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Friday, February 10, 2012

“Special Menus, Pt. XXXIV: ‘Valentine’s Day 2012 Menu, Pt. VI—Bread Seminar: Rice Flour Bread and Apricot Muffins—delicious Accompaniments for your Special Dinner’ by Chef James “JT” Tobiason”



Our new band for the next month or so is one of the best bands to come out of Los Angeles in the 1960’s: the Byrds.  They went from Electric Folk to Psychedelic to Country Music and shined each and every step of the way.  Their twenty-seventh album—“The Very Best of the Byrds”—was released on June 23, 1997 and is still as wonderful today as it was then, more than 40 years ago but is difficult to find.  We love it and think you will, too, so go out and buy it by using the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and get it now! You won’t be disappointed! [Unfortunately, the link may no longer be possible due to the fact that the Amazon.com Associates’ Program’s status is up in the air due to the fact that our home base is in California—you can still go there and BUY it!] Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.



                                                                            

Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 316 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!


                                                                                   

STINKBUG 2012


                                                                                          

Chef James “JT” Tobiason

END Commentary 02-11-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 3,064.



CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, February 11, 2012 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason

SPECIAL MENUS INDEX, PT. XXXIV

Special Menus, Pt. XXXIV: ‘Valentine’s Day 2012 Menu, Pt. VI—Bread Seminar: Rice Flour Bread and Apricot Muffins—delicious Accompaniments for your Special Dinner’ by Chef James “JT” Tobiason


HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY 2012

Bakersfield, CA, 02-11-2012 S: Well, here it is: Saturday already!  Boy oh boy, where did the week go? I cannot imagine that once I sit down at the computer and start banging out recipes that the week would virtually get up and vanish as quickly as it has but it has and I am glad!  So, today, we are entering my area of expertise: baking bread.  Baking bread is not only a career choice, it’s a passion as all too often, it’s something that’s fallen by the wayside in today’s modern American kitchens.  Most of the restaurant owners are barely getting by and to spend good money on a post that’s products are bought for less is almost unimaginable.  It’s a sad fact that it’s become easier to buy one’s baked goods rather than pay a professional bread baker to bake them and this to me, is a tragic statement on what’s happening to our great country!  It used to be that labor costs were low, lower than they are now, certainly, but one could keep a baker and a pastry chef on the payroll without having to cut back elsewhere.  I remember the place I came up in had its own fulltime butcher, for God’s sake, which was amazing to me, even at that time.  Unfortunately, that is seldom seen anymore just as bread bakers and pastry chefs, too.  I always felt that I had a gift for baking and it’s a shame to not be able to use it because one’s restaurant is buying its breads from Sysco, S. E. Rykoff, U. S. Foodservice, and a whole host of other purveyors out there.  Don’t get me wrong, their products are plenty good but it’s horrible to have admit that—I mean bread that comes sealed in bags or as frozen dough is just not the same NO matter how good it is…today, however, I hope to rectify that!

Our first bread is going to be a rice flour bread, one of the specialty flours that professional bakers and health food advocates enjoy working with whereas our second selection will be a beautiful muffin made from dried apricots for color and flavor.  I know that once you’ve had the opportunity to bake both of these you will become as committed as I am throughout the rest of your lives so I suggest jumping right in.  Should you require additional information on yeast breads, please refer to the earliest posts of this blog back in November 2010—it’s all there, written by Stinkbug!

Here’s our menu:

VALENTINE’S DAY MENU 2012

I.                    Cream of Onion Soup

II.                 Corn Chowder

III.               JT’s Fresh Fruit Plate

IV.              Newport Salad

V.                Stuffed Cornish Game Hens with Sauce Supreme

VI.              Rosemary-encrusted Lamb Leg with Mint Demi-glace

VII.           Potatoes Amandine

VIII.         Rice and Fruit Dressing

IX.              Buttered and Parslied Egg Noodles

X.                Broccoli Normande

XI.              Spaghetti Squash Timbales

XII.         Rice Bread

XIII.      Apricot Muffins

XIV.        Boysenberry Mousse

XV.          Strawberry Parfaits

Alright, we will begin with our fantastic Rice Flour Bread, if you’re ready:

 (#360) RICE FLOUR BREAD





Yield:  2—9” x 5” loaves / Mis-en-place: 1.5 + hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
4
Cups
Boiling water

1/3
Cup
Hinode-brand Cal-Rose medium-grain rice

7/8
Cup
Reserved rice cooking liquid

2/3
Ounce
Fresh cake yeast or .25-oz. SAF yeast

2/3
Teaspoon
Granulated sugar

2/3
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

2
Cups
Tepid water

1
Cup
Rice flour

1.75+
Quarts
Bread flour

The Finish:
2
Each
Large AAA eggs, beaten

.5
Cup
Whole milk

Additional all-purpose flour

.5
Cup
Melted sweet butter




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!

2.      Boil the rice in the boiling water until it’s very soft, reserving 7/8-cup of the liquid (14 tablespoons).  Drain the rice out of it and set aside momentarily. 

3.      Place the reserved liquid into the bowl of an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook at best or a paddle at worst and add the yeast to it—dissolving it—while mixing on low speed.  Add the yeast, sugar, salt, and cooked rice to it and continue mixing.

4.      Now, add the tepid water to the mixture and then begin scaling in the flour along the edges of the bowl all the while mixing on low speed.  Note: whenever one makes yeast bread, the goal is to get the dough to climb off of the sides of the bowl and onto the dough hook or paddle and to remain there.  Depending upon the humidity or lack of it as well as time of year and temperature, it may require MORE flour than the beginning amount; therefore, continue adding it until it’s off the sides of the bowl and onto the rotating hook.  Many people get messed up when learning to make yeast breads because unlike quickbreads (breads made with baking powder and baking soda), it’s an imprecise situation.  So, continue scaling flour in along the sides—slowly—until the dough’s climbed onto the hook and remains there.

5.      When the dough’s on the hook and has pretty much stayed there for about 30-45 seconds without coming off, remove it from the bowl and onto a lightly-floured work surface.  Briefly knead the dough by pushing it out and then folding it over upon itself several times.  Form it into a smooth ball and roll it around.  Don’t over-knead it so that the dough tears as this is bad for the finished product.  The first knead is a quick one so using lightly floured hands, form it into a ball.  Note: the dough should feel like a living thing in your hands meaning that it will pull back from your touch and feel smooth like skin.  This is something that one will develop over the course of time, it’s difficult to describe it but it should feel ALIVE.

6.      Dust a metal or glass bowl double the size of the dough ball with all-purpose flour and then place the dough ball within it.  Cover with a warm, slightly damp towel and place it someplace warm like a high kitchen shelf or an unused oven.  Allow it to rise, doubling in bulk, anywhere from 15-45 minutes.  When it has, remove it from the bowl onto the lightly-floured work surface and knead it a second time, quickly but gently, and reform it into a ball once more.  Return it to the bowl, cover it, and return it to the same warm place for the second rise.  The second rise will take half the time of the first so be ready for it.

7.      Preheat your standard oven to 450°F or your convection oven—fan in the “off” position—to 400°F.  Spray two aluminum or stainless steel 9” x 5” pans with PAM or some such other food release spray (please! No olive oil!) and then lightly dust with flour.  Line with wax paper and spray that, too, with PAM.  NEVER use dull, non-reflective pans as they ABSORB heat rather than REFLECT it, causing the finished product to have a darkened crust—this is not only BAD, it’s UNPROFESSIONAL!

8.      When the dough’s risen again, bring it out of the bowl and onto the work surface.  It should REALLY feel like a living thing now and if it doesn’t, then that means the yeast wasn’t proofed enough or is DEAD.  It is always wise to place a portion of the yeast in a bowl of warm water to see if it begins to bubble which alerts you to its quality.  Bubbling yeast is ALIVE whereas non-bubbling yeast is NOT. Water should be TEPID—never hot—water should be between 78°f and 82°F for fresh cake whereas active dry yeast needs water of between 105°F and 115°F.  The SAF yeast is mixed in with the flour so it DOESN’T need to be in water of any temperature. 

9.      Dust the work surface with all-purpose flour and quickly knead it again by pulling it in upon itself and then rolling over into a ball.  Do this several times and then divide the ball in half.  Roll each one into a ball and cover with a towel and allow them to rise in the third proof.  This one goes really fast. 

a.      Meanwhile, if you wish to have your loaves as professional as possible, we have to duplicate the steam injection if we don’t have that capability.  Put a fire brick on your burner and get it as hot as possible.  Place a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil.  Have a metal pan ready—place it inside your oven on the oven floor.

10.  When they’ve doubled, roll each one out with a rolling pin.  Roll the balls out until they’re about half-an-inch thick and then fold the TOP down towards you, two-thirds of the way.  Then, fold ONE side in and then the other.  Finally, fold the BOTTOM up over the middle and push together to form loaves.  Place each one into your prepared pans—seamed sides DOWN—and gently push in.  Beat the egg with the milk and then force it through a fine-meshed sieve into a sanitized bowl—this will homogenize the eggwash so that it spreads on without any blobs of albumin in it.

11. Using a sanitized foodservice brush, brush the loaves with the eggwash several times.  Allow them to rise ONE more time.  While they’re doing this, place the brick—carefully—into the pan in the oven.  Be sure to use heavy gloves or a pair of tongs to move it.  When the loaves have almost doubled in size, pour the boiling water into the pan—TAKING CARE TO STAND BACK SO AS TO NOT BE SCALDED BY THE BURST OF UPWARD-RISING STEAM!—and close the oven door.  Allow the steam to swirl around in there for a couple of minutes.

12.  Place the loaves inside the steamy oven on the middle oven.  If using the convection oven (preferable), leave the fan off for 2-3 minutes and then flip it on in order to achieve the famed OVEN SPRING—the process by which the loaves are thrown upward quickly due to the hot air circulating around them.  After 3-4 minutes, remove the bricks and the water and set aside.  Bake the loaves at the hot temperature for 15 minutes and then drop the temperature by 50°F and continue baking for another 30-plus minutes. 

13.  Test the loaves for doneness by observing them: the crust should be firm yet somewhat pliable; golden-brown in color, and if you remove them from the oven and de-pan them, the bottom should sound HOLLOW when rapped with a knuckle.  Return the loaves to the pans and either finish baking them or place them in their pans upon a cooling rack and cool.  As they do, brush them with melted butter several times to give them a glistening sheen.  Continue doing this until the butter’s gone.  When totally cool, dust lightly with all-purpose flour to give them that “bakery” look.

14.  Slice to order at the table and be sure to accompany them with plenty of softened butter.  Always wrap leftovers tightly with plastic wrap when they’ve cooled and then with foil if storing them in the freezer.  Be sure to eat them as quickly as possible as breads such as this are best when they’re fresh.  Note: the finished breads will be beautiful, with golden-brown color, a light crispness that’s somewhat fragile due to the addition of the rice flour and with visible grains appearing in its crust.  This is marvelous bread, one that everyone loves!

Rice flour bread is beautiful, it’s tender, light, flaky, and tasty.  It is one of the best breads that one can ever make and serve for a classy dinner and will earn you a great deal of compliments.  This is one of the earliest breads I ever learned to make and is one you will enjoy for as long as you live.

Whoa, that was a recipe! Anyhow, here’s our Apricot Muffin formula:

APRICOT MUFFINS





Yield:  about 12 medium-sized muffins  / Mis-en-place: 50-60 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Cups
All-purpose flour

1
Tablespoon
Powdered milk

1
Tablespoon
Baking powder

.5
Teaspoon
Baking soda

.5
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

2
Each
Large AAA eggs

1/3
Cup
Granulated sugar

.25
Cup
Vegetable oil 

1.25
Cup
Chopped dried apricots

1
Cup
Kern’s apricot nectar

2
Teaspoons
Vanilla extract

2
Teaspoons
Orange zest

1
Tablespoon
Apricot brandy

Powdered sugar




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Prepare aluminum, reflective muffin pan by spraying it thoroughly with PAM or some such other food release spray and then lining it with paper baking cups.  Spray the cups with PAM, too, so that the paper will peel away from the sides of the muffin.  Preheat your standard oven to 400°F or your convection oven—fan in the “on” position—to 350°F. 

2.      Double-sift the first FIVE ingredients together and then stir in the chopped apricots; set aside.

3.      Using an electric mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs until light and foamy and then add the sugar and CREAM the mixture together.  Beat it until its light and yellowish.  Add the vegetable oil and continue mixing followed by the rest of the ingredients. 

4.      Fold the dry into the wet using the least amount of strokes necessary in order to combine the two mixtures together.  Overmixing will result in a chewier muffin which is not attractive so always take care to NOT do it; besides, the lumps will cook out. When the batter’s formed, place it in your refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up.

5.      When it’s sat the required time, bring the batter out and scoop it into the prepared muffin cups. Fill it up to the rims and then lightly shake the pan to settle the batter.  Place the pan on your preheated oven’s middle rack and bake for 10 minutes; then, lower the heat by 25°F and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes OR until the muffin’s are golden-brown and a cake tester or paring knife inserted into the middle muffins withdraws clean.

6.      Remove the muffins from the oven then and place the pan upon a cooling rack to cool.  After 2-3 minutes, gently rap the pan to loosen them and de-pan them so they can finish cooling or, if you’re ready to serve them, dust them with the powdered sugar and place upon a doily-lined platter.  Take to the dining room table and serve with plenty of softened sweet butter; enjoy!

Apricot muffins are a delight to make and a joy to eat.  Among the best muffin recipes that I have, dried fruits make exquisite muffins and quickbreads so never rule them out.  Sure, they might be a bit more costly but the rave review they’ll garner is almost too good to be true so go for it!

Both of these recipes will enliven your holiday table and make one think of love.  Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about—love—my friends?  You had better believe that my wife and I will be out on the town next week in Morro Bay, California, my favorite place to go after Bakersfield, CA! Yes, I’m chuckling, there’s no place worse than Bakersfield!

---------------------------------------------

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’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. 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! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

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.

Today, I am in my domain as a chef and a baker.  Baking is my particular specialty and I’m glad that I can jump into our Special Menu with a pair of wonderful breads that will have you nibbling at the leftover crumbs.  I love rice flour and also delight in apricots so both of these breads are designed to give you the maximum bang for your buck!  Learning to bake was one of the most arduous tasks I ever embarked upon as the old timers would always box my ears whenever I made a mistake or committed an error.  Life is never easy when one is the youngest person in the kitchen and believe me, by the time I graduated to fulltime work, I had already put in more than 1,000 hours.  I am glad that I weathered the ordeal and that I can now share my knowledge with all of you!  Anyhow, please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Byrds and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!   HAVE A GREAT SATURDAY! Thank you, Moses, for all your help today!

Thank you!

“JT”

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.

---30---

END Commentary for Saturday, February 11, 2012 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.

REFERENCES:

This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef James “JT” Tobiason



Recipe created by Chef James “JT” Tobiason on July 07, 1982 in Monterey, CA.

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STINKBUG AT THE COUNTDOWN TO THE END DAYS


                                                                                                                                     
                                                                               
This is #1357 a 20” x 16" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Alley Serenade." 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 VI
                                                                                  




PLEASE NOTE: WE HAVE BEEN STYMIED BY THE CALIFORNIA LAW TAXING THE INTERNET AND UNTIL WE CAN BEGIN POSTING LINKS TO AMAZON.COM AGAIN, YOU WILL HAVE TO GO THERE YOURSELF.  BE SURE TO WRITE GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN AND TELL HIM HE’S WRONG FOR WHAT HE’S DOING.  HE’S CRIPPLING BUSINESS BUT OF COURSE, HE KNOWS THAT! THANK YOU, THE ELEMENTAL NEWS OF THE DAY.















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Tags:

James “JT” Tobiason, Special Menus, Bread Seminar, Yeast Breads, Quickbreads, The Byrds, Quickbreads and Muffins, Apricots, Fine-Dining, Restaurant Specialties, Specialty Flours, Valentine’s Day,










                                                                                 
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