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Monday, March 19, 2012

“Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XXVI: ‘Awesome Sweet Potato Rolls—not only do you utilize the Leftovers in your Refrigerator, you create a Masterpiece in the Process’ by Chef Pedro R. Munoz”

As with the past twelve days, we’ve been presenting the Doors to you for your listening enjoyment and now that we’ve completed their official albums, we enter the realm of the long-lost live treasure trove of albums that was always said not to exist when suddenly, they started coming out!  Their THIRTIETH album—“Boot Yer Butt”—was released in 2003 and was another great retrospective box set by one of rock’s greatest bands ever!  You’ll definitely want to buy this one NOW!  [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 278 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!




Chef Pedro R. Munoz

END Commentary 03-20-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 3,046.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Tuesday, March 20, 2012 by Chef Pedro R. Munoz


 Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XXVI: ‘Awesome Sweet Potato Rolls—not only do you utilize the Leftovers in your Refrigerator, you create a Masterpiece in the Process’ by Chef Pedro R. Munoz

Bakersfield, CA, 03-20-2012 T: Good morning friends and fans of the Elemental News of the Day, it is so lovely to see all of you here today at the END ready for the next installment of the Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XXVI, to be precise.  This is one of our longer-running series and it’s always a good one whenever we do it because this is the most scientific of all foodservice capabilities, the science of baking bread.  Bread is always a tricky thing; it can be affected by all sorts of variables from the temperature outside to the humidity inside.  Factors such as the quality of the flour, its age, and how well it’s been taken care of all apply to the process of baking fresh bread.  It is these reasons that most restaurants and hotels just buy their products as they’re consistent, they don’t need a full-time baker, only a fry cook who can read English and follow directions (hey, they print ‘em in Spanish on the box, too, what the heck am I talking about?), and all of this keeps the food cost down and the profit margin up—all very important to running a successful foodservice establishment. 

Back in the old days, ever hotel and restaurant had their own bakery and their own butcher and everything they did was prepared from scratch.  There was no jumping onto the phone and calling the purveyor to drop-ship 10 cases of frozen loaf dough, they had to go into their departments and prepare the goods right from the bare ingredients.  It was a hard life, the men who did this (and I say men because there were NO women) had to be good at what they did, consistent in what they produced, and to do it on a tight time frame.  Life was hard but the food was excellent and people loved it because they knew what they would get when they came into your establishment and ordered a meal—they would get the same great food they got each and every time they came in before and knew they would get the next time they came back.  This, my friends, was gastronomic heaven to the regulars, it was almost better than, if not better than home. 

Unfortunately, nowadays, people never know for sure what they’re going to get but if they’re relatively intelligent, they know they’re going to get the exact same thing that everyone else in town is getting.  Talk about the “same thing,” alright, well, it’s true: if all of the purveyors are carrying the exact same merchandise, then it holds to form that what you get at the local Hooters is going to be the same as what you get at the local Applebee’s.  To me, that is foodservice hell because if I want to eat the same thing over and over and over, then man, oh, man, I’ll eat at home every single night of the week!  The trouble is that people are conditioned to expect the same desserts, the same breads, muffins, quickbreads, and even the same soups! It’s a never-ending cycle of similar foods, similar service, similar everything and it makes professionals like me sick to their stomachs.  Gosh, do I long for the old days!

The bread we’re going to make today is a beautiful roll that is made from leftover sweet potato pulp from sweets that would have been turned into mashed sweet potatoes (see the blog post of 11-09-2011 featuring Mashed Sweet Potatoes) but for whatever reason were leftover or for that matter, sweets that would have been sliced and covered in a glaze but didn’t make it that far, this is the place you’re going to put them to use them up.  It is always a good thing to make one’s food cost the best it can be and if you’re smart at using the stuff that accumulates in your walk-in refrigerator in this way, and then you’re on the right track to success! Here’s the recipe:


Yield:  about eighteen 2-ounce rolls  / Mis-en-place: 2 hours:

Tepid water (105°F-115°F)

Budweiser fresh cake yeast

Tepid milk

Mashed cooked sweet potatoes
Large AAA egg


Kosher salt

Vegetable oil

Brown sugar

Wheat bran

Whole wheat flour

Ground nutmeg

Ground ginger

Ground cinnamon

Ground mace

Ground cloves

Ground cardamom

2.25 to 2.5 +
Bread flour

Yellow cornmeal

The Finish:
Large AAA egg, beaten

Cold water

Bread flour

Melted butter


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! We will utilize what we call the “Brick Method” which is our way of mimicking the steam injected ovens that professional bakers employ.  It is the steam injection that causes the phenomena of “oven spring” in which steam causes proofing dough to practically double in size before it begins to bake.  This is done at the moment rolls or bread are inserted into a hot oven, preferably convection ovens, because when the switch is thrown, the dough “springs” up and by the time it’s done baking, the rolls are large, beautiful, and tender-crumbed.

a.      To do this, you will need a pair of fire bricks and a pot of boiling water.  When it’s time to prepare the oven, the bricks will be placed upon a burner—preferably gas—and lit up while the water is brought to a boil.  Then, the bricks are placed into a metal hotel pan or baking dish, placed on the floor of the oven, and the boiling water is poured over them which cause a mass of swirling steam.  Once the rolls or loaves are inserted within, the bricks are left in for 2-3 minutes and then withdrawn with whatever water might still remain in the pan—usually none.

b.      Also prepare your baking pan at this time by lining a sheet pan with a sheet of parchment or wax paper and then spraying it thoroughly with PAM or with some such other food release spray.  Then, sprinkle yellow cornmeal over it which will give the finished rolls or loaves an earthy, crusty, and tasty underside—this mimics baking the bread on the floor of the oven.

c.      Finally, under “the Finish,” combine the beaten egg with the water and force it through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl and place inside your refrigerator until called for—this is your eggwash.

2.      Using an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook or paddle, if you haven’t the hook, combine the tepid water with the yeast and dissolve it while mixing on low speed.  Cover the bowl with a towel and set someplace warm like a high kitchen shelf or close to the ovens but not too close.  Allow the yeast to activate, meaning allow it to become all bubbly—this is a sign that the yeast is alive and ready to work. 

3.      Add the milk and the warm mashed sweet potatoes and continue mixing on low speed.  Add the egg, honey, salt, and oil and continue mixing until well-blended.  Add the sugar, bran, the wheat flour, and the spices and continue mixing and then, gradually begin scaling in the bread flour along the sides of the mixing bowl, bit by bit, until dough begins to form.  This is the important step to any yeast bread:

4.      Depending on the time of year, the humidity, the warmth of the kitchen, and the quality of the flour, it may take more bread flour and it may take less to form the dough.  This is the only part of making bread that is never the same; it can vary each and every time you make the same bread.  This is what we’re trying to do:

a.      You want the dough to climb onto the dough hook and to remain there for 40-50 seconds or longer without pulling back onto the sides of the bowl and becoming all loose again.  At the same time, you don’t want to overload it with bread flour either so you have to do it slowly. 

b.      Gradually, the dough will pull onto the hook and will remain there as it rotates around the bowl of the mixer when it’s had enough flour so pay close attention to it as it mixes.  Feel the dough with a few fingers: it should feel like a living thing which is precisely what it is, the yeast is a living organism that will cause it to rise in the oven due to the release of methane gas.  That is the by-product of the organisms and it’s what makes our dough rise.  Does it feel smooth, elastic, and alive? Is it remaining on the hook and not pulling off? If it is, stop mixing and pull it out onto a lightly-floured work surface and allow it to rest for a moment or two.

5.      Begin kneading the dough by rolling it out with a rolling pin and then folding the top halfway over the middle and then rolling it out some more.  Then, pull the sides in over upon themselves meeting in the middle and then roll it up into a ball and roll it around.  If you need to add additional flour, do so, but not too much.  Keep kneading the dough for several minutes and then stop.  Note: if the dough should begin to tear or to pull apart—STOP! It’s over-kneaded!  Stop immediately and allow it to rest for a few minutes.

6.      Dust a metal mixing bowl lightly with bread flour that’s about twice the size of the dough and then place the dough within it.  Cover it with a slightly damp warm cloth and set someplace warm to proof.  An unused kitchen shelf or a spot near the oven is good but not too close as you don’t want it to start baking before its proofed or have a premature crust begin to form on one side—these are common, preventable errors that can be avoided from paying close attention to the dough’s surroundings, circumstances, and conditions!

7.      Roll doughs need to rise ONE time only and then a second after they’re formed and waiting for the oven unlike loaves which generally have 3-4 different rises before hitting the oven.  The dough should rise fairly fast—even faster in the summer—and should be up within 20-30 minutes.  When it’s doubled in bulk and straining to escape the bowl, remove it onto a lightly-floured work surface and punch it down. 

8.      Give it a quick knead and then roll it out with the help of a rolling pin until it’s about half-an-inch thick.  Cut the dough into long strips and then cut it into as many 2-ounce pieces of dough as you can.  You should be able to obtain about 18 rolls. 

a.      At this point, place the bricks onto the burner and heat them up.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and have a pan ready and some oven mitts or a pair of tongs with which to handle the bricks.  Proceed:

9.      Now, quickly form them into rounds by rolling each piece—with the help of slightly-moistened fingertips—into balls and put them all on one side of the table.  Continue forming balls and when all are done, place them onto your prepared pans about 2-inches apart from one another: like 3 x 6 or if you need to use two pans, space them however you need to.  Cover them with a slightly moistened cloth and return to the proofing area and allow them to rise the final time.

10.  When the bricks are HOT, transfer them to a metal hotel pan or some sort of other pan that can accommodate them without breaking due to the combined heat and boiling water that will be placed in it.  This is why restaurant pans such as hotel pans are perfect and can be purchased for home use from a local restaurant supply store or a kitchen place.  Place the pan on the bottom floor of the oven and then taking a great deal of precaution, pour the water over the bricks and into the pan—standing back to avoid the upward blast of escaping steam—and then shut the oven and allow the steam to swirl around it.

11.  When the rolls have doubled in size, bring them down and quickly brush them with the eggwash using a sanitized foodservice brush.  Then, place them inside the steam-treated oven onto the middle rack and close the door.  Allow them to sit for 3-4 minutes and if using a convection oven, flip the switch and let it rip. If it’s a standard oven, all you can do is to put them inside.  After 3-4 minutes more, remove the pan with the bricks and whatever water remains and set aside to cool.  Bake the rolls anywhere from 12-to-20 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch. Check the bottoms and feel them: are they hard and when rapped on; do the rolls sound somewhat hollow? If so, they’re done so pull them out and place the pan upon a cooling rack to cool.

12. As they cool, be sure to brush them several times with melted butter as this will not only impart a rich flavor to the finished product, it will also give them a very attractive shine that is impossible not to notice.  Allow them to sit a few moments longer and then lightly dust them with a bit of bread flour shaken through a fine-meshed sieve.  Then, they’re ready to serve.

13. Leftovers should always be wrapped in plastic wrap and then in foil and transferred to the freezer for use at a later time.  The refrigerator, believe it or not, is a very unkind place for breads as it dries them out.  Frozen rolls can be reheated in the microwave oven for good results so if you know you’re going to be using leftover bread, pull it out 30 minutes or so before the time it’s needed to defrost a bit and then heat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave. 

This is a small batch of rolls intended for home use but in professional foodservice, many times we find ourselves inundated with a bunch of sweet potatoes, yams, and even squash and turning them into bread serves several purposes: not only does it alleviate our leftover situation, it also helps us to create magnificent rolls that everyone will talk about for days, possibly even weeks, to come.  Always be adept at transforming something that might otherwise be tossed out into something that might become a signature piece for your foodservice establishment—you’ll be grateful you did!


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.

That will do it for Day Number Two, my friends, and I must say, it was an extraordinary day to say the least. I don’t believe that anyone else out there is making recipes such as this so I hope you’re able to put it to good use and to create a signature piece with which to stimulate your cash flow.  Don’t forget: it can be very profitable to sell baked goods as the mark-up can be quite extravagant while the actual food cost is very low.  If you read cookbooks, the cooking section of most major newspapers, and pay attention to the multitude of culinary blogs on the Internet, you, my friends, can become a culinary superstar in your own right and make it into the pages of Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, and who knows where else?  Remember: it is our goal to help you succeed in the world of foodservice because it is our mission to educate the masses in an unconventional way.  Join us by becoming a follower, a member, a friend, join us on Facebook! You won’t be sorry!      

 Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the DOORS and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

Pedro Munoz

Executive Chef Pedro Munoz
CEC, American Culinary Federation, Inc.

This is me at an awards dinner in San Diego for the Chefs de Cuisine in 1978. I began my culinary career in the 1950's and had the good fortune of working with many different chefs before meeting my good friend, Stinkbug, in the mid 1980's in Bakersfield. I am still working part-time in my semi-retired years in my home town in San Diego, CA.


The END Commentary for Tuesday, March 20, 2012 by Chef Pedro R. Munoz

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 written by the one-and-only Chef Pedro R. Munoz.

Recipe created by Chef Pedro R. Munoz on November 27, 1988 in San Diego, 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 #1395 a 20” x 16" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “West Kern Wildcat.’" 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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Pedro Munoz, Yeast Bread Seminar, Bread Seminar, Yeast Rolls, Sweet Breads, Classic Bakery Recipes, Gourmet Breads, Bakery Recipes, Breads, The Doors, Egg Doughs, Shaped Rolls, Sweet Potatoes,


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