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Sunday, June 19, 2011

“Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XVIII—Seasoned Italian Loaf makes perfect Dinner Bread.”

Canned Heat’s sixteenth album, 1980’s "Captured Live" is presently unavailable so we have to take a look at their seventeenth album, "Hooker N Heat Live at Fox Venice Theater" which was released by Rhino Records in 1981 and was taken from a live show that occurred in 1978. This is the last recording that Bob "the Bear" Hite made before passing on and is an exceptionally good live rendition featuring (of course) John Lee Hooker and the band. The downside to the record for blues fans is the fact that Mr. Hooker performs on the last THREE tracks having come up on stage to jam with the band. Still, it’s a good album and you know the drill: all you have to do is to use the handy link and go to Amazon.com and buy it NOW! Thanks, the Elemental News of the Day.

Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 551 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!

                                      STINKBUG 2011 

Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti
END Commentary 06-20-2011
Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions
Word Count: 2,580.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Monday, June 20, 2011 by
Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti



Bakersfield, CA, 06-20-2011 M: Just so you know, the past few days, our main computer has been experiencing difficulties and is currently undergoing diagnostic tests in order to get it back up and running as this makes it difficult whenever we want to research our massive files. Our system is spread out over a network of systems and as we’re undergoing these difficulties, it is making it difficult to offer you the quality of articles we normally do but once things are once more under control, we will clean up the recent blog posts and insert the correct photographs, advertising, and information. For the time being, we just want to get posts posted as it is our determination to offer new posts each and every day. We care for our readership and want you to be pleased with our product because as we’ve said before, we are offering you the combined knowledge of more than 4-5 centuries due to the number of us writing for the Elemental News of the Day and the length of time each of has spent in the foodservice industry. The articles we write are a demonstrative way of showing you our passion for food and for doing it in as respectable a manner as we possibly can. I know that others of my fellows have complained about the myriad televised cooking contests and about how they distort the true image of what it means to be a "chef" or higher like a true "master chef." It is annoying to each and everyone of us whenever we see the crap that television offers its viewers who have no idea when they’re being shown a televised, supervised Chinese fire drill! Come on now, people, you know as good as I do (hopefully) that becoming a real master chef is all about training, work experience, and length of employment and not because you win a fricking cooking show on TV! Gordon Ramsay should be ashamed of himself! I realize the man is a trained French chef whose restaurants are famed and on the Michelin list but he’s doing the industry a disservice by showing the crap he does on the TV! Enough is enough, Chef Gordon, quit taking advantage of a gullible, idiotic public and ruining our beloved profession!

Today, we’re going to make another Italian loaf that I know you’re going to enjoy; I mean how could you not, right? This one is endowed with a lovely name, pane agli funghi, literally, "fungus bread," which in and of itself sounds pretty disgusting but it’s not, it’s bread made with mushrooms, salt, wine, garlic, and whatever else we have on hand. Italian bakers are perhaps the best experimental bakers on the continent having made bread out of virtually everything that didn’t have legs and could run! We have made other Italian loaves and this recipe will be more of the same and I promise you, lots of fun!

Note—we will be employing the Brick Method today just like we have on other days so be sure to find that one elsewhere on our blog. Home kitchens simply don’t have the same abilities as do professional bakeries/restaurants so we have to improvise and to make do with a variety of different techniques.
So, if you’re ready, let’s get this rodeo underway!

For ONE large "J"-shaped loaf:



2Cups Boiling water
1Quart Freshly sliced button mushrooms
2Cups Reserved mushroom broth (adding more water if necessary to make up two cups)
1.25Ounces Fresh cake yeast OR .75-ounce active dry OR SAF yeast
1TablespoonKosher salt
1Tablespoon Minced garlic
.5Teaspoon Black pepper
2Tablespoons Vegetable oil
1Tablespoon Chablis
6Cups +Bread flour
2Large Egg whites beaten with .5 teaspoon cold water


  • Have water boiling on the stove, pour mushrooms into it, and keep there for ONE (1) minute; afterward, drain and reserve the liquid, gently rinse them underneath cold running water and then place on a cloth or towel and pat dry. If the mushroom broth doesn’t quite measure up to TWO cups, add a little more tap water to round it out.

  • Now, place the reserved liquid in the bowl of an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook attachment or into a bowl, if making it by hand. Stir in the yeast and allow it to dissolve and then, let stand for about 10 minutes, covered by a towel.

    When time’s up, add the next five ingredients listed; blend well. Then, if using the mixer, gradually scale in the flour, mixing all the while, until a smooth but firm dough climbs off the sides of the bowl and onto the hook—and remains there. This might take additional flour and that’s fine, baking bread does not involve perfect, unvarying recipes; no, due to humidity or air temperature, any given dough on any given day can require MORE or LESS flour, what you want is for it to get onto that hook and stay there. If it seems like it wants to stay there, don’t keep mixing until it falls apart—if the gluten is overdeveloped, it will fall apart—use your common sense. If mixing by hand, continue adding flour and scraping the sides of the bowl until a smooth, somewhat, non-sticky dough has been formed.

    On a lightly floured tabletop, knead the dough for about 4-5 minutes. Pull it over and down towards you and then fold the sides over and round it into a ball. Continue doing this for the specified time or if it feels like a living thing, round it into a ball and place inside a lightly floured bowl twice the size of the dough.

    Cover with a mildly moist towel but not sopping wet and then place someplace relatively warm and free of drafts like a high kitchen shelf or unused oven. Allow it to "proof" or to rise until doubled in bulk, about 30-45 minutes. Then, gently deflate, re-round, and return to the bowl to rise again—the second time requires about half the time of the first proof. Preheat standard oven to 400°F or convection oven to 350°F.

    When dough’s risen again, remove from bowl and place on a lightly floured work surface and briefly knead. Place it in a corner of your workbench and cover with a towel and allow it to sit for 10 minutes—as it does so, it will develop an outer skin of gluten, which will produce some fabulous bread. If you’re using the bricks, get them onto a burner and get a pot of water boiling and ready.

    Now, once time is up, begin to roll into a loaf. With your hands, begin rolling the dough ball down from the top all the while scrunching the left and right sides inward and rolling the dough over it; what you are doing is forming a tight, cigar-shaped cylinder. Keep one hand on either side turn with your fingers while pressing the ends shut with your thumbs. When you’ve rolled up your cylinder, press the seam shut after moistening it with some cold water and fold it slightly over itself. Roll it back and forth in your hands to elongate it and then form it into a "J"-shape. Place on the prepared sheet pan (that has been sprayed with PAM and sprinkled with cornmeal) and cover with a dry towel and return it to the proofing spot for one last, final rise

    Allow your loaf to almost double in size for about 15-20 minutes at most. When it has, lightly brush it with the "egg wash" mixture. Finally, dip a sharp knife in melted butter or olive oil and slash 4-5 diagonal slashes approximately .25-inch deep cuts across the top. Into each slash, sprinkle a little kosher salt to add additional flavor.

    While the loaf is rising, place a roasting pan that’s about 4-inches deep inside your oven and place the HOT bricks within it. Taking care to avoid the rush of steam, pour about 2-inches of boiling water in around them and shut the door and allow the oven to steam. When the loaf is ready to go, insert it into the steamy oven and let it rise quickly with the steam. After about 10 minutes, pull the bricks out along with whatever water is left and lower heat 375°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes OR until you can pick the loaves up in one gloved hand and rap on its bottom; if the loaf sounds hollow, it’s done and ready to go and if not, put it back in the oven and let it continue baking until they sound hollow. The idea is to check it at about the 30 minute mark but you also need to know your oven’s temperature and the best way to do that is to buy an oven thermometer and place it inside. I cannot say how important this step is, if you don’t know how hot or how cool your oven is, you will never be able to bake a proper loaf much less a cake!

    So, when the loaf sound a dull hollow, pull it out and place it atop a wire rack to cool on all sides. Drizzle with melted butter 3-4 times in order to achieve a gorgeous gloss and as you do so, the crust will soften naturally. This will make for truly fabulous loaf so good luck, my friends. Practice makes perfect and this loaf is one of the ones that is fairly easy to make and generally can suffer a lot of punishment so don’t be afraid, jump into it and go for it!

    When this delicious loaf is done, serve right away or finish cooling. A fresh loaf such as this can sit out for about a day covered by a towel or a cloth and then, you will have to wrap them up. Generally, if a loaf isn’t eaten within the first day, you need to slice it and wrap it up in airtight plastic bags and freeze. Bring out what you need and heat up quickly in your microwave oven 10-12 seconds at a time. Always eat as soon as possible as fresh-baked bread is only good when it’s utilized right away. We are not filling it up with all sorts of chemical preservatives so use your common sense and always do the right thing—your common sense won’t let you down!

    To reheat bread, wrap in plastic wrap and heat in the microwave and if you can, avoid regular ovens. One last word of advice: to slice bread properly, you need a good bread knife so invest in one as there’s no point in crushing or trashing a wonderful loaf of bread with a crappy knife. Pick one up at the local restaurant supply store when you pick up your oven’s new thermometer! If you don’t have a good restaurant supply store, order what you need from Amazon.com because they have everything!

    Note—normally homemade bread is best if consumed on the day it was baked as we don’t have the preservatives and chemicals that are available to professional bakers which is good! We don’t need that sort of stuff in our baked goods, my friends, to be qualified to be a baker!

    That’s it for today,!

    Thank you!

    V. "Vicky" Mazarotti
    ACF, CWC, CPC, International Association of Culinary Professionals IACP.

    Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti.
    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.

    This original essay was authored by the one-and-only Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti.
    Stinkbug. "Seasoned Italian Loaf makes perfect Dinner Bread." The Bakersfield Californian. 6 August 1987: Food AA 8.

    "Stinky" of the Elemental News of the Day for the best of the news, politics, sports, foodservice, hotel and restaurant business, the end times, the end of days, the apocalypse, armageddon, and whatever else happens to pop up!


    This is #1287, a 12" x 16" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, "That Rotten Bird." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com/ or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!
    Web Pictures I
    Bread Seminar, Yeast Bread Seminar, Bakery Recipes, Classic Baking, Italian Breads, Loaves, the Brick Method, Bakery Recipes, Chef V. "Vicky" Mazarotti, Foodservice News, Mushrooms.  

    Trademark of Quality c/o the Elemental News of the Day and Magnolia Hilltop Brewers Productions 2011 of Bakersfield, California, the United States of America.
    Magnolia Hilltop Brewers and What's Cookin' Productions Trademark of Quality and Symbol of Integrity. Copyright 06-20-2011, all rights reserved. No unauthorized reproductions of any of this material are permissible unless granted by written permission. Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.
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    END Commentary for Monday, June 20, 2011 by
    V. Vicky Mazarotti

  • PANE agli FUNGHI
    Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XVIII—Seasoned Italian Loaf makes perfect Dinner Bread."



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