Friday, February 05, 2010

You Can't Copyright a Recipe

Michael Ruhlman:

I almost never, ever tear recipes out of magazines, but leafing through Saveur on the 8 a.m.  Houston to Cleveland flight, this recipe caught me because I’d been wanting a soft, comfort-food, James-friendly dinner roll, the kind of Parker House roll that’s slightly sweet and yeasty and soft as a pillow.

Turns out this recipe comes from, which says that the recipe is adapted from Great Country Breads of the World.

There really are no new recipes, only adaptations of adaptations.

What I don’t like about any of these recipes is the enormous volume of flour measured in cups.  I did the Saveur recipe exactly and the dough was very stiff—how could I know if this was the way it was supposed to be since flour by volume is so variable.  But the flavor was good and I love cooking the dough in a springform pan, which is brilliant.

So I revised my version, with flour weights and a little extra honey, scales only please (if you must, measure 5 1/2 cups AP flour).  I found a nest of fricking grain moths in my sesame seeds so I had to throw those out and use poppy seeds instead.  Both work well.

Yet people still buy cookbooks! I've got five of Michael Ruhlman's.

Now I've got to go start the pot roast for tonight, based on the braising technique in Ad Hoc at Home...

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