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Thursday, June 16, 2011

“Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XV—Italian Yeast Bread gets Color, Flavor from Tomato Juice”

Canned Heat’s thirteenth album, 1973’s “One More River to Cross” (United Artists) was another fine album by a band that would eventually become a stalwart, continuing on where others would fall by the wayside.  Granted, it was not to be done with almost all of the original members but the band would continue. This was a great album and featured many fine cuts and it was good to see the band struggling on even though their demons would be claiming them one by one.  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 554 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 James “Jimmy” Hall

END Commentary 06-17-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,968.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, June 17, 2011 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall


Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XV—Italian Yeast Bread gets Color, Flavor from Tomato Juice

Bakersfield, CA, 06-17-2011 F:  I haven’t written a blog for Stinkbug since February of this year if I remember correctly but that doesn’t mean I’m not around. I work in one of the cities of the western end of the county and come into Bakersfield occasionally preferring instead to drive over to Santa Barbara, California, or over to Morro Bay.  I am a beach person and always have been but I was born in Kern County and have made my home here off-and-on over the past 67 years.  I have lived and worked in many states, most notably the western states of our great nation and have taken trips back east when the time and the money have permitted me and my family to do so.  California will always be my home just as it is to every single one of us who writes for Stinkbug’s Elemental News of the Day.  The best thing about a foodservice career is that it allows you to travel the world and to see things that most people never have an opportunity to see. In a way, it’s sort of like military service as it allows one the ability to go places he or she has never had the possibility to do and to me, that is worth everything in the world!

I’ve read the writings of my comrades of late and I must say that I differ with them on the value of reality TV and the culinary shows that abound; I believe everything that points someone in the direction of a culinary career is valuable as in this day and age, the nation and the world is smothered in chain restaurants and fast food eateries that basically rob the real practitioners of the art their chances to shine and to find good jobs.  After all, it was the entry of McDonald’s into the breakfast arena that basically shut down the coffee shop business that once blossomed from one end of the nation to the other and which was a mass employer of cooks and chefs of all hues, colors, and capabilities.  There were coffee shops in every city, town, and hamlet where the locals could go to have a cup of coffee, a sandwich, ham and eggs, or a cold beverage and rub elbows with their friends and neighbors.  That basically began to disappear in the 1980’s when the fast food franchises found that they could market breakfast foods at a low price and before you knew it, the coffee shops across the country began to close their doors.  What once had been a major employer dried up and cooking jobs became difficult to find.  Add to that the flood of undocumented workers who snapped up many of the remaining jobs and cook’s wages basically dropped by several dollars an hour and benefits dried up and blew away.  I remember one such example:

I worked a job where there were about 5-6 undocumented cooks on the line and between them, they went out and snapped up jobs at truckstops and then split them between them as part-time jobs.  They told the owners they would do it for less money and for NO benefits and owners being what they are—businessmen—said, “FANTASTIC!”  I cannot fault them, I mean, they are in business and that is what they did—took the easy road and saved money—and it became impossible to find a cook’s job in Bakersfield or any of the other cities up and down the great San Joaquin Valley.  It’s a sad state of affairs and if our politicians REALLY wanted to help us, they would seal up the borders, stop the flow of illegals into the nation, make it conducive for business to begin hiring American workers once again and put our fellow citizens back to work.  Sadly, the businessmen have won out and the illegals continue to flood in while Americans are exhausting their unemployment benefits and we are in a dire state of emergency.  It is up to us as citizens of one of the greatest nations on earth to stand up to the politicians and to begin helping our fellows and putting this great nation back to work.  The election of 2012 is of extreme importance and the Democrats must be voted out.  If the Republicans fail to do the job, they must be voted out, too!

Okay, enough politics, for that I am sorry. Today, we are going to make a wonderful yeast bread, the famed Italian Pane ala Pomodoro or Tomato Bread.  This is a lovely loaf, it will use our brick method which has been used many times and is easily found on the pages of this blog and once you’ve tasted the delicious crumb of this fine loaf, you will become a true believer of the Italian breads that we will be doing more of.  Anyhow, if you are all ready, let us begin and let’s have a good time!

Pane al Pomodoro

For one large “J”-shaped loaf:

Warm tomato juice, 105°-110°F
Fresh cake yeast or .75-ounce active dry yeast
Granulated sugar
Garlic-flavored olive oil or plain olive oil
Cups +
Bread flour
Yellow cornmeal
Egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water for egg wash
Anise seeds and kosher coarse salt
Melted butter


1.      Place tomato juice in a bowl and dissolve the yeast in it. Cover with a cloth and allow it to stand for 10 minutes in a semi-warm spot.

2.      When yeast has activated, place it in the bowl of an electric mixer and using a dough hook attachment, stir in the sugar, salt, and either the garlic oil or olive oil.

3.      Next, begin to scale in the bread flour along the sides of the mixing bowl as your dough hook or paddle rotates on low speed. Scale it in a cup at a time and let it mix in and remember, the amount of flour varies from time to time, it depends on factors such as the temperature of the air and humidity so add whatever it takes to get the dough to pull off the sides of the mixing bowl and onto the hook—and stays there. When it is on the hook and no longer feels “sticky” but does feel “elastic,” or “alive” to your touch, it’s ready to round.

4.      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.

5.      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.

6.      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 work bench 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.

7.      Now, once time is up, begin to roll into a loaf.  Roll out with a rolling pin until the dough is a quarter inch thick (.25 inch thick).  With your hands, begin rolling the dough  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

8.      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 and then liberally sprinkle with the anise seeds. 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.

9.      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! 

10.  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!

11.  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!

12. 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! 

13. 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 crap! 

That was fun, if I say so myself!  I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves and that you will come back each and every day to see the fine recipes we publish for your enjoyment.  We do our best to compete with the big blogs and even though we are a small, insignificant minor blog, our readership grows each and every day.  Tell your friends to come and spend time with us.  Comment on our posts and send cards and letters. Please support our blog by becoming a subscriber and by accessing the Google advertising links as this brings in the necessary revenue with which to keep the Elemental News of the Day up-and-running.

Thank you, my friends!

Thank you!

Jimmy Hall

James Hall

Cook III, CWC, ACF, and Maui Chef’s Association



END Commentary for Friday, June 17, 2011 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall.

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 James “Jimmy” Hall—no relation to the Jimmy Hall of Magnolia Hilltop Brewers’ fame.

Stinkbug. “Italian Yeast Bread gets Color, Flavor from Tomato Juice.” The Bakersfield Californian.  23 June 1988: Food AA 3.



“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 #1284, a 16” x 20" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, "Garden Party." 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

This is a photo of Magnolia Hilltop Brewers' drummer Brian Carrick and his first wife, Guadeloupe Maria Loya Carrick on 04-10-1976 in Bakersfield, CA at Shamrock, their home and home base of the band. 
This is a shot of drummer Brian Carrick at Maricopa, California, on 04-09-1976 singing lead vocals on "Faster all the Time," one of their greatest songs. 

This is a shot of MHB friend and rhythm guitarist Gerry Kleier on 09-12-1976 at Shamrock jamming with the MHB. He was a frequent participant in band rehersals and jams. 

This is a photo of the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers on 04-23-1977 at a gig somewhere in Bakersfield, California. From left to right is bassist, Victor Gaona, drummer Brian Carrick, and guitarist Vernon McMahon. 
This is a photo of Randall and Debbie Kyles on 09-18-1976 at a band rehearsal at Shamrock in Bakersfield, California. 

This is a photo of bassist and vocalist Victor Gaona on 01-13-1977 at a gig somewhere in Kern County, California. Vic was one of the greatest musicians the MHB ever had in its ranks and was there from the start to the end. 

This is a shot of rhythm guitarist and vocalist Vernon McMahon of the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers on 12-31-1976 at our annual New Year's Eve gig in Buttonwillow, California. 

 This is a shot of Groucho the Cat on 12-23-1980 at Shamrock hiding in a bag before a band rehearsal of the Brian Carrick Band.  This conglomeration did not last very long but it was a dream of the drummer to have a band of his own. 

         This is an old shot of one of the MHB's business cards that nowadays would never have been used but back in the 1970's, it was acceptable. We're sorry for any appearances of racism because none of us was ever that way. 
       This is a grouping of our different business cards including the Brian Carrick Band.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              



Magnolia Hilltop Brewers and What's Cookin' Productions Trademark of Quality and Symbol of Integrity. Copyright 06-17-2011, 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.

Chief Editor: Stinkbug.

Assistant Editor: Moses Scharbug III

Proofreader: Amos Mosby Caruthers.




Bread Seminar, Yeast Bread Seminar, Bakery Recipes, Classic Baking, Italian Breads, Loaves, the Brick Method, Bakery Recipes, Chef Jimmy Hall, Foodservice News.



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.

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