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Friday, August 31, 2012

“Yeast Bread Seminar, Part XXXVII: Saturday’s Bread Schedule features a Beaut from Sicily—Mediterranean Bread” by Chef Pedro R. Munoz



We continue offering albums today by SANTANA, both as a group bearing his name and as a solo artist.  Santana’s fourth album, “Caravanserai,” came out on October 11, 1972 and saw the band take a drastic turn as far as material.   No longer, was the music “hit-oriented” but now, it became more musical and instrumental with or without vocals. This is a “different” album, but still worth buying!  Please go to Amazon.com right now and BUY this stellar album by using the convenient link above!



COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR


Here is the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 114 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 Pedro R. Munoz

END Commentary 09-01-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,814.



AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, September 01, 2012 by Chef Pedro R. Munoz



YEAST BREAD SEMINAR, PT. XXXVII

Yeast Bread Seminar, Part XXXVII: Saturday’s Bread Schedule features a Beaut from Sicily—Mediterranean Bread” by Chef Pedro R. Munoz

Bakersfield, CA, 09-01-2012 S: The great thing about weekends is that end quickly and then it is over and done for the next five months.  Today, I must inform you that this is our 650th blog post, an amazing feat that quite possibly is more than what we posted at the original blog site, Choseit.com.  They shut us down after 1.5 years of operation due to interference by the Federal Government of the United States determined to flex its newfound muscles by closing us down as a test case in their ever-increasing domination of the Internet.  Had it not been for Google and an amount of money paid by Stinkbug to the present administration, Google never would have reinstated us.  They took us in when the government okayed it and we remain loyal both to Google and to the Obama Administration for allowing us to operate.  It is terrible to be in hock to any government let alone that of the United States but we swore fealty to them and to their party, which allows us the right to appear on the Internet.  All I can say is that soon, every blog and website appearing in the United States, its territories, and possessions will have to do exactly what we did: kiss the rear end of a donkey! It is a sad fact of doing business in a repressive society such as the modern United States of America but if it is what must be, then it must be, mis amigos!

            Today, we arrive at Saturday’s bread, a true beauty for those enthralled by tomatoes and—unbelievably—tomatoes make marvelous bread, soft, tender, fluffy, aromatic, ones that you remember and love forever.  Simple to make, these stunning rounds will drive everyone mad with envy and lust because no one else—guaranteed!—makes breads as good as this one.   I mean, surely you remember grandmother’s or your first wife’s tomato cake, an anomaly among cakes yet sweet of taste and tender of crumb and this bread is much the same.  Anyhow, the recipe produces two rounds, one to eat and one to give away to neighbors, friends, or family.  Here we go:

(#191) MEDITERRANEAN BREAD



Mediterranean bread is reminiscent of sunny isles in a shimmering sea off the coast of Sicily and environs.  Flavorful, delicious, and delightfully tomato, this bread amazes and pleases everyone so try it and enjoy!

Yield:  2 large rounds / Mis-en-place: 1.5-2 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Quart
Tepid tomato juice (105°F-110°F)

2.25
Ounces
Fleischman’s fresh cake yeast

.25
Cup
Vegetable oil

1.5
Teaspoons
Ground coriander

1
Tablespoon
Minced dried sweet basil

1
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

1
Teaspoon
Minced cilantro

1.5
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

11.5
Cups
Bread flour

Yellow Cornmeal

2
Large
AA eggs

.125
Cup
Cold water

Poppy seeds

Drawn butter




Method:
The Baker's Friend...
1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Prepare one or two sheet pans by spraying them with PAM, then lining them with wax paper, spraying the paper with PAM, and then dusting with yellow cornmeal, which mimics the floor of a bread oven as well as provides flavor to the finished loaf; set aside.

2.      Using an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook, dissolve the yeast in half-a-cup of the warm tomato juice by rotating the hook slowly.  When dissolved, cover the bowl with a dry cloth, set somewhere warm such as an unused oven or high kitchen shelf free from drafts, and activate the yeast.  This takes anywhere from 5-8 minutes to as many as 20-25 depending upon time of year, warmth of the kitchen (or lack of it), and quality of the yeast.  It is important to do this as if the yeast is NOT alive, there is no point wasting an hour or more making bread that fails to rise.

3.      Generally, after 10-15 minutes, the liquid has bubbles atop it, due to the activity of the fresh cake yeast—a living organism or I should say, millions of living organisms.  The heat of the liquid activates them bringing them to life and when so, they release bubbles, which rise to the surface.  That is a good sign so when you witness that, bring the bowl back to the mixer and reattach it and the hook. 

4.      On low speed, add the rest of the tomato juice, vegetable oil, ground coriander, sweet basil, thyme, chopped cilantro, and kosher salt; then, begin scaling in the bread flour along the sides of the bowl, slowly, slowly, all the while as the dough hook rotates around the bowl on slow speed.  The dough forms, pulls itself onto the hook and then tears itself off it and back onto the sides of the bowl.  This process goes on numerous times until finally, the dough begins to climb onto the hook and remains there as the hook rotates around on low speed and does so for at least 1-2 minutes. 

5.      Making bread dough is not the same as making that of quickbreads such as loaves and muffins using baking powder or soda.  Those items use the same ingredients each time whereas the yeast doughs are variable, sometimes using more flour and sometimes less due to time of year, kitchen warmth, flour quality, humidity, and time of day.  One must continue adding flour until the dough clambers off the walls and onto the hook and remains there for at least 1.5 minutes—this is a good sign. 

6.      When the dough is on the hook and has been for the specified amount of time, stop mixing it and feel it—if it feels springy yet firm but not overly sticky, that is good.  If it feels “alive,” that is even better so pull it out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured work surface.  It feels alive due to the activity of the activated yeast organisms, it is due to their byproducts—gases given off by them—that yeast breads rise and remain aloft.  Now the kneading process commences:

7.      With a rolling pin, roll the dough out away from you on all sides until it about half-an-inch thick and then fold the far half, back over the middle.  Roll it out again and then when it again is half-an-inch thick, fold the sides over until they overlap in the center and roll it out flat again.  Next, form into a ball then roll the ball out and repeat the process 2-3 times more.  By this time, the dough should feel developed meaning that it feels springy, alive, and ready to proof:

8.      Place the rounded dough into a lightly floured bowl approximately twice its size and cover with a slightly dampened cloth.  Place the dough somewhere moderately warm, never cold, to rise the first time.  The empty unused oven or the high kitchen shelf is ideal and if it worked with the yeast, it works with the dough.  The first rise takes anywhere from 15-30 minutes so be patient and await it to rise above the level of the bowl; when it does, bring it down, insert a floured index finger into the center up to the third knuckle, and if the depression does not immediately spring back, the dough is ready. 

9.      Scoop it out onto the lightly floured work surface and roll it into a ball again.  Punch it out and roll it back up then return to the bowl, recover, and replace in the same spot for the second rise.  This one takes half the time as the first.  We use the BRICK METHOD for this loaf so here it is:

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!

10. Have the items necessary for the BRICK METHOD ready for use but not in the oven yet.  Preheat standard oven to 425°F or convection oven to 375°F—fan “off”—and have ready.

11. When the dough is up again, pull it down, punch it down, and scoop it out onto the lightly floured work surface.  Divide it in HALF and roll each half into a firm ball, pinching the undersides shut.  Place both halves onto the prepared tray(s) and cover with a slightly moistened cloth.  Place in the proofing spot and allow them to double in size. 

12. Meanwhile, combine the eggs and cold water to form eggwash and then force it through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl.  Insert a softened pastry brush and have ready.  When the loaves double in size, lightly brush them with the wash several times so they have a thick coating of eggwash.  Dust them heavily with poppy seeds and at this point, humidify the oven according to the method outlined under the BRICK METHOD. 

13. Permit the steam to swirl about the oven.  After 3-4 minutes, prepare the loaves for insertion by dipping a sharp serrated-edged knife in olive oil or drawn butter and slashing an “X” into the top of each loaf.  Sprinkle some salt into the open gashes, then insert into preheated steamy oven and shut the door quickly.  If using a convection oven, flip the switch into the “on” position after 5 minutes.

14. Bake for 10 minutes at the original temperature; then lower it to 375°F standard (325°F convection) and remove the pan with the bricks.  Bake at the lesser temperature for another 10 minutes then drop the temperature to 325°F standard (275°F convection) and bake a final 20-25 minutes.  Be sure to check the loaves for doneness approximately 5-8 minutes prior to the ending time by picking them up in a gloved hand, rapping on their bottoms, and listening for the telltale hollow sound: if you hear that: they are done and if not: keep baking.

15. When the loaves finally bake, pull them out, place them atop a cooling rack, and douse with drawn butter several times to give them each a sheen.  Continue basting with drawn butter until they practically glow.  Continue the cooling process until sliceable with a serrated-edged bread knife.  Serve in cloth napkin-lined trays with additional butter, hummus, or anything else you so desire. 

16. Wrap leftover slices in plastic wrap then freeze in Zip-Loc freezer bags.  Never refrigerate or leave fresh bread out as they dry out.  Keep frozen for no more than 5-7 days and always try to eat prior to the end date.

This is spectacular bread from Italy and other places in the Mediterranean and much loved there.  If you like herbal-tomato breads, you will love this one!
Baker at work

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

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.

            Okay, amigos, mañana is the final day and then vamanos for me!  My family and I take our vacation for the first three weeks of September every year; we fly down to Ensenada in Mexico where we stay with my Tío Rodrigo.  Much of my family lives in Mexico whereas my father came to the country in the 1950s—and became a citizen!—and moved to Bakersfield, California, where our family still resides to this day. Mexico is a beautiful place even though now, drug gangsters, narcoterrorists, and other criminals terrorizing the people, which is a terrible thing, but if you know where you are going and with whom you stay, then you can have a lot of fun. I love going there, it is to me, one of the most beautiful of all the countries to which, I have been and that is a lot: I been to El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Argentina, and once to Brazil.  I am an avid fisherman (pescador) who loves to catch the deep-sea fish inhabiting the waters off the Pacific coastlines and the Caribbean.  Perhaps one day, you join me for a little R-n-R, no.              

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 Saturday, September 01, 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 June 13, 1983 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!






President Barack Obama

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