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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

“Yeast Bread Seminar, Part XXXIV: Today’s Cutting Board features Jewish Pumpernickel Bread—Dark, Delicious, and Desirable” by Chef Pedro R. Munoz



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STINKBUG 2012





Chef Pedro R. Munoz

END Commentary 08-29-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 3,077.



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by Chef Pedro R. Munoz



YEAST BREAD SEMINAR, PT. XXXIV

Yeast Bread Seminar, Part XXXIV: Today’s Cutting Board features Jewish Pumpernickel Bread—Dark, Delicious, and Desirable” by Chef Pedro R. Munoz

Bakersfield, CA, 08-29-2012 W: Hello, my friends, today, we return to the Yeast Bread Seminar Part XXXIV, one of the best albeit not often seen categories here at the Elemental News of the Day.  As always, we do our best to instruct you, the readership, on the fine art of bread-baking, one of the greatest pleasures in the known world.  There is something special about the relationship between baker and bread, to take something that is in a state of inertia (yeast) and combine it with other ingredients and energy delivered to it from your hands, arms, and the oven’s heat and make it alive, living, and working for you is amazing.   It is like being Dr. Frankenstein and taking all sorts of bits and pieces of this and that and animating it by bringing millions of yeast spores to life through the proper temperatures, water, warmth, it is simply amazing.  Never in my life did I ever pay attention to what was going on in the back kitchen until one day; the baker came out and asked me “did I want to learn?”  I jumped at the opportunity, went to the back, learned the fine art of yeast bread baking, and have never looked back since then.   All I can say is that it is the most amazing thing ever witnessed by me, almost on a par with seeing my children born.  People laugh when I make that comparison but one never knows when he or she sets out to bake bread what exactly is going to happen.  Sure, generally, what we expect to happen does but still, it is unknown territory and we venture into it with a sense of dread at times.  

I remember a decade or two back, people bought bread machines like there was no tomorrow and baked fresh bread each day.  The problem is they never actually experienced doing it because the machine did it for them.  They crowed about how great a baker they were but in truth, they were simply following a fad—blindly—and then when the newness wore off, put the machine away and went back to buying bread at the supermarket.  I, however, have never lost the love for bread, never have, never will, and hope that my kids and grandkids will follow in my footsteps and keep the baking arts alive.

Today, we bake Jewish Pumpernickel bread, one of the fabulous breads from Eastern Europe where most bread are dark, swarthy, and flavorful.  By the time you are through today, you may consider yourself a baker extraordinaire and will reap praise from everyone you know.  So, without further discussion, let us get started:

(#189) JEWISH PUMPERNICKEL



Every baker must know how to bake Jewish pumpernickel bread and this one is among the best I have in my repertoire.  Pumpernickels are dark, robust and hearty breads flavored by a multitude of ingredients all blended together in harmonious dark bread. 

Yield:  two loaves / Mis-en-place: 1.25 to 2.25 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1-5/8
Cup
Tepid water (105°F-110°F)

1
Ounce
Budweiser-brand fresh cake yeast

1
Tablespoon
Malt flavoring

1.25
Cups
Warm buttermilk

1.5
Teaspoons
Granulated onion

1
Tablespoon
Kosher salt

1.5
Tablespoons 
Molasses

1.5
Tablespoons
Unsweetened baking chocolate

1.5
Tablespoons
Ground caraway seed

1
Cup
Boiled mashed potatoes

2.5
Cups
Whole-wheat flour

1.25
Cups
Medium rye flour

.5
Cup
Yellow cornmeal

1
Quart +
Bread flour

The Baking Pan Setup:
Additional yellow cornmeal

The Eggwash:
1
Large
AA egg

.125
Cup
Cold water

Poppy seeds

Vegetable oil

Kosher salt

The Finish:
Drawn butter



The Chef's Friend...
Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Prepare your sheet pan first by spraying it heavily with PAM or some such other food release spray, lining it with wax or parchment paper, and then spraying that, too.  Sprinkle it heavily with the “additional yellow cornmeal” as this intends to mimic bread baked on the floor of the oven.  Note: we use the Brick Method for this bread so see below*.

2.      In the bowl of your electric mixer outfitted with a dough hook attachment, combine the yeast and tepid water together by rotating the hook on low speed, until you dissolve the yeast.  Cover the bowl with a cloth, set somewhere that is somewhat warm like a high kitchen shelf, an unused oven, or by the stovetop but NOT by a direct heat source.  Leave it there for 5-10 minutes. 

3.      Check the yeast when time is up; if activated, it will be bubbly and if not, it will be inactive.  Always check the due date on any fresh cake yeast product you buy and always make sure that the water in which, it dissolves, is at the correct temperature; too hot, it dies and too low, it continues sleeping.  This is the first most important part of the process because if the yeast does not activate or is no good, it ruins the bread and wastes your time so pay careful attention to this process.

4.      When the yeast releases bubbles, hook the mixer bowl back up to the mixer and dough hook and begin rotating the hook on low speed as you add the malt, warm buttermilk, granulated onion, salt, molasses, chocolate, caraway seed, and potatoes, mixing well. 

5.      Next, add the wheat flour, rye flour, and yellow cornmeal, blending well.  By this point, you begin to have a somewhat thicker mass of dough rotating around the mixing bowl and this is good.  This is when you begin scaling in the bread flour along the sides of the bowl, slowly, as it rotates around in a circle.  This part of the formula is imprecise as the final amount of bread flour varies due to time of year, humidity, age of the flour(s), and warmth of the kitchen.  It is possible—sometimes—to add either less or a great deal more flour but what you want to see happen is a specific thing:

6.      As the dough incorporates the bread flour while the hook rotates slowly, it pulls itself up onto the hook and then back off onto the sides of the bowl into an ugly mass and then climbs back onto the hook.  Keep adding bread flour slowly along the sides while it continues mixing until it finally climbs onto the hook and remains there for at least 1-2 minutes. 

7.      When the doughs climbs onto the hook and remains there, it tells you that it is ready.  It also will be firm and a bit less sticky than it is when it is still wet.  It also feels warm, it feels active, and it feels alive, seasoned bakers discern these things from constantly making doughs as they all—more or less—follow the same patterns.  As soon as it is as specified, pull it out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured work surface and permit it to rest for several minutes.

8.      Now, the kneading process begins: roll it out with the aid of a rolling pin until it is half-an-inch thick and then, pull it back upon itself—in the middle—then pull the sides over until they meet in the center, roll it up into a ball and repeat the process.  Kneading the bread takes place over 2-3 minutes and it is important to the development of the yeast.  If one fails to do this step, it harms the dough by causing it not to rise as well as it should.  This is something you must never do on the mixer but by hand, as the baker must feel the living dough within his or her hands.  Continue rolling it out, folding it and forming it into a ball until it feels perfect but never over-knead dough as it damages it.  If the dough begins to tear or pull apart, STOP!

9.      Place the dough into a lightly floured bowl double its size, cover with a moistened cloth, and place somewhere warm as before for the FIRST rise.  The first one takes anywhere from 15-30-plus minutes and note that for loaves, there are FOUR rises. 

10. When the dough rises to the level of the bowl or above, pull it down from wherever you placed it and test it by inserting an index finger dipped in flour directly into its center up to the second knuckle.  If the depression does not immediately spring back, it is ready and if not, continue the rise.  When it is ready, scoop it onto a lightly floured work surface and reform it.  Return to the bowl and to the same place for the SECOND rise.

11. The second rise takes half the time of the first and when your dough doubles in size, test it again with the finger insertion.  If it proves readiness, punch it down, pull it out of the bowl, and roll it around; then, divide it in half and form each piece into a round.  Cover the rounds on tabletop with a cloth for the THIRD short rise.

12. The balls will rise a bit and become soft and now is when you roll them into loaf form.  Take the first one and on a lightly floured work surface, roll it out flat with the rolling pin.  Follow these steps: (A) fold the front end in towards the middle and then roll the dough out flat. 

13. Then, (B) Fold the sides in until they meet in the center and again roll the dough out flat.

14. Finally, (C) Roll the dough into loaf form by rolling the far end repeatedly until it meets at the close end before you and is in cylindrical form. 

15. (D) Roll it out between your hands until it is more cigar-shaped and then stop.   Repeat the process with the second round and then place both loaves onto the prepared pan.  Cover them with a dry cloth, place somewhere warm as before, and allow the final rise. 

16. At this point, heat the firebricks on the stove and bring a pot of water to a boil.  Heat your standard oven to 400°F or convection oven—fan “off”—to 350°F.  Combine the egg with the cold water to form your eggwash.  Beat it until frothy then force it through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl.  Have a foodservice brush ready as well as the seeds. 

17. When your loaves have doubled in size, remove the towel and brush them with the eggwash.  Sprinkle heavily with the poppy seeds and then with the aid of a bread slicer dipped in vegetable oil, slash each loaf several times with a diagonal slash.  Then, sprinkle kosher salt into each slash.  The purpose of the slashing and the salt is first to allow penetration by the oven’s heat and second to add additional flavor to the finished bread. 

18. Humidify the oven by following the BRICK METHOD at this point: 

THE BRICK METHOD

Professional bakeries use steam-injected ovens, which increase the “spring” of their yeast breads.  Never use this technique for quickbreads or muffins—ONLY for yeast breads. 

The term, “oven spring” is one used by bakers around the world and it means that when the risen raw dough—either loaves or rolls—is placed inside one’s preheated convection oven, it jumps the moment the fan is switched “on.” Bakeries use steam-injected convection ovens, which allow them to (1) increase the size of their yeast breads through the phenomenon of “oven spring” as well as (2) hardening the outer crusts through the injection of steam at a crucial moment at the start of the baking process. 

Normally, loaves traditionally bake in standard ovens but bakeries tend to bake both loaves and rolls in convection ovens because it increases their size once you turn the fan "on."   Bakers at home generally do not have convection ovens unless they have either a Jenn-Aire Range or restaurant equipment. However, most restaurant bakers have convection ovens but do NOT have steam-injection capacity so it is convenient for them to use the Brick Method, too, as I have done over the course of my entire career.  Therefore, if one wants to bake like a professional bakery in a bakery, they must use this method:

This is how it works: first, buy 3-4 firebricks at your local hardware store and if at home, buy a metal half hotel pan from the local restaurant supply store.  While making your bread dough, heat the bricks on the stovetop (gas is best) as well as a pot of hot water.  Then, when your yeast loaves are proofing and ALMOST ready to hit the preheated oven, approximately 5 minutes before they are due to enter it place the metal pan on the oven floor. Then, place 1-2 HOT bricks within it using heavy gloves, and then standing back so as to avoid the sudden upward-rising blast of hot steam, pour the water over the bricks. Then, slam the door shut and allow the oven to steam for at least 5 minutes.

When the proofed bread is ready to go in, place it atop the middle oven rack of the steam-injected oven and shut the door immediately.  Allow them to bathe within the steam for at least 5 minutes and if using a convection oven, throw the switch “on” after 1-2 minutes and watch the loaves or rolls JUMP UP.  After a total of five minutes, remove the pan, the bricks, and whatever—if any—water remains and continue baking until baked.

I discovered this method years ago when I first read about “oven spring” in a baker’s book from the 1950’s.  I talked to professional bread bakers outside of restaurants and they explained the process to me.  I began employing it, discovered fantastic test results, and have used it both on the job and at home for at least 25 years.  You can obtain similar results and have success with your baking by employing it, just remember to be extremely careful!

19. Once you humidify the oven, allow the steam to swirl about and then after 2-3 minutes, place the sheet pan with the loaves inside on the middle oven rack.  Quickly shut the door to maintain the steam for as long as possible, and bake for 5-10 minutes and then remove the pan with the bricks.  Shut the door and continue baking another 5-10 minutes noting that the first bake time must be a total of FIFTEEN MINUTES. (Note: if using a convection oven, flip the switch “on” after the first FIVE minutes).

20. Then, drop oven temperature to 350°F (standard) or 300°F (convection) and continue baking another 40-45 minutes or until the loaves sound “hollow” when wrapped on the bottom by a knuckle while the other gloved hand holds them.  At that point, pull them out and place the pan atop a cooling rack.  Using the brush, drizzle the loaves with drawn butter while they cool, this gives them an attractive sheen in the process. 

21. After 5-10 minutes, slice the loaves with a serrated-edged bread knife (slicer) and serve.  Place them in a cloth napkin-lined tray and take out to your guests.  Always wrap leftover breads or individual slices in plastic wrap, then in foil, and label, date, and FREEZE.  It is okay to keep them out at room temperature for one day; after that, they must freeze rather than be refrigerated as the latter dries them quickly out. 

This is pumpernickel bread at its best.

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

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 is a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will become dedicated followers of the END.  Currently of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that we hear the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession —join us. We urge our readership to write to us, 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 do not pay anything but give YOU full byline and that, my friends, is 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 will be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so Stinky says.

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

            Friends, today is the day prior to HUMP DAY and like all the rest, I feel compelled to protect myself from being forced to do a second week by speaking up and getting it off of my chest.  Tomorrow is HUMP DAY, we will meet and surpass it, moving on to bigger and better things, and I definitely want you to accompany me on our shared Suarez to the bread country.  The bread country is that mythical place on the other side of the universe where bread reigns supreme and everyday is devoted to dancing around the electric mixer!  Ah, yes, you know I am “laughing out loud,” about this crazy talk but such is life, my friends, such is life!                                

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 SANTANA and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  Allied with them, we 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 a photo of 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 hometown in San Diego, CA.

Member of the CA063 San Diego Chefs de Cuisine Chapter

Chef Pedro writes from San Diego, CA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Wednesday, August 29, 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.

REFERENCES:

The one-and-only Chef Pedro R. Munoz wrote this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef Pedro R. Munoz on October 24, 1985 in Bakersfield, CA.

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The Chef’s Culinary Nightmare: the end is indeed coming soon so beware of BOTH November 06 AND December 21, 2012!






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