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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

“Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Pt. XXVII: Lemon Muffins—tricky to make unless one has access to a Bakery Supply Company but it can be done”

The Grateful Dead released their third album, “Aoxomoxoa” in 1969 and continued the saga with such songs as “St. Stephen,” “Dupree’s Diamond Blues,” and “Cosmic Charlie.” The band added second drummer, Mickey Hart, and keyboardist Tom Constantan to the mix and became a seven-piece band for a brief period of time. This is a great album and worth owning.  Please take the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and buy it now! You won’t be disappointed!  Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 478 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 “JT” Tobiason

END Commentary 09-01-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,993.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Thursday, September 01, 2011 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason


 Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Pt. XXVII: Lemon Muffins—tricky to make unless one has access to a Bakery Supply Company but it can be done

Bakersfield, CA, 09-01-2011 Th:  Ah, here it is the First of September and tomorrow will be the start of the four day Labor Day Weekend and I will be here baking all sorts of goodies with you! My vacation will come on Labor Day itself when I return home and have some time off until the next time I am recalled to do some more blog posts for you.  I love this time of year, I love being able to get on a plane and fly across the country to be with family and friends.  Last year, we went home to Fresno, CA, and then took a drive up to the Bay Area and this year, we are going to hop a plane and head east to Illinois to be with family there.  Sure, there are all sorts of people all over the place and flying can be an ordeal but I truly enjoy the ability to fly rather than to drive.  One of these days, I keep promising my wife that we will take the train across the nation to Washington, D.C. and points further north but that’s still in the works for the time being.

We are going to continue working on muffins today and the one I’ve chosen to do for this pre-Labor Day Thursday is LEMON.  Lemon and orange are sometimes difficult for the home baker as professionals can usually buy pre-made fillings from bakery supply companies.  If we can’t, we have to make our own which means peeling and zesting the fruits, combining them with sugar, flavorings, and sometimes alcohols and then cooking them down to a pulp which is used as a base.  This base is a powerful flavoring ingredient and can extend layers of flavor to your baked goods.  It is important to be able to create this base as it’s necessary to create a tasty product that your friends, family, neighbors, and customers alike will appreciate and fall in love with.  At least with the Internet, our options are a great deal more varied as with sites like Ultimate Baker.com: http://cooksdream.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvcScreen=PROD&Product_Code=SBFILLMN2, We can go to them and buy two pounds of lemon filling for only $3.49 plus shipping.  Being able to buy this sort of product allows us to replicate what your finest bakery is doing and that, my friends, is the difference between success and failure. Anyhow, if you’re ready, let’s begin:


Yield: about 1 dozen medium-sized muffins / Mis-en-place: about 60-75 minutes:

The Lemon Filling:
Medium lemons

Granulated sugar


Almond extract

Lemon extract

Kosher salt

The Muffins:
All-purpose flour

Baking powder

Kosher salt

Lemon filling

Large egg

Granulated sugar

Vegetable oil

Vanilla extract

Yellow food color

Lemon emulsion




  1. The Filling: Zest the peel off of each lemon and place inside a food processor. Remove the white pith from the outside of the skinned lemons and discard it. Place the lemons into the food processor along with the rest of the ingredients into the food processor. Turn it on impulse and grind the mixture chunky but don’t pulp it completely.
  2. Place the mixture into a skillet or sauce pot and bring to a boil. Keep it there for about 5 minutes and then lower the flame to the barest minimum and allow it to simmer really slowly. When it’s thickened up like marmalade, remove it from the stove and cool it in the refrigerator. Preheat standard oven to 400°F or convection oven to 350°F.
  3. The Muffins: Double-sift first 3 ingredients together. Have lemon filling out at room temperature.
  4. Beat eggs and sgr together until light and creamy. Blend in remaining ingredients and mix together until smooth.
  5. Fold DRY into WET with least amount of strokes necessary in order to combine the two together. Scoop it into your prepared muffin cups right up to the rim and if you have to go over a little bit, that’s okay. Place on middle oven rack, and bake 10 minutes before dropping the temperature by 25°F.  Continue baking another 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean.
  6. Remove them from the oven at that point and allow them to cool a few minutes before de-panning. When you have them out of the pan, continue cooling them on a wire rack. Top with a little yellow sugar glaze if so desired.
  7. You can wrap each of them individually with plastic wrap and then place inside a Freezer Zip-Lock baggie and freeze until you need to use them.  Heat in a microwave oven until warm and then serve them. Be sure to keep them frozen rather than in the fridge as the fridge tends to dry breads out whereas the freezer keeps them in “suspended animation” for up to three months.

This is a great muffin recipe that in the professional world is improved by being able to buy pre-made lemon filling.  In the “at-home” world, we have to make our own filling which isn’t quite as good but this one will do the job. Anyhow, these are lemony muffins that you will enjoy.

As I said yesterday, I have had a great time today and as always enjoy my opportunities to write for the Elemental News of the Day. We urge our readership to write to us and 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 don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s 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’ll be fun!

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

Well, we’ve made it through Day Four which means this is the classic “hump day.” We have three more days to go and we will probably make some quickbreads the rest of the way and it’s possible I might throw in some flavored butters! Anyhow, why not leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Grateful Dead and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you tomorrow! Bye!    

Thank you!


James “JT” Tobiason

Professional Baker, American Baker’s Association, Certified Working Chef, ACF, CWC

This is me back in the 1980's when I was an Executive Sous Chef at a hotel Monterey, California. I originally came from Salinas, CA, spent time in Fresno and Bakersfield, and currently am working at a fine-dining restaurant in Visalia, CA. I began cooking in 1967 when I apprenticed under a top chef working in the Napa Valley.


END Commentary for Thursday, September 01, 2011 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason

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 “JT” Tobiason

Recipes created by Chef James “JT” Tobiason on April 10, 1984 in Monterey, CA.



“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!



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This is #485, a 20” x 24" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Neighbors." 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!

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