blog idle : been trying to improve my popover skills

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

i know that this would probably be my longest blog idle ever! well i do have my reasons yet one after another but lets just say that i've been on some unfortunate events.

anyway while i'm having 'that' i've been trying and trying to make popovers...and i failed each time and i'm not quite sure why. but too many failures made me just crazy to get it right! ...ok it all started when i saw that show about restaurant makeover @ afc the chef made a popver and the crazy dish did literally pop out of the freaking muffin pan....(i really do get frustrated with this 1 dish) and ever since that show i've been craving popover so i tried to get the recipe but it was not on afc website so as you may have guess by now i've been hogging the net looking for that perfect popover recipes.

my 1st try :
this was like last january i popovers look like a square muffin and i know straight away that is not right..its tasted ok but only when its hot butr became as hard as rock when cooled.

2nd try:
still the same but with different recipe

3rd try:
not even close to the pictures posted all over the net!

4th and countless tries:
i am still far than close to the right texture & look and probably the taste too

then yesterday:
yet another failure and i got really REALLY frustraited so i actuallt studied about how and what makes a perfect popovers (yes you can say that i have becoming obsessed with this)

then this morning:
all smiles and FINALLY that perrrrrrrfect popover <---this comes together when i finally understand about popovers...mmmi'm asian and obviously popovers are not our daily staples heck its not even in the staples so zer0 knowledge about popover. how do i get it right??? well 1st of all what is popovers? popovers is actually a quick bread family can you believe that? i was almost certain its more of a pastry than a bread but...its not however it is the 1st cousin of cream puff/chox pastry. A popover is a big, puffy, steam raised quick bread with a crusty outer shell and a hollow interior. The crisp, golden brown shell has a tender, moist lining. and theres also the whole history of englishman and popovers something to do with yorkshire pudding bla bla which is not relevant at least i think so (lived in the UK but never have i tried the yorkshire pudding so the history doesn't really help at least to me) popover main ingredients are all purpose flour and eggs..oh and a very high temperature say like 230c but latter reduced the heat after 15mins of baking

When making popovers, all purpose flour or bread flour is essential because it contains a large amount of gluten when mixed with a liquid. As the batter is beaten, the gluten develops an elastic quality that later allows the gluten to stretch to form the shell around the expanding steam. At the same time the gluten is stretching, the starch in the flour swells to produce the moist, tender lining.

The amount of egg in popovers has a great effect on the final volume. most recipes that i found calls for 3 eggs and apparently the standard proportion is 2eggs per cup of flour! anyway the beaten eggs streatches along with the starch during high temperature baking...the process is somewhat similar to chox pastry (it is also supposed to look like choux pastry after baking choux pastry in a cup!)

Other ingredients are also important in popovers such as milk (the liquid ) and salt adds flavor. Although popovers could be made without shortening or oil, these ingredients contribute greatly to the tenderness of the final popover product.

mmm bare in mind that the popover batter should be thin unlike choux pastry batter that is thick/stiff. one of my tried an error findings... *wink* i had actually thought that the batter should be one like the choux pastry i mean logically if it turns ous like cream puff pastry/choux pastry the batter should be like choux pastry right???WRONG! it turned out like muffins minus the fluffyness. need not to beat the batter very long but i find when making this, using the blender is highly recommended heheheh....easy and fast and somehoe provide better texture...and some recipe requires you to heat the muffin pan/cups 1st but i find it not necessary somehow as to me it doesn't quite make that much of appreciateble difference...(hehehe in a more straight forward language no difference lah!) so don't trouble yourself by heating the pan bla bla...and mmmm....what else huh?

oh yeah....i also find that using oven heat with fans gives better fluff (probably because the oven heat become hotter all the better to bake the popover) but if your oven have no fans its ok it'll still fluff.

some other tips:

you'll need to lightly and i mean LIGHTLY grease the muffin cups for easy removing if and IF you are feeling generous with the greasing you'll end up with a flop pop! so note the world LIGHTLY people!

and please like choux pastry DO NOT PEEK while baking popovers...its not the time to be a peeping tom =p

As the popovers complete the last few minutes of baking, prick them with a fork to prevent sogginess. Since the structure of the popovers has already been set, the popovers will not collapse when this is done. Then, when the baking time is up, if you prefer dry, crisp popovers, turn off the oven and leave them in the oven 30 minutes longer with the oven door ajar.

  1. you can actually substitute choux pastry with this quick bread to make cream puff it is EQUALLY as GOOD! so you have a choice which is easier and faster?
  2. there's many way to eat this great food! you can go savory or sweet
  3. you can eat it as breakfast with butter fruits,,yeah you heard me BUTTER FRUITS its my latest food creation....i'll give the recipe later with pictures of course... so you'll need to stay tune! but other wise eating it with regular butter and jems is good too.
  4. go savory : couple it with some salads and roast beef or grilled chicken or simply with a bowl of soup...
ahhh i just love this popover its soooo multi-purpose not to mention filling too.

*paused* after much blabbering about this i just realised that i can't upload my beautiful popover pictures! uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa~

....nvm ...perhaps some other time argh this entry is boring, no pictures!....mmmmaybe i just borrow pictures from other site??...i'm gonna make these again and hope that it'll still turn out as good heheh~

popovers: 1cup milk 1cup bread flour 2 large eggs 1tbsp butter 1/8tsp salt what you do is..: blend it crazy in a blender hehehe kidding. just blend it until smooth then pour it into a LIGHTLY greased muffin pan. fill it 1/2 way. bake at 230c for 15minutes then reduce to 180c and bake for another 25minutes.

this is how and what popover should look like! picture thanx to gastronomicaljourney