Chilled Spanish Bread and Pizza

Food end life is usually judged when the point of expected quality began to degrade or cannot meet customer expectations. There are that can last indefinitely, wine for example. Older wines cost more than newly made. Commonly, they last six months to a year. The common convenience food items on shelves. Noodles, sardines, jams, juices, meat loaf, crackers and pasta. Some are good only for few hours to several days. The hot pandesal in the early morning might be stale already by dawn. Not only it is not hot but the crispy crust and soft chewy internal are becoming to be hard as baseball. It is still edible and safe to eat but the expected quality is gone.

Lost of crisp is due to crust absorbing moisture from air and bread itself. The toughening has explanation too but still vague. It is because the starch is transforming to its crystalline form. What the heck is that? Like carbon atoms in charcoal changing bond matrix to form diamond. It is said that kneading techniques and some additives can delay this effect. So the bread you bought that never go stale for several days could only mean two things. It was made by expert baker or laden with stranger additives.

On baker’s point of view keeping them inside refrigerator is a bad idea. It hasten the signs of staling. I mentioned it above, crust loosing its crisp and the whole bread toughening in general. There are variety of ways to keep it fresh longer. One of the best I know is buy only what you can eat. Leave the rest for others to buy. Let the bakery worry about the bread going stale. In the scenario of having leftovers, keep them inside refrigerator.

The important thing about this is not loosing the peak quality, but preventing mold growth. Tough bread is safe to eat but moldy is not. If coffee can be drink cold, why cannot we eat cold bread? We bought a family size pizza and unable to eat them all. We kept it in fridge overnight. It was frickin good cold pizza by morning. I kept a piece of Spanish Bread in fridge for several days. It was tough but the taste was still awesome.

tough spanish bread

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Pilipit

First impression last.

I used to like this bread very much. It’s flavour was one of a kind. The only thing I dislike was its hardness. It was too hard that I needed to concentrate before taking every bite.

I’m not sure if it was intentional or accidental. Maybe it had something to do with the bread inherent character. Pandesal lovers know this very well. Hot pandesal is soft. Then begins to toughen as it cools. The morning bread is made that way. Meant to be eaten while still hot. What happens afterwards does not matter. Continue reading “Pilipit”

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Cheese Bread Smells Moldy

Another cheese bread and yet another which smells like mold. However, there was no visible mold. Starting to grow I guess. Molds are use to make some cheese varieties. This sprinkled cheese perhaps is one of those. There is sure way of telling but I am not willing to wait and pay the price.

cheese bread with a bite

This reminds me of puto and mashed potato. The two often smell like spoiled. The sort of disagreeable acidic odor. I ignore and eat them anyway thinking the aroma is natural. I also ate the bread hoping it is still safe. I wouldn’t if the mold is visible.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Special Silvanas from Munoz Nueva Ecija

It felt like we’re in the middle of never ending rice field. I was seeing rice when I look right and left, and front and back. There were few patches of other vegetables though, but, basically, this place is such a giant rice field.

I was thinking what could I brought home with me. Rice was a good option, but who was excited on receiving a kilo or two. I was sure all my neighbors and relatives have plenty of stocks. Onions was another good option. A kilo only cost 20 pesos. I think I need a sack or two make a significantly cheaper buy. Wait! two sacks. I already have two big traveling bags. My friends also have their big bags. We might got short on vehicle space.

If I was not mistaken the shortest place to buy pasalubongs was two hours away. I was still lucky I guess. Someone with an entrepreneurial spirit sold us special carabao milk pastillas. I got two boxes for my kids.

Another thing I got were these Silvanas. We toured around on our fourth training day. Stopped via small specialty shop.  Almost all of my co-trainees bought two boxes each. I also bought two boxes without knowing first what it really was. I just bet on the fact that they bought. It must be something delectable. Something that my wife and two kids will like.

special silvanasOkay, time to evaluate. Again, this was after giving one box to my mom, leaving us only one box for the feast.

It is a bread, an oblong flattened bread with a color and texture similar to chicken nuggets. I am guessing it is a fused bread crumbs. The middle portion is a creamy milk. Now I get it why the pretty store staff told us to keep it frozen. To preserve the milk. The first bite reminds me of graham balls, but without the taste of chocolate, marsh mallows and dessicated coconuts.

special silvanas bread

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Old Bread and The Kawali Oven

It was already dark. I was about to go home but I rushed back to office  to get the forgotten piece of monay bread. I’ll be in office again the next morning. I could have it for breakfast. However. I do not want to take chances. It might get stale. How can I let it go to waste when many of our kababayan have no food to eat, begging on the streets and digging garbage to find partially rotten foods. So I walked back for the bread and went home after.

The next evening, I found the very same bread inside the microwave oven. Was my effort gone to waste? It was still soft, like newly baked. The baker was sure quite skilled and used quality  ingredients.

It’s now time to put the kawali oven into good use. This simple diy oven composed of: 1) kawali, the magic frying pan, 2) cover, choose the size which fit the kawali, and 3) wire rack, the stand for holding hot cauldron right after cooking. Perhaps it is the most available option.

To reheat. Place the frying pan over the gas stove set to lowest flame. Put the wire rack in pan, then the bread on wire rack. Finally, cover the pan and wait until the desired heat is achieved.

Now my bread is as good as it was!

monay reheating in kawali oven

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.