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Expert Bakers Challenge!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My grandfather was an expert baker for over 60 years. We recently found his old recipe box and I am dying to recreate his recipes which we had thought were long gone. Unfortunately, there are a few ingredients i have never heard of and can't find out about on the web. Can anyone pls help? Here they are - bakery recipes were all from the 50s era.

1 - "Glo Do" - used in danish recipe, along with sugar, salt and milk (in "cream" portion of recipe, flours and eggs added later).

2 - "Pointex" - used in cruller recipe (sugar, salt, milk, flour, baking powder, butter already included in recipe, pointex is remaining ingredient)

3 - "50" and "51" used frequently - hoping this is some kind of known shorthand by someone? ("50" is used in cream recipes - ex: in strawberry cream recipe sugar, salt, strawberry, cornstarch, egg whites already included - in recipe says 2 lbs (#) sugar, 1 lb (#) 50 for example)
(51 used in custard filling recipe - 5 1/2 # 50, 3# milk powder, 1 # 51, vanilla, salt, water added too). Ideas, anyone??

this means so much to my family - many many many thanks!
post #2 of 18
Is it possible those 50 numbers are flour types (type de farine in French). For instance type 55 is sort of like all purpose, type 45 sort of like cake
& pastry flour, and 65 - 80 high gluten, etc... The German flour types multiply those by 10. It's a little odd to see a distinction between 50 and 51 though.

Is the Pointex a shortening brand that's now defunct, that would be my guess. I'm seeing those big old fashioned shortening cans...:crazy:

You would have to give more details on that Danish recipe.

If you were willing to give us more complete details of those recipes, a pro pastry chef could probably tell you what it is, with their knowledge of basic formulas. You wouldn't have to post all the recipes but if you posted some of them in completeness as written with quantities, etc., I'm sure some of the pastry chefs or bakers round here could tell you what you need. The way you've said it with "already included" like with your egg whites is also confusing.

Hope this helps a bit, if you want to provide more details and post actual recipes exactly as written, perhaps someone could help you more.
post #3 of 18

whipped topping

"Super 50" a whipped topping.
Glo do may be a high ratio shortening
Pointex sounds like a regular shortening.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much everyone for your help. Here are detailed ingredients per recipe if this helps...

Custard filling recipe:
11 Quarts Water
5.5 # 50
3# Milk Powder
1# 51
Vanilla (no qty listed)
Pinch salt

It might make sense that #50 is whipped topping - but #51 anyone?

Cruller recipe:
4# sugar
4 oz. salt
1# milk powder
2# reg shortening
8# patent flour
14 oz. baking powder
10# pastry flour
2 Qt. Pointex
4 Qt. Water

Pointex anyone? (If shortening, what would be equivalent kind today?)

Thank you again everyone!
post #5 of 18
Hi Kirsten, hopefully we can put our heads together and solve this for you.

If those are all the ingredients for the custard, you're missing eggs, butter, cornstarch, and sugar for a typical basic pastry cream.

Some chefs mix their made up pastry cream with some other ingredients to make a different "custard", say gelatine, liqueur and cream added to the pastry cream to get a "custard", or some just use the pastry cream as the "custard" itself for danishes.

It was normal for me to use a basic pastry cream on danishes, and the ingredients are: milk, vanilla, cornstarch, sugar, eggs, butter, and salt.

so looking at that recipe and scratching my head in proportion, it would be vaguely possible that the 1# was cornstarch and the 5# was sugar, (I use 5# of sugar in 10 quarts of milk (close to his 11 quarts), and about a pound and a half of cornstarch. It's just a little odd to me that there were no eggs in a custard.

I also wondered if the 50, 51 referred to other "sub-recipes, say just for example a pastry cream that would re-occur in many recipes in the bakeshop, but in that custard recipe that would be a stretch to add 11 quarts of milk to a sub recipe like a pastry cream. Can you give us more examples of where the numbers occur, and is it only 50 and 51, or other numbers. Are any of his recipes numbered or is there anything that suggests a pre-mix or sub-recipe.

They're definitely not flour types, as now I see he refers to patent flour, pastry flour, etc... I was optimistic with brown's answer of super 50, but then basically that recipe becomes whipped topping watered down by milk, with the addition of #51, so if brown was correct and 50 was a whipped topping, what's 51, it would have to thicken the whole thing. Plus are there more numbers used by your grandfather kristin?

Can you give more context or examples, or maybe there's someone around who knows.

As for the Pointex, it sounds like it was a liquid, as he measures out other shortening by weight, and the water and pointex are in liquid quarts.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much, Stir it up! I am so appreciative of your help. You know, these recipes or "lists of ingredients" were written on index cards in a hurried way, i am wondering if he just did not complete some of them such as the custard. as you said, it looked like some items were missing - maybe this is correct (and what a shame if so!).

i have not yet found another recipe with "51" but there were a few with 50. here's 2 others - hopefully they help. Again, cream fillings.

Strawberry cream:
1.5 Qt. water
2# sugar
1/2 oz. salt
3 Qt. strawberry
10 oz. cornstarch
1 pint water
1 Qt. whites
1 # 50

Lemon Chiffon Pie:

1 Qt whites
2# sugar
1 pint water
1 pint yolks
12 oz. clear gel (huh?)
8 oz. lemon powder
2 Qt water
2.5 # sugar
1 oz. salt
6 oz. butter
1 Qt. water
12 oz. 50
5 oz. starch
6 oz. juice
1 pt. whites
1/4 oz. salt

hopefully these will help solve the mystery! otherwise, i think i'll use your list of ingredients and amend his assuming they were incomlete. regardless, thank you soo much for your time and energy and thoughtfulness!
Best, Kristin
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh- one more thing - the only numbers found in any of recipes i've seen so far are these - 50 used several times and only once the 51 (i've come across yet). i've also looked for some kind of "master list" thinking what you did - that maybe this was code for an ingredient or a subrecipe - come up short so far, not to say it did not exist. thank you for your amazing patience.
post #8 of 18
Thinking out loud here but, Pointex = some kind of liquid egg or egg replacement?
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #9 of 18
sure looks like shorthand :D

like me trying to read someone else's notes
post #10 of 18
could it be liquid shortening? I use NUTEX
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #11 of 18
Is it perhaps not 50, but SO as in the letters S and O? 51 might be SI.
post #12 of 18
clear gel is instant starch still around.
pointex still sounds like shortening to me. we use a shortening called fluid flex comes in a bucket. we measure it out in gallon measure.
care to give some history where he worked or what area ...
post #13 of 18
I've actually never made crullers, but most recipes for them contain eggs. If you think of their texture that makes sense. I was also thinking the name Pointex just sounds like a shortening (liquid), but maybe foodpump is on to something that it was some type of egg replacer product, as eggs are missing in that cruller recipe. anyhow, here's a cruller recipe for you kristin for comparison, or you could google more - Recipe - Crullers

got any more recipes that use Pointex or just that one?
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
He lived in North Plainfield, NJ and worked in and around that town. Thank you very much for your help!
post #15 of 18
Yesterday I was in a used book store and came upon some National Geographic magazines from 1919. Interesting stuff... had advertisements for all sorts of products from shaving stuff to cars (Thompsons) and soap.

So I had an idea...

Why not go to a library and look at some cooking/home magazines from about 60 years ago? They'll probably have advertisements for the products your grandfather used along with descriptions of their properties and uses.
post #16 of 18
I'm in the same boat, my mom went to Culinary School about 40 years or more ago and I have all her recipes, but they are all measures of..

a can of this and a 1/2 can that...

and the worst of it , it's all in another language...

I'm bummed.
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #17 of 18
Again, looking at those old magazines, they have drawings of the cans and often have the size of the can mentioned. They had a lot of writing with the ads, describing what was in them. Perhaps I'll take a few photos of those ones from 1919 that I'm talking about so you can see. I'm sure they're out of copyright by now.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for all of your help! your suggestions have been very helpful and appreciated. Thanks again!
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