Friday, August 26, 2011

Harvest Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Harvest Pumpkin's delicious. It isn't orange, or overly pumpkin-y if you are worried about that, but it's fantastic. It tastes amazing toasted with butter, or even better apple butter! It's great with peanut butter, as part of a BLT, or as rolls and the spice in it makes it perfect for fall meals! Give it a try!

5 lbs Marathon Bread Base, 31017
5 lbs Patent Flour
2 lbs 8 oz Canned Pumpkin Puree
2 oz Pumpkin Pie Spice (recipe follows)
5 oz Fresh Yeast
3 lbs Water

Pumpkin Pie Spice:
6 oz Cinnamon
3 oz Ground Ginger
3 oz Ground Nutmeg
12 oz
Ground Allspice
12 oz Ground Cloves

Mixing Instructions: Mix in SLOW speed for 2-3 minutes, then in MEDIUM speed for 5-8 minutes or until dough is fully developed.

Dough Temperature: 76-78F

Dough Rest: 15 minutes

Scale: 1 lb 8 oz for a round "pumpkin" loaf

Shape: Round and place in an 8" greased cake pan.

Proof: Approximately 45 minutes

Score: Cut round loaves vertically 8 times to resemble the ribs of a pumpkin.

The color and taste of this bread is outstanding!! This combination is sure to be a big hit on your customer's holiday table. Offer it as rolls, round pumpkin shaped breads, baguettes, bread bowls for dips and soups or simple sliced for sandwiches.

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut....

In 2003 a qualified health claim was released stating nuts are good for the heart. Good news for in-laws everywhere. But also good news for those small gems that often get an undeserved bad reputation as high fat diet busters or worse…deadly! And while many foods are allergens, nuts take the brunt of the blame. But 2003 was years ago and we have done plenty of new discovering since then. So you ask, what is the new news on nuts? Well they are still high in fat and still potentially deadly but they are also still good for you and now also have a laundry list of healthy benefits to tout.

We were told in 2003 that 1.5 ounces of nuts added to our daily (low in saturated fat and cholesterol) diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. And then in 2008 the Journal of Nutrition told us that eating tree nuts five times a week can do that and also help with weight management, satiety as well as controlling diabetes. Eating nuts became an easy way to obtain an all natural source of a slew of vitamins as minerals. As a matter of fact as long as eaten in moderation and unsalted nuts are a great addition to your diet each type has its own strengths. So go ahead…get nutty.

Almonds - It was identified by The Institute of Food Research that almonds have potential pre-biotic properties that increase the levels of particular beneficial belly bacteria. Almonds are also your best source for fiber in the tree nut category.

Brazils - While not the most popular nut choice (although one of my personal favorites) one Brazil nut provides the daily recommended amount of selenium. Just one nut…amazing! What is selenium? (Just in case anyone else didn’t know either selenium has antioxidant properties which help prevent cellular damage from free radicals. A further note…you don’t actually need too much of this mineral as it can have negative effects on cholesterol levels. So pop a nut, not a supplement, and you are set for the day.

Cashews – This favorite is an excellent source of protein and fiber and is rich in mono-unsaturated fat. These nuts are also a good source of potassium, B Vitamins and folate.

Hazelnuts – Growing in popularity and for good reason, this delicious nut also known as the filbert are your best source for proanthocyanidins (PAC) as long as you eat them with the skins on.

(I know I don’t know either….but according to Nutrition Science News, PAC’s are flavonoids, and in so many words the super fruit of antioxidants. They are known to have antioxidant capabilities 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E.)

Macadamia’s – Raw, roasted, salted…I’ll take a macadamia nut anyway it is given to me. While these guys are the highest in fat (boo!!), they are also the highest in mono-unsaturated fat, the good heart healthy fats (yea??!!).

Pecans – These babies are naturally sodium free and can play a part in preventing coronary heart disease and gallstones. They may be so tasty because of all the nuts they come up second in the amount of fat per serving, 20 grams per ounce compared to macadamia’s 22 grams and pistachio’s with the lowest at 13 grams per ounce. Hooray pistachio’s!

Peanuts – The red-headed stepchild of the nut family, because it’s a legume. But it’s so similar to nuts in all its properties it is often guilty by association, plus the name doesn’t help much. Peanuts are the “nut” with the highest amount of protein per serving. It also boasts a low glycemic index which can help manage blood sugar levels.

Pistachios – Now here is something you probably didn’t know. Adding pistachios to your diet can delay the emptying of the stomach blunting the blood sugar spike (hellooo trivia night!). Another nut favorable to preventing type 2 diabetes. These nuts are also a good source of plant sterols which aid in immunity, and again…lowest in fat!

Walnuts – It has been shown that omega 3’s in walnuts can promote bone health, assist in weight and diabetes management as well as reduce breast tumor growth and enhance cognitive and motor function. Smart nut.

With health issues being more publicized and people becoming more involved in what they eat, (or read on ingredient labels) the growing trend towards gluten free and special dietary issues has led to an increase in the demand for nuts. Nuts and seeds are being used in different ways and we all are benefiting. For example sunflower seed butter is amazing with fantastic taste and texture and is as yummy as peanut butter. It’s slightly sweeter and unfortunately slightly more expensive, but worth it if peanuts aren’t welcome. Sunflower seeds possess many of the same benefits as tree nuts –good fat, high protein and fiber, and minerals. They have been also shown to fight against cardiovascular disease. Your take away from all of this? Next time someone says “you’re nuts”, thank them. It could definitely be a compliment.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Insert Coins Here...

Picture this; a beautiful baguette with perfect ears, golden brown, with a thin crisp crust that gives under your hand and an open crumb. Now take a deep breath. Do you smell it? There is little better than the smell of freshly baked bread, you can transcend time to a moment of happiness and youth. It smells somehow brown and warm and like comfort. As you hold the still hot baguette in your hand you can hear the crackling of a loaf just taken from the oven, and dinner is no longer mundane leftovers, it's suddenly new again. Are you picturing it?

Now picture yourself taking that same baguette out of a vending machine, where there are dozens of other baguettes waiting to be 'ordered' and dispensed. Baguettes waiting for money to be put in, the heat to kick on and freshen up the par-baked loaf, so that in seconds it's ready to be in your hands, and you on your way home. I bet that wasn’t part of your initial image! It certainly wasn’t part of mine until I read an article about a baker in France. IN FRANCE!!! The land of the baguette!!

Jean-Louis Hecht is the mind behind the madness and he thinks it makes a lot of sense. Jean-Louise was tired of people coming to his apartment to ask for bread after his two shops were closed for the day. And what he came up with was a way to fill a void, and get some sleep. There aren’t many late night grocery’s in France but there sure are a lot of late night people; shift workers, hungry wine enthusiasts and anyone else who forgot to grab their bread for dinner during the day. According to Jean-Louise, this might be the just what France needs. As of now, there are only two vending machines one next to each of

his own two bakeries and he has put a lot of work put into them, over two years now getting it just right. That work has paid off. In his debut month he sold 1600 baguettes and the following month 4500!! While these machines will never replace his bakeries they are certainly making some hungry customers very happy, a common goal of all bakers.

Forget the vending machine and let's make some fresh baguettes to make OUR customers happy. I know I don’t have to tell you if you are looking for a bread mix or base Abel & Schafer should be your first and last stop. There are great advantages to having a company based in Europe that’s is more than 100 years old, one of them is thorough knowledge of bread. And Europe knows bread. If we were going to make a baguette in our test kitchen our go to product is called Natural Country French, 31006. It’s a 10% base that enhances artisan breads, a dehydrated pre-ferment. From there, it’s pretty easy. Mix as usual, rest and shape the dough, and *retard overnight* then proof and bake. (You can bake the same day, but our best results include overnight retardation). The formula is below. We bake in a 450 degree oven, until it’s a deep golden brown.

If you want to read about Jean-Louis Hect, click here! or here

Lean Dough Baguette

80% Patent Flour

10% Clear Flour

10% Natural Country French 31006

0.7% Dried Yeast

66-68% Water

(I didn't forget's in the Natural Country French!)

Let me know how it goes!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Granola a Million Ways

Healthy eating...It’s trendy and getting trendier. White flour is slowly becoming the enemy and guilt is outweighing pleasure in eating bakery treats. It feels as if the croissant is no longer an acceptable choice, nor the cheese Danish a responsible breakfast meal (heartbreaking). Bakeries have to get creative to keep business moving and look for additions to the menu to keep customers coming in and finding viable options. One answer comes as more of an description than menu item; healthy.

One of the healthy alternatives that many bakeries have turned to is granola, an old friend of the past. But today’s granola is not like yesterdays. Granola is a melting pot of opportunities, a cabinet cleaner if you will. What happens to be on hand could make some very tasty meal replacements. It can range from cocoa nibs, to citrus rind to some dried fruit you forgot you had, it’s a choose your own adventure recipe that keeps customers happy and looking forward to variety. Another huge advantage is granola comes in all shapes and sizes. Chewy, sticky, or crunch it is a great topping for yogurt, a gem with some milk or a topping on a pastry or ice cream. Sales can even successfully transcend to a pretty take home bag with a pretty price tag. Granola is a great buffet item, an easy mail order and perfect for in-house use.

Every one's granola can be different but I suggest starting off with a base that makes the whole process faster and easier? No stove top work, no binding oils, no hand tossing to ensure even coating, just Abel & Schafer and Florenta. The steps are as easy as they come. Add the ingredients of your choice with the Florenta (02122) mix and bake. You can add dried fruit for a softer, slightly sticky granola or some water or left over egg whites for chewy granola or granola bars. The only hard part is deciding what to toss in the mix, and what to do with the time you are saving by starting with Florenta.

To show you how very easy it is to use Florenta, check out this YouTube video we made. In this video, we are making Florenta Brittle. That's a whole other post, which I promise to get to soon, but you will get the feel for the process.

See you Soon!

Sales Gal