Joshua's Docs - Cooking and Baking - Notes to Self / Cheatsheet / Ref


  • Self-rising Flour?
    • What is it?
      • Simply a mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt
      • Commonly used throughout the Southern US, as well as other countries
      • It's not meant to replace yeast or plain flour -> In fact, it is recommended to not combine with any other "leavening agent"
      • Common for "quick-rise" items (biscuits, pancakes, cupcakes, etc.)
      • You can read more about its use and history here or here
    • How to make / substitute
      • Known ratio:
        • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
        • 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
        • 0.25 tsp fine salt
      • Mix together as evenly as possible - whisking will help


  • Ratio should be 2:1 for self-rising flour : brown sugar

Common Ratios

  • 1 (US) Stick of Butter = 8 Tbsp.
  • 1 Cup (All Purpose) Flour = 120-130 grams
  • 1 US Tbsp = 3 US Tsp


Standard Coffee Ratios

  • Drip Coffee
    • Per 6 oz (common coffee cup*)
      • 2 Tbsp grounds
      • 10 grams (10.6) grounds
    • Per US Standard Cup*
      • 2.66 Tbsp grounds
      • 13.33 grams grounds
  • Others (@TODO)

Reminder: * = Most instructions and coffee pots, when talking about coffee, use the term cup to refer to a standard cup of coffee - which is about 5-6 fluid ounces - not the US Standard Cup, which is about 8 oz. To make matters even more complicated, different coffee pots use different cup markings on the pot, with different corresponding amounts; some are 6 oz per cup, some are less.

Here is a cool interactive calculator for figuring out your drip coffee amount.

How to Process Coffee Beans, Start to Finish

  1. Pick the ripe cherries
    • (best when red and have slight softness to them. Brown and squishy is past ripe).
  2. Separate the bean from the pulp / meat
    • You can use a knife
  3. You need to soak the bean to remove the residue from the pulp (slimy layer)
    • Leave in water for 24-48 hours
    • Occasionally check if the beans are ready by taking some beans, and gently hand washing - if they look clean and feel "gritty" - not slippery / slimy - then the "mucilage" layer around the parchment layer has broken down and fermented / dissolved off.
  4. Dry the bean / parchment layer
    • Sun drying is recommended, but other methods can be used that are far quicker
    • In general, the temp needs to be kept low (around 100 F) during drying
    • Moisture content needs to drop under 12%, ideally 11%
    • The parchment layer should feel dry, light, and flaky when this is done
  5. Separate / remove the parchment layer
    • Can be done by hand, tumbled, etc.
  6. Roast!
    • Many different methods, and lots of guides out there
    • In general, you can do it by sight (the beans change color quickly, as well as expand and pop), and you just want to keep the beans moving while roasting
      • Many roasters stop right after the first crack (city roast) or near or start of, but not after 2nd crack (near french roast)
    • Example method:
      • Popcorn air-popper or stove-top popper: both keep the beans moving!
      • Standard cooking pot: stir beans while roasting
      • etc.

Further reading:



My preferred amount is somewhere around 0.5 - 1 tsp per 4 large potatoes.

Good spices / seasonings:

  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic)
  • Black pepper
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Basil

This is a good popular recipe:

Getting the Crispiest Oven Roasted Potatoes

📼 Great video: "Why Aren't Your Potatoes Crispy Enough?", by Internet Shaquille

Crispy Potato Trick: Alkaline Boil

The best method to ensure a crispy outside is to boil (pre-cook) the potatoes in an alkaline solution first, which breaks down / roughs up the surface, giving it more "crunch". This can be accomplished by using baking soda as the alkaline. This ratio for this bath should be:

  • 2 quarts water (thats 8 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda

The above amounts are for a 4 pound batch of russets, but can be easily adjusted. You should boil the potato chunks until a fork can easily slide in, but still provides resistance (not mush). This usually takes about 10 minutes.

Crispy Potato Trick: Cornstarch Coating

Another trick (although not one I always use) is to mix your seasoning mix with cornstarch before applying it to the oiled potato pieces. You can find this method outlined here.

If you are going to use cornstarch, a good ratio seems to be about 1 tbsp per 4 large potatoes.

Crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes - Instructions

Using the above trick, here are a full set of steps:

  1. Rinse, peel, and cube potatoes
  2. Boil the potato chunks in an alkaline solution (see section above for why this works)
    • Solution:
      • 2 quarts water (8 cups)
      • 2 Tbsp salt
      • 0.5 tsp baking soda
    • Boil for about 10 minutes until they can be easily pierced, but with some resistance and are not falling apart / mushy
  3. Strain the potatoes out of the water, and then let sit for at least a few minutes
  4. Get the potatoes in a large bowl, and toss with some oil and your seasonings of choice (could be as simple as some salt & pepper)
    • The goal is to actually rough them up a little while tossing; you want a sort of "paste" to coat each piece, which is formed from the surface that was broken up by the alkaline boil
  5. Preheat your oven to 450° (or 400° for convection)
  6. Spread the potatoes out on a baking tray; do not overcrowd them!
    • There should be gaps between pieces, to allow for good airflow, especially since as they cook they release steam, and you don't want pieces to simply absorb the moisture from other pieces
  7. Cook for 20 minutes, then flip each piece, and return to oven
    • Repeat this step until they reach desired crispiness, usually at least a few cycles
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