Goose feather pastry brush

Mike Nolan

Has anyone used a goose feather pastry brush to put a glaze on pastries? I'm looking for something that has a lighter touch than my boar bristle brushes or nylon basting brush, I've seen them deflate things like hamburger buns where the instructions call for using an egg glaze just before they go in the oven.
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Where do you get them these days? I can find a few sources online, but it seems they're not very common these days. Is that because they don't clean up well?

badge posted by: Mike Nolan on August 08, 2013 at 9:53 am in Baking, desserts and sweets
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reply by: KAF_Frank on August 08, 2013 at 10:35 am
KAF_Frank

Hi,
I've only used feather brushes a few times, mostly at competition. I don't have a source for you, sorry. That's right, they don't clean up well.
Pastry brushes are essential a disposable tools. For egg washing delicate items, like croissants, I like a brush that has a thin "head" about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick AND "long" bristles between 3 and 3 3/4 inches long AND no wider than about 2 inches. The thin head gives a very light touch. When I was working professionally, I used to order my brushes from Braun Brush, not sure if they sell retail. Good luck as you refine your technique. Frank @ KAF.

reply by: GinaG on August 08, 2013 at 11:24 am
GinaG

Mike,
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I would try the larger arts and crafts stores. Have your wife ask one of the Arts professors where you can find a goose feather brush, I think that would be your best bet.
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Good luck and let us know how you do!
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Gina
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reply by: dachshundlady on August 08, 2013 at 2:04 pm
dachshundlady

I'm not easily grossed out but the thought of using a goose brush gives me the willies. And if they don't clean well, that's not good either. Sounds like Frank has good suggestions.

reply by: Mike Nolan on August 08, 2013 at 3:34 pm
Mike Nolan

Goose feathers, boar bristles, what's the difference?

reply by: GinaG on August 08, 2013 at 4:55 pm
GinaG

Boar bristles have been in more unsavory places, I'd bet!

reply by: 4paws2go on August 08, 2013 at 5:35 pm
4paws2go

Fantes carries them, and has rather specific cleaning instructions on the site.

KAF used to carry them, a number of years back, but obviously discontinued, probably due to lack of interest. I always wanted one, but, already had a drawer full of other types.

Here's a link, which gives a good reason as to why they're so prized...:

http://jerryfood.blogspot.com/2011/12/goose-feather-pastry-brush.html

Interesting, too...:

http://www.oxfordjctgenealogy.com/main/?page_id=528

...First, catch your goose....;0)

Laura

reply by: Mike Nolan on August 08, 2013 at 6:05 pm
Mike Nolan

Try to wade in most of the ponds in or near Lincoln and you'll be lucky if you aren't attacked by the geese who think it is their private pond. You can't trap the darned things, either. They're protected AND THEY KNOW IT!
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There are a number of items on the fantes site that are on my wish list, it might be time to make up an order.

reply by: 4paws2go on August 08, 2013 at 6:26 pm
4paws2go

Fantes has always been a favorite site!

I could getcha some Egyptian goose feathers...that would be exotic! They're non-native, but protected nonetheless. I used to have neighbors who had guard/watch geese. They'd chase our car down the driveway...lol!

Laura ;0)

reply by: frick on August 08, 2013 at 8:51 pm
frick

Mike, back when I took art classes, some people, including myself, took delicate water color brushes & cut away most of the bristles down to 5 or 6 hairs (sable). I have a wide pastry brush bought at my local "cakes" store. I'm not sure if you would consider it too stiff and heavy handed or not (with most of the bristles cut away). Still, I would go to an art supply store & look at the water color brushes, sable. They wash up well. Most art brushes are washed with a little soap in the palm of the hand. I would not put anything on them like chloral to deal with the egg; they might fall apart & they aren't cheap. Boiling water might do. You couldn't microwave them because they usually have a metal collar.
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I don't know if you would consider such a thing, not sure I would, but there are crow feathers & pigeon feathers all around here. It couldn't hurt to try boiling water, chlorox or alcohol on them. I'm sure you could sterilize them, maybe in the microwave, if they didn't dissolve.
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You can probably get feathers in craft stores. Peacock feathers? Just trying to think outside the box. Hope you don't mind.

reply by: hickeyja on August 08, 2013 at 11:05 pm
hickeyja

I have used feather brushes. I may even still have one or two in the back of one of the kitchen drawers. I find them more delicate to use, but as others have said they are difficult to clean well. They don't last well and need to be replaced frequently. OTOH, when I started using them we really didn't have much else readily available to the baking public. Fantes is probably the best source now, unless you have a local cooking store that happens to carry them. Jan

reply by: Mike Nolan on August 09, 2013 at 12:52 am
Mike Nolan

It's to the point where I seldom find anything interesting at most cooking stores. I visited 5 of them last month and probably bought less than $40 worth of things, and that included 5 pounds of Merkens dark chocolate and a tub of high ratio shortening.
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Restaurant supply stores are often a better source for me, but even then I find they don't carry everything I'm after these days. I've been looking at torte rings lately, and will probably wind up ordering them online.

reply by: dachshundlady on August 09, 2013 at 5:54 am
dachshundlady

I don't know Mike. Pig filth doesn't bother me as much as fowl. Maybe in the back of my mind its my abhorrence of salmonella. Like I say, not much bothers me. Case in point, I raise puppies. They can be dirty little buggers.

reply by: PaddyL on August 09, 2013 at 12:28 pm
PaddyL

Paper towel. It's cheap, and if you use the tip of one sheet, it's light and it doesn't need washing. Just toss it out.

reply by: Mike Nolan on August 09, 2013 at 3:46 pm
Mike Nolan

I've tried that, I find it difficult to get an even coating with paper towels.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

KAF carries this petite little pastry brush thing made of silicon - one of the few uses of silicon in the kitchen that is actually an improvement.

It's here:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/small-silicone-pastry-brush

Hasn't deflated anything I've used it on to date, including some Moomie's buns that were perhaps a tad bit overproofed.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

KAF carries this petite little pastry brush thing made of silicon - one of the few uses of silicon in the kitchen that is actually an improvement.
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It's here:
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http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/small-silicone-pastry-brush
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Hasn't deflated anything I've used it on to date, including some Moomie's buns that were perhaps a tad bit overproofed.
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BTW, what store were you in that you found high ratio shortening? I'm having trouble finding it online for less than $5 a pound, counting shipping - sometimes a lot more! Heck I'd buy a 25 lb bucket if I could find it affordably and just freeze it in lumps.
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There is no Sysco nearby, and I've yet to find a restaurant supply that sells anything other than equipment anywhere I've lived in the last few years. I know they MUST be there - I just can't find them!

reply by: frick on August 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm
frick

Zen, what city are you in?

reply by: Mike Nolan on August 15, 2013 at 1:42 am
Mike Nolan

I found the high ratio shortening at a cake decorating store in the Pittsburgh area when we were visiting our son and his family last month. I could have probably bought a large tub of it at PennMac, but getting it home would have been a challenge.
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I've got a silicone pastry brush, my wife likes it, I do not. I tried ordering some goose feather pastry brushes from an online site, the charge got refunded a day later, must have been out of stock or something. I may call them, or just wait until I have enough for a Fantes order.
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Zen, is there a GFS (Gordon Food Services) near you? They're in a number of states east of Iowa. (I was in one in Madison a week ago.) Or make friends with a local restaurant or bakery owner and find out where he orders from.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 15, 2013 at 4:19 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Sadly, no - nearest seems to be about 130 miles away.
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I haven't been able to find a cake decorating supply shop locally. Other than something like Michael's, which isn't the same thing, they just carry some decorating tips and such.
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I have found some cheaper sources online - but you have to buy a FIFTY POUND TUB, which seems excessive even if I break it up into lumps and freeze it, LOL!
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I did find this one - clearly repackaged but what the hey:
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http://www.eatyourdessertfirst.com/catalog/item/2928241/5060138.htm
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which is 10 lbs for 21.20 - but no clue yet what shipping would cost. I tried to call them yesterday but got a recording, so I shot off an e-mail.
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You can get 50 lbs for $87 here:
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http://www.foodservicedirect.com/product.cfm/p/11047/Sweetex-Shortening-...
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But again, no clue on shipping cost, and you might need a business license if they're a wholesale only place. Plus, whatever would one do with 50 lbs of high ration shortening? LOL!
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We need to start up a Baking Circle commune! We could arrange our mobile homes in a circle and all live together and share bulk products to feed our baking habits! And people could drive past our barb-and-razor-wire-fenced property, casting frightened side-long glances our way, whispering fearfully to each other - "That's the Baker's Compound! They're some kind of a CULT!"
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LOLOLOLOLOLOL!
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(But I'm not drinking the Koolaid, no matter what!)

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on August 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Oh and I forgot - the one that KAF sells (silicon brush) isn't like the larger ones I've seen in the stores - it's really small and really delicate. But if you've already tried one like it and didn't like it, I hope you can find some goose feathers.