I’m always thrilled when people make recipes from my books or this blog and report their progress. It’s incredibly rewarding when they volunteer tips and insight for me to share! Since late last year, I’ve been keeping a stash of interesting tips. There have naturally been a number of banh mi tips so I’m unleashing them today!
Jo in Seattle has been going to town with making banh mi. We got to meet at my Book Larder event last September. For the selfie contest last year, Jo baked the bread and made the Maggi steak on page 101 of the handbook; her impressive entry is above. I encourage people to initially follow recipes in my books, then play and tweak them. That’s my approach to using recipes. Jo did just that and followed up via email and Facebook. For example, when using Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour for homemade banh mi rolls, she sent me these tips:
I replaced 3g sugar with 3g dry malt powder. I used only 10g vital wheat gluten. I also replace the shortening with butter. Follow all your directions with the exception of giving my dough an extra rise before shaping. The extra rise seem to give the dough better flavor and better structure for the long final proof. I let final proof go over the 1 hour mark and 1 1/2 hour seem to be the limit. One batch I tested for over 2 hours and it was over proof and partially collapsed back when the loaves were slashed before baking.
She also tinkered with banh mi buns – a recipe in the “Alternative Banh Mi” chapter of the Banh Mi Handbook. After making them according to my instructions, she played with the dough: