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Friday, August 12, 2011

“Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XXIII: Zeppelin Rolls—if you’re not careful, these Rolls will float right out of your Oven!”

The Steve Miller Band’s eighteenth album, “Born 2 B Blue” came out in 1988, and made it to 108 on the American charts which are a real shame.  Steve Miller played nothing but blues standards on this album and did it in the style of the club bluesman.  This is a great album and has many memorable moments but let’s face it, the 1980’s wasn’t good for many of the top acts and as we’ve pointed out, the Steve Miller Band was in the midst of putting out some poor-quality material.  Still a major live act, however, the band just couldn’t do it in the studio. Anyhow, 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 497 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 Vladimir Gdansk

END Commentary 08-13-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,517.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, August 13, 2011 by Chef Vladimir Gdansk


 Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XXIII: Zeppelin Rolls—if you’re not careful, these Rolls will float right out of your Oven!

Bakersfield, CA, 08-13-2011 S:  The past several days, we’ve been making yeast loaves so today; I think we’re going to head into making some yeast rolls for a change of pace.  I have found out that I will be here tomorrow, too, in order to put in a full week while everyone else gets to have time off.  As I mentioned yesterday, its summer here in the San Joaquin Valley in the heart of Central California and it’s hotter than hell.  We go up and down, go through periods of 100°+ temperatures and then have a “cool spell” of temps in the 90’s.  I guess you take what you get and accept it but the good thing about the summer is that it’s good baking weather. Yeast activates extremely quickly, sometimes faster than you want it to and doughs magically spring up, ready to be worked with.  I’ve been in situations where I’m making 4-5 different doughs for a party or a big dinner night and they’re coming up faster than I can roll them out and form them.  I’ve done days where I’ve made more than 1200 rolls by hand and have had a good—although stressful—time doing it.  If anything, I am always in competition with myself and that is what makes foodservice so rewarding: working against one’s personal best!

The wintertime is just the opposite and many times, one has to baby their yeast doughs and the activation of yeasts.  Sure, you can use active dry yeast or SAF Quick Rise Yeast which I don’t care for, favoring Budweiser-brand fresh cake yeast.  There is something about the Budweiser yeast that simply cannot be duplicated with the others but it can be difficult to work with, too.  Usually, you activate fresh cake yeast first and then add the rest of the ingredients to it.  Active dry yeast needs to be activated first, too, but with hotter water.  SAF yeast, on the other hand, is one that is actually mixed into the flour and rises that way.  Like I said, I prefer the fresh cake yeast as I’m ‘old school’ whereas professional bakeries generally favor one of the other two choices.  The good thing is, ALL of them are available at the grocery store for home use so go on down there and either look on the refrigerated aisle or on the baking aisle, depending upon the type you seek.

Our rolls for today are one I learned many years ago, “Zeppelin Rolls,” so-called because they’re so light, they seem to practically float out of your oven.  In reality, they don’t float out but they sure seem like they will.  They’re rich in eggs which makes them fluffy and light and they brown of beautifully.  You will fall in love with this recipe, I assure you, and hope that you will give it a good shot.  One thing you have to accept in yeast bread baking is the possibility of failure as you learn the ropes.  There is always chances of failure so never shy away from jumping in and getting your fingers wet: get in there and get going!


About 1.5 Dozen 1.75-2-ounce rolls:

Tepid water

Fresh cake yeast

Fl. Ounces
Granulated sugar

Kosher salt

Large eggs

Fl. Ounces
Vegetable oil

Bread flour
Yellow cornmeal

Egg, beaten

Cold water

Melted butter


1.      Combine the tepid water and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook and begin mixing on low speed.  Have the other ingredients ready and be sure to beat the eggs until frothy and then force through a fine-meshed sieve into a container. Spray a sheet pan with PAM or some such other food release spray, line with a sheet of parchment paper, spray with PAM, and sprinkle with plenty of yellow cornmeal and set aside.  Preheat oven to 300°F for the time-being.

2.      Add the sugar, salt, eggs, and oil to the yeast mixture and blend together well.  Then, begin scaling in the bread flour along the sides of the bowl, bit-by-bit, until it’s all used up.

3.      Now, due to the time of the year, the humidity, and the quality of the flour, it may take MORE flour to get to where we want: continue adding flour while mixing on low speed until the dough climbs off the sides of the bowl and onto the dough hook and remains there as it continues to rotate slowly about the bowl. If it pulls back onto the sides of the bowl, continue adding flour until it remains on the hook for about ONE minute—then stop mixing, and scoop the dough out onto a lightly-floured work bench.

4.      Rub your hands with flour and sprinkle more atop the dough and begin to knead it. Knead it firmly until smooth and elastic to the touch—about 4-8 minutes. This is firm dough so you have to knead it briskly but if too firm, knead in a little warm water on your fingertips but don’t go overboard and get it sopping wet.

5.      When it’s somewhat smooth and springy, form it into a ball and place inside a metal bowl or pot that’s about twice the size of the dough ball and flour lightly top, bottom, and sides. Cover with a slightly moist cloth and set it someplace that’s relatively warm and free of drafts so that it can proof. Take care not to shake it or to jiggle the bowl and allow it to double in size, about 40-45 minutes but keep an eye on it. Preheat your standard oven to 425°F (convection oven to 375°F) and place a pot of water over a low flame. Have a couple of fire bricks ready but don’t place atop an open flame—yet.

6.      When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and then using a rolling pin; begin rolling it out on a lightly-floured surface until it’s about an inch thick.  Begin cutting 18 equal-size pieces with a dough knife.  If you have a measuring scale, this will simplify the process but if not, try to keep them as equal as possible.

7.      When you have them, moisten your fingers and using a lightly-floured work surface, begin quickly rolling each one into a ball and press the bottom seam closed.  Place on the sheet pan about 2-inches apart.  If you need two pans, so be it. When you have all of the rolls, cover them with a dry cloth and place somewhere that it’s warm but not overpoweringly hot—like a high kitchen shelf.

8.      Allow the rolls to double in bulk.  In the meantime, heat the bricks to red hot and bring the water to a boil.  Take the second egg and the cold water and whisk together until frothy—force through a fine-meshed sieve into a small bowl and get out a sanitized foodservice paint brush.  When the rolls have almost doubled in bulk, brush liberally with the eggwash mixture and then brush again. 

9.      Place a bake dish or a hotel pan in the oven and place the bricks inside.  Pour in the boiling water, taking precautions to avoid the onrushing blast of steam, and allow the oven to humidify for a minute or two.  Then, place the pan with the rolls on it inside and begin to bake.

10. After 3-4 minutes, remove the bricks and water from the oven and keep baking the rolls. Usually, Zeppelin rolls take about 10-15 minutes as with the oven spring, achieved from the steam, they’re up, ready to explode.  They bake quickly due to the eggs and turn a golden-brown with a darkened top.  The finished product is simply beautiful; these are some of the best rolls one will ever see.

11. When golden-brown, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.  Brush with melted butter using the brush you used for the eggwash that’s been rinsed out thoroughly so as to remove all vestiges of raw egg from it.  Allow to remain on the pan for another 2-3 minutes and then remove and place directly on the rack or serve right away.

12. You can freeze leftovers but these are best if used as soon as possible. Eat ‘em all up!

I was taught this recipe many years ago by a professional baker and have used it for more than 30 years. It is among my favorite roll recipes and I use it at least twice month in my professional life.  You will love it so don’t be afraid to give it a shot.  The rolls got their name from the fact that they’re so light and puff up so high that they’re similar to the dirigibles of old, the airships of the Twentieth Century, Zeppelins.

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, one more day to go, my friends, so I believe we shall make one more roll recipe.  Rolls is usually where one begins the process of learning how to make yeast breads and then works up to loaves.  I assure you over and over to never fear and read all the books on the subject that are available to you. There are many good books that can be purchased at Amazon.com which makes them reasonably priced so go over there and take a look. Buy a Steve Miller Band album and buy a cookbook! See you all tomorrow! Bye!    

Thank you!

V. Gdansk

V. Gdansk

Cook IV, CWC, ACF, and the Washington State Chef’s Association

This is me back in the 1980's when I was the Executive Chef at a country club in the Napa Valley. I spent many years working in foodservice, having begun as a young boy working for my father in his restaurant over on the coast in Pismo Beach. Foodservice is in my blood and it's something I still do actively every day in my late eighties.


END Commentary for Saturday, August 13, 2011 by Chef Vladimir Gdansk

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 Vladimir Gdansk

Recipes created by Chef Vladimir Gdansk on August 29, 1985 in Laguna Beach, 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!




This is #1216, an 11” x 14" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Mallards in Autumn." 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 II
This is a picture of our cat, Spot, on 05-14-1986 at Shamrock in Bakersfield, CA, at Stinkbug's home and the former base of operations of the original Magnolia Hilltop Brewers. 

   This is another shot of Spot at home at Shamrock in Bakersfield, CA, in 1986. 

      This is the shot of the inside of St. Philip's Church in Bakersfield, CA, on 04-09-2011.  Below is another photo of the interior of the St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church: 



Magnolia Hilltop Brewers and What's Cookin' Productions Trademark of Quality and Symbol of Integrity. Copyright 08-12-2011, 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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