different tools.

Apr 18, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

@Chemicalkinetics I've been in Boston for five years but moving (back) to Toronto this fall (2013). Boston has an okay Chinatown, but Toronto's is better, plus there's the gigantic Pacific Mall in Markham. So I may just wait until the fall and get something there.

Apr 18, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

@GH1618 that's the model 4680, slightly lighter construction (4 mm blade thickness). That's a good option too though!

The eight-inch Wusthof "heavy" cleaver (model 4685) on that same site is $150.

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/wusthof...

Apr 18, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

@JavaBean that's great advice, thanks. It is unlikely that I will be chopping any beef bones, so I think the really heavy cleavers are not necessary. Like, the Dexter Russell S5288/5289 stainless heavy cleavers are ridiculous – apparently the spine is almost 10 mm thick at the heel and 5 mm at the tip. The 9" version (S5289) weighs almost four pounds! And it will wedge badly in squash.

The Wüsthof Classic 4685 heavy cleaver is 5 mm thick at the spine and comes in four sizes:

6¼" / 16 cm (weight 1.5 lbs / 680 g)

7½" / 19 cm (weight 1.8 lbs / 810 g)

8¼ / 21 cm (weight 2.1 lbs / 970 g)

9½" / 24 cm (weight 2.4 lbs / 1100 g)

The only issue is that it's expensive ($100–$190 depending on which size you get). But it seems like this is what I probably want.

That said, I also think it's always a good idea with any product to start with something cheap and learn what you like and how you use it, before upgrading to the more expensive one. So I'm leaning toward the Asian market / Chinatown idea.

Apr 18, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

@Chemicalkinetics the moderators disabled the 'geoffolynyk' account anyway (you're not allowed two different accounts).

Apr 18, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

Thanks again. Yeah, I had some issues with registering this username so now I have two... have to delete one (or at least not use it).

Apr 18, 2013
olynyk in Cookware

Heavy, but not too heavy, cleaver?

Hi Chemicalkinetics,

The Dexter Russell 9" heavy cleaver looks great. (Too bad they only make the 7" in the carbon steel ... the 8" and 9" only come in stainless... I liked the idea of getting the patina on the carbon steel!)

http://www.dexter1818.com/Item_Detail...

http://www.katom.com/135-08240.html

Do you happen to know what the dimensions are on that blade? It doesn't say on DR's site or Katom's. The slot in my knife block is 87 mm x 6 mm and I'm wondering if it will fit.

Apr 17, 2013
olynyk in Cookware