Monday, August 24, 2015

Notes: Barbecued Beef Brisket and Sourdough No-knead Bread

23 August 2015

  • I have made and written about barbecued brisket and sourdough no-knead bread each several times before.
  • Bread
    • With an eye towards modifying this recipe by adding more starter, here are the ingredients I used
      • 15 ounces bread flour
      • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
      • 1½ teaspoons table salt
      • 5 fluid ounces room room temperature water
      • 2 fluid ounces sourdough starter
      • 3 fluid ounces lager
      • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • I didn't mean to do an experiment with the recipe today but I did by mistake by leaving out the salt.  :-(  Salt is important to bread.
    • The dough was wetter than usual, I had to add a lot of flour while kneading it so that I could handle it, suggesting that leaving out the salt was not my only mistake.
  •  Brisket
    • I bought a relatively small brisket, 3 pounds, the recipe is for a 5 to 6 pound brisket. It had a nice fat cap.
    • Rather than use the smoking directions from the brisket recipe, I followed those in the ATK pulled pork recipe. I used 4 cups of wood chips, 2 dry and 2 soaked, a mixture of apple and hickory. (Not for any culinary reasons but because the bag of apple chips is about gone so I bought a new bag of hickory chips.)
    • A disposable aluminum pan with water was placed under the beef. Supposedly the dampness helps the meat absorb the smoke.
    • I smoked the brisket for 2 hours (the recipe called for 3) with the primary burner on high and the other two burners off. This maintained a grill temperature of about 220°. The recipe did not specify a temperature.
    • The temperature of the roast was around 135° when it came from the grill. It took about 3 hours in the oven to reach the final temperature of 190°. It seemed to get stuck on 176° for a long time before finally continuing its rise in temperature. 
  • Menu: barbecued beef brisket, sourdough bread, crudité (carrots and celery), Quick Boston beans, Vella Merlot
  • What a difference a little salt makes! The bread was bad. The stickiness of the dough suggests I made at least one other mistake, but forgetting the salt was a biggie. The sourness from the starter came through but otherwise the bread was bland. The texture was off, too, it didn't rise well after being formed into a loaf so the crumb was dense. 
  • The beef was good, nice and tender, though over seasoned (Will I ever learn?) and the fat cap added a lot of flavor.  Diane thought the combination of salt-less bread with salty meat worked well. 
  • The bread was tolerable given enough beef or bean juice or butter. 

Eat leftovers
  • tbd

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