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Monday, November 29, 2010

“Yeast Bread Seminar, Part I: Stinkbug’s Bread Seminar, #1—Ingredients for Baking Success” by Chef Stinkbug



Today’s Flamin’ Groovies album is their sixth release, “Slow Death,” which came out in June 1972 is one of the best albums ever released by this San Francisco band.  These guys could rock and rock hard in their original lineup and it is sad that not long after this, their lead singer abandoned the band. This is one of the great bands of the greatest era of ROCK-and-ROLL so please go to Amazon.com right now and BUY it by using the convenient link!





COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR



Here is the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 743 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



STINKBUG 2010







Chef Stinkbug

END Commentary 11-30-2010

Copyright © 2010 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 3,109.



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Tuesday, November 30, 2010 by Chef Stinkbug



YEAST BREAD SEMINAR, PART I

Yeast Bread Seminar, Part I: Stinkbug’s Bread Seminar, #1—Ingredients for Baking Success” by Chef Stinkbug



Bakersfield, CA, 11-30-2010 W: One of the first things I learned about bakers is that they like to drink a lot and sleep around.  In my twenties, I realized that this was a good thing, that there was potential in a life like this.  I used to work graveyards, the bakers I worked with began drinking early in the evening, and by the time, the shift was over at 6 am, it was off to a bar in Oildale, Trout's, where we stayed until about noon.  Finally, it was home to bed and occasionally over to a lover's house.  When I was eighteen years old, an older woman who was a foodserver named Ruth, about 40 years old, took me under her wing and before I knew it, I was over at her home after having gone to Trout's at 6 am.  She taught me a lot of things and at first, I was fearful of going over there because I knew she did not have good intentions towards a young, "pretty boy" like I was back in the early '70s. 

After awhile it was becoming almost impossible to handle the load at work, drink everyday and every night and then spend the rest of the day with Ruth.  After she took me to Tijuana for a long weekend, I knew I was going to have to find another job, which I did.  I missed her but at the same time—I needed a real vacation.  Let no one ever say that an older woman cannot best a young person because she bested me.  As much as I liked sticking things in the oven, that was one hot oven, too hot for me.  I eventually moved onto my first wife, only seven years older than me and she was definitely, one hot tamale!

I have based this article on specialty flours and nowadays am unknown to many people other than to those normally involved in "health foods."  Health foods-enthusiasts normally enjoy making bread out of any and everything, the odder, the better.  I enjoyed learning these things, I was self-taught after learning the rudiments and the rest of it was initiative that carried me far afield in my culinary career.  I hope this article is helpful! 

Category: Bread Seminar

YEAST BREAD SEMINAR I—BAKING WITH THE MASTERS

Today, we are going to embark on something that is dear to all of us and that is the baking of yeast breads.  For Stinkbug, he made his living baking bread for many years and did quite well in fact, it was his (pardon the pun) his bread and butter and he learned it as a young cook standing next to old, grizzled bakers and professional chefs who slap him every time he made a mistake. Yeast breads are a difficult thing to learn and it requires patience, dedication, and the ability to face defeat and bounce back the next day ready for more! Therefore, we are going to begin at the start and that is with the ingredients, e.g., the different flours, yeast, eggs, milk and dairy products, oils, salt, flavorings, and add-ons.  We will also teach you how to make a variety of sourdough starters and how one maintains them, replenishes them, and keeps them alive for years. Once all of this has been accomplished, something that will take us many months to do if not years. We are going to spend a few days on the ingredients and will then embark on basic recipes and will gradually work up to the “big boys,” the big showpiece loaves, the sourdoughs, the European loaves, and a wide-ranging variety of yeast rolls. By the time we are done, you will know the terms, the how-to’s, and everything else you will need to know such as the brick method. This will serve all of bakers, whether they are professional cooks to begin with or apprentices learning alongside the masters, when this seminar is over, each one of you will become a master. Something else we will eventually teach you is how to make the classic sandwiches and the plethora of famous hamburgers that the finest restaurants serve to the lowliest of truckstops. The most important thing, however, is that we will have fun together!

INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS

First, we need to discuss the ingredients that are necessary with which to make the best bread possible some of which is not necessary for every yeast bread but which make some of them the loaves they are such as eggs. Other ingredients, like salt, are indispensable because they are essential for the proper chemical reactions/actions to occur and if left out, it can ruin the entire process. It is important that one lays out all of the ingredients necessary for the production of a bread and double-checks them so that mistakes do not happen. Mis-en-place is extremely important meaning that buildup to the preparation of a recipe is as important as the actual recipe itself!  You will benefit from having our know-how and skills to guide you along and not have to suffer the slaps, the cuffs up against your head, or have to hear the swearing and abuse that you would have to if you were standing in the kitchen alongside us. Know, too, that the women chefs like Lilah Paulikovich or Goldfish are much more difficult to work with than are the irascible men such as Stinkbug or Jimmy Hall—they might put their hand on your ass (boys, too) but won’t hit you half as hard as the women!

Let us begin with different types of yeasts:

Yeast: yeast is an organism that is completely alive, a living, breathing creature with 3,200 billion or more cells per pound and when combined with the proper ingredients and handled in such a way which allows the chemical changes to occur, your bread will go up like a rocket just as beer will ferment.  There are nutrients that yeasts like to consume such as sugar, flour, and beer. There are things that are necessary to control yeast such as salt, which makes the yeast follow a predestined route instead of going all willy-nilly and blowing up like a terrorist’s bomb. When one makes a sourdough starter, we can maintain that starter for years as every time one takes from it, one replenishes it with fresh “food” (e.g., flour, water, maybe a potato or beer) and allowed to set out for 24 hours. As it does so, it attracts or captures fresh yeast organisms floating freely in the air surrounding all of us. Yes, yeast is an active microorganism that is in the air around us, we breathe them in and exhale them out, and women seem to have trouble with yeast when they get yeast infections!

There are three basic types: (1) fresh cake or compressed yeast; (2) active dry yeast; and (3) SAF fast-acting yeast. Preferably, I have always used and liked the first one and it is the one I recommend, because it is one used by bakers from the beginning of baking. The other two are more or less recent concoctions, designed for institutional foodservice. Let’s look at the first one: for the home baker, it’s available in the cold foods section in 3/5th’s of an ounce packet, many times bearing the Budweiser label being what the brewers use. Out of the refrigerator, use it by dissolving it in tepid water between 75° BUT NO HOTTER THAN 82° or the yeast dies. When you spend hours making a loaf and then it sits there like a gob of goo and does not rise, it is because the yeast is dead or you did not knead it properly.

Active dry yeast (ADY) and fast-acting or SAF yeast are preferred by many because (1) it doesn’t have to be refrigerated, (2) it lasts a long time, (3) it can be mixed in with the flour, and (4) it can handle hotter water. ADY requires a higher degree of temperature for activation between 105°-115° and more of the liquid contained in the recipe to dissolve it. Furthermore, it does not bubble when testing it as does cake yeast, which proves that the yeast is alive and eager to go unless you add some of the recipe’s sugar and/or flour to it.  This is because the process removes the yeast from it during the drying process. The SAF yeast is about the easiest of the three to work with as it can handle more mistakes and less-better treatment, merely follow the directions on the package.

Now, the power of the first two yeasts is about the same: ONE-HALF OUNCE will raise 4 cups of flour in about 1.5 hours. One ounce will raise 6-7 quarts of flour in about seven hours. However, bakers add more yeast than that in their recipes, as do I in mine while at the same time, do not go overboard and pile it in, as the flavor of the yeast will ruin your bread. Just pay close attention to all bread recipes and if called for, add a little sugar to the yeast in the bowl with the tepid liquid to get it fired up but NOT too much as that will end up retarding the dough which could make the ultimate rise go all night. There are sweet roll dough’s that do precisely this so that the rise is so gradual that when the baker returns in the morning, the dough is up and waiting for him or her but again, pay attention to directions.

Salt: Salt performs two very important functions in the production of breads, the first of which is the regulation of the bread’s gluten.  It oversees and controls the rise and gives the bread its strength without which, dough’s would rise uncontrollably much like the “terrorist’s bomb” and would crash at the slightest breath of air or inadvertent jiggle of the pan, BOOM!  Secondly, salt gives the bread flavor in much the same way as the banned food additive MSG gives food an undeniably wonderful flavor but unlike MSG, salt is a natural ingredient and does not send one into a tizzy. It’s precisely the same as one adding salt to rice, potato, or pasta water, all three of which are starches like bread, because without it, you can add salt to the finished product—rice, potato, or pasta—and never get it to where it tastes all that good while pushing up hypertension in those that suffer from it. DO NOT leave it out—but there are a few salt-free bread recipes for those who absolutely cannot have it and if we can, we will do one eventually.

Sugar: Sugar, too, is an important ingredient in bread making although for different reasons. As stated, besides providing flavor in much the same way as does salt, it helps to activate yeast as yeast loves to “eat” it; however, a variety of substitutions are available in order to avoid calling it “sugar”: things such as malt flavor, molasses, honey, and even brown sugar are acceptable.

Eggs: Eggs has a twofold purpose in bread: first, they strengthen bread further by forming a secondary support structure through the expansion of the egg whites, which serves to lighten the bread; second, it is an enrichment factor, which is really important for anyone looking for additional nutrients such as protein. In order to add or delete eggs from a recipe, they count as a LIQUID, which means, FIVE WHOLE EGGS equal ONE CUP; therefore, if you want to substitute eggs into a recipe, you may do so by beating some eggs and adding them in while removing some of the water or dairy products. If you want to REMOVE eggs from a bread recipe, substitute water, juice, or beer in their place following the same ratios; however, never make a bread ALL eggs as most will not work out that way, they’re meant as an enrichment as said so don’t go hogwild!

Fats—almost always, fat in one form or another is included in ALL bread recipes because they soften the texture of the crust (the outside), crumb (the inside), and also serve as a preservative of sorts.  For example, look at a loaf of commercially prepared bread—it is soft and flavorful, and it usually lasts quite awhile but without the vegetable oil, it would be heavier, drier, and would stale more quickly. In addition, the flavor would not be as good and whether or not you care for commercially prepared white bread, you cannot knock the texture. Anyhow, to either substitute OR delete, treat them as part of the liquid measure whether they be vegetable oil, butter, or shortening so make adjustments accordingly.

Milk: Milk is NOT necessarily GOOD for bread, but it does make it better as do other dairy products. Besides increasing mineral and protein content, milk improves the texture and flavor immensely as it gives the crust a much more vigorous color and a crumb imbued with a gentle softness. What’s more, it increases the time one can work with dough, this helps during intricate shaping, and there are two ways one can use it. It can either be part of the LIQUID measurement of the bread OR as most bakers do nowadays, as DRY MILK. Dry milk is wonderful as it allows a baker the freedom to use all water or to use fruit juices and STILL have the wonderful flavor and physical characteristics that ONLY milk, buttermilk, or yogurt can impart. Just remember this: it should account for NO more than HALF of the liquid measure if using it in that form—liquid. The reason for this is that TOO much milk or buttermilk can cause a dough to become unmanageable and fall apart while too much yogurt or sour cream gives a bread a negatively unpleasant taste. Nevertheless, sour milk is one of the best ingredients one can use in QUICKBREAD baking, items like biscuits, muffins, quickbread loaves, and scones as the reaction that baking powder/baking soda and sour milk has is amazing!

Liquid: Other than water or milk, the liquid left over from the cooking of beans, potatoes, or rice makes fantastic bread water as besides adding flavor, they also serve to activate the yeast, as they are full of natural sugars and proteins. If using water, keep in mind that HARD water requires the addition of a little distilled vinegar or citrus juice but NOT in the portion in which you dissolve the yeast! On the other hand, SOFT water makes sticky dough with distilled water being the softest of all. Fruit and vegetable juices make nice bread liquids but you need to warm them up as though they were water but again, stick to the same temperature scales given in the heading under “Yeasts.” Now, let us move onto the last ingredient we are going to discuss for today, CHEESE:

Cheese: Cheese really belongs ON and NOT IN bread; however, if you are determined to use it, please follow my advice: choose strong-flavored cheeses like cheddar or Swiss and not mild-flavored ones like American cheese. In order to get the MAXIMUM FLAVOR from your cheese, do not add it in the beginning of the dough’s life but knead it in during its first proof. Furthermore, ALL cheeses must be grated in bread making and never overbake breads that contain cheese, as they will become extremely dry. Finally, we can accentuate bread's flavor by using certain spices but this is something that we will discuss at a later time if we ever do dough with cheese in it. There are so many other bread dough’s that are essential but we’ll shove them all in between here and December 21, 2012 when the Mayan calendar comes to an end and ????  Who knows what is going to happen? BE HERE!

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As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this, as it is a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will become dedicated followers of the END.  Currently of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that we hear the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession —join us. We urge our readership to write to us, leave comments, and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously do not pay anything but give YOU full byline and that, my friends, is worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it will be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so Stinky says.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people do not care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It is sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

            I hope you enjoy our blog posts and that this one hits the “spot” for all you yeast bread bakers!  It is important to understand the science involved in the manufacture of yeast breads because why waste time just to have the thing fall apart at some point during the process?  Of course, everyone must learn the ropes and this is why I am publishing these very important instructions, directions, ideas, and historical notes.  You need to be every day from here on out as otherwise, you will be nowhere!                                   

Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Flamin’ Groovies’ and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  Allied with them, we are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

Stinky

Stinkbug
American Bakers’ Association, ACF, CWC

This is I back in the 1980's when I was the sous chef of a large foodservice operation in Bakersfield, CA. I began my cooking career in the 1960's when I apprenticed underneath a great chef, Master Chef Ulysses S. Paz.  I have lived and worked in Hawaii, Washington State, Arizona, and California.  Even though I am in my late 60’s, I am still actively involved at a hotel here in Bakersfield, CA.

Stinkbug writes from OILDALE, CA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Tuesday, November 30, 2010 by Chef Stinkbug



Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

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The one-and-only Chef Stinkbug wrote this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef Stinkbug on November 13, 1982 in Bakersfield, CA.

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