Friday, May 8th, 2009
We bought some stroopwafels here in the supermarket. The price is ¥567 for 8 stroopwafels. I opened the package and smelled the stroopwafels, but it smells very artificial, compare to our own stoopwafels. One of the reasons for buying the stroopwafels is to look at the ingredients slip. Commercially produced stroopwafels do not include yeast. Apparently there is some soy flour inside.
So I started googling about soy flour in cookies in order to find out how we can make use of soy flour. Soy flour is made from roasted soybeans that have been ground into a fine powder. Rich in high-quality protein and other nutrients, soy flour also adds a pleasant texture and flavor to a variety of products. Baked products containing soy flour tend to brown more quickly, so it may be necessary to shorten baking time or lower the temperature just slightly.
So far, that sounds like a good product to use in my stroopwafels. The baking time problem was exactly what was plaguing me when I used a recipe without yeast. Improving the texture is of course also a welcome improvement.
Although soy flour has not yet found its way into many family kitchens, it is used extensively by the food industry. Soy flour turns up in an amazing array of food products, including fudge and other candies, pies, doughnuts, cakes and rolls, pasta, pancake mixes and frozen desserts. Some meat loaves and other prepared meat products use soy flour. It also keeps baked goods from becoming stale. In fried foods, like doughnuts, soy flour reduces the amount of fat that is absorbed by the dough. It adds a rich color, fine texture, tenderness and moistness to baked goods. Because it adds moisture to baked products, soy flour can also be used as an inexpensive and cholesterol-free egg substitute in these foods. Replace one egg with 1 tablespoon soy flour and 1 tablespoon water.
It all sounds very positive. I read somewhere that you can replace wheat flour with up soy flour up to 30%. So my new batch, I added 30% soyflour. When baking the waffle there was a noticable difference. The waffle baked easy, quick and with low temperature. The result was a dark brown waffle, which was easy to split. Quite a success, I thought. After baking a few waffles, I tasted one of the waffles.
It tasted horrible. It had a strong soy flavour, which made the cookie quite unpalatable. That was quite an unpleasant surprise. So I stopped baking immediately.
The next batch of dough, I thought to use a bit less soy flour and see the result. I didn”t want to waste the first batch, so I took 15% of the soy dough and added it to my next batch, which resulted in about 5% soy flour.
The result was again that the waffles was easy to bake and split. The consistency of the cookie was nice, but you could still detect a slight soy flavour, which gave the cookie a strange aftertaste.\n\nThird trial was by adding again 5% soy flour, but the bitter after taste of soy was still discernable, which gave an unwelcome after taste.
Apparently there are two types of soy flour:
Two kinds of soy flour are available: Natural or full-fat soy flour contains the natural oils that are found in the soybean. Defatted soy flour has the oils removed during processing. Both kinds of soy flour will give a protein boost to recipes; however, defatted soy flour is even more concentrated in protein than full-fat soy flour.
Apparently the defatted soy flour has a milder taste than the full-fat version, so we will need to find the defatted soy flour in order to continue our experiments. Another reason to look into soy flour is that it has a preservative function in the baked product, so it can extend the shelf live of the stroopwafel.
In order to find a suitable replacement for yeast in our dough we had a look at rice flour.
Rice flour may be made from either white rice or brown rice. To make the flour, the husk of rice or paddy is removed and raw rice is obtained. The raw rice is then ground to form rice powder, also known as rice flour.
It is sold here in Japan under the name of Mochi-ko, which is used to make sticky rice cakes apparently.
Apparently rice flour is often used as a replacement for wheat flower to make gluten free food. It can replace wheat flour as a binding element in sauces, but it can not fully replace wheat flour, simply because it lacks gluten.
Rice flour can replace up to 1/4 of any wheat flour. Baked goods made with rice flour tend to be crumbly. Since rice flour absorbs more moisture, you may need to add more liquid to recipe.
So, I started off with 10% rice flour in a recipe without yeast. The result was quite positive. The baking time was a lot shorter than without rice flour and the temperature could be reduced. The resulting waffle is not as easy to split as the recipe with yeast, but still acceptable. The waffle surface is not as dark as the yeast or soy flour equivalent, but yields a nice golden brown stroopwafel. The stroopwafel becomes more crumby and is sweeter than the yeast waffle. I did some tasting tests with friends and many preferred the crumby texture of the rice flour waffle.\r\n\r\nThe resulting waffle sweetness is a bit too sweet for the Japanese taste. Since the stroopwafel is filled with stroop (syrup), I will reduce the amount of sugar in the waffle and try again.’
Friday, May 8th, 2009
Since butter is so extremely expensive in Japan, I was looking around to find a replacement. I was looking at margarine, shortening, olive oil, etc.
Margarine can be bought for almost half the price of butter in Japan, which is still outrageously expensive compared to Europe. Replacing 50% of the butter with margarine, would reduce the price of waffle part of our stroopwafel by 10%. I was considering to give it a try, until my friend forwarded me the following information about margarine.
Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings.
DO YOU KNOW the difference between margarine and butter?
Read on to the end…gets very interesting!
Both have the same amount of calories. Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 grams.Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study. Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods. Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few only because they are added! Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods. Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years. And now, for Margarine.. Very high in trans fatty acids. Triple risk of coronary heart disease. Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol) creases the risk of cancers up to five fold. Lowers quality of breast milk. Decreases immune response. Decreases insulin response. And here”s the most disturbing fact….HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING! Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC.. This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance). You can try this yourself: Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things: no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)\r\n\r\n* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value; nothing will grow on it Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic. Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast? Share This With Your Friends…..(If you want to ”butter them up”)! I don”t know how much of this is really true. The sort of “official” information about <a title=”Margarine” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margarine” target=”_blank”>margarine in wikipedia</a>, does not mention anything about the turkeys for instance, but the <a title=”Is Margarine better for your health?” http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/butter.asp
health benefits are apparently questionable.
Anyway, I never liked margarine and always avoided it since I was a kid. In fact, I was the only child in my family that was eating butter on my bread. Well, enough reasons for me to avoid using margarine in our stroopwafels.
Saturday, May 2nd, 2009
The original stroopwafel, which was invented in Gouda around 1784 was actually made of cookie crumbs that were left over from the daily baking of cookies by a bakery in Gouda. The stroopwafel was supposed to be a poor man’s treat. With the growing popularity of the stroopwafel, the flour dough stroopwafel recipe was later invented.
When baking stroopwafels, they are usually cut with a round cutter, which is exactly 8.5cm in circumference. Currently I am using between 23gr and 25gr per cookie, so the round cutter inherently will create a lot of cookie crumbs.
The image on the right shows the left over cookie crumbs. I collected them over the week, while experimenting with different recipes. In the Netherlands, the stroopwafel vendors are selling these cookie crumbs for €0.50 per bag, including some stroop.
I am not selling my stoopwafels yet, so I have no use for the cookie crumbs at the moment. So I decided to make genuine stroopwafels from the left over crumbs.
First of all, I put the crumbs in a blender and turned them into smooth little crumbs. Then I had to figure out what to add. I considered the crumbs a replacement of the flour and added the same amount of egg per weight and half the amount of butter. I had to add about about 20% of flour to get a smooth dough. I left the dough standing for one hour and kneaded it again, after which I started roling ping pong balls for baking. The dough was too crumby…
So, I put it in the kneader for another 10 minutes and voila… A smooth dough…
Baking the cookies was easy, it cooked at the right temperature of 180 degrees at about 45 seconds. However, the resulting cookie was slightly too crumby, so I will need to find a substance that can bind the dough better… The taste of the cookie was good, but perhaps the dough was a bit too fatty and quite some butter was left on the waffle maker after baking two or three cookies.
Pricewise, the cost per cookie went down by 50%. If I can find a good way to bind the dough