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.

How to Make Shing-a-ling / Shingaling ?

In response to my old post “Shing-a-ling Is Made of What?

The sun is signing bright today and I got a good feeling I can set dry the the pansit miki I bought the other day to dryness.

pack of pansit miki

Bill of Materials:

1/4 kilogram pansit miki : 25 pesos

1 bottle cooking oil :  nothing to write down yet

No seasoning for now. The important part is successfully getting the miki strands blown up to shing-a-ling like pieces.

I observed nothing special about this miki. It was made of flour and salt. If my memory was serving me right, I have a chicharon recipe made of rice, not flour.  I bet shing-a-ling sellers are making a lot out of it especially if they how to make miki themselves.

Procedure:

1) Separate the pansit miki to individual shreds. They are closely clumped together so I really need to take them apart.  It was harder than I thought. What made the work harder was the oil covering the shred surface. Can’t blame them for what they are doing. They have too keep the miki clump together but at the same time preventing them from completely sticking. The oil if excellent for this purpose.

pansit miki shreds on tray

2) Placed them neatly on tray and set dry under the heat of sun. No two shreds should be sticking next to each other while drying. I was clearly not following direction.

3) Wait…. miki, not dried yet…

4) So this small stranded miki was not the material for making shing-a-ling. It took me two days drying the strands. The sun became less cooperative the first day but shined fully on the second.

5) I fried the dried miki in oil. Every strand popped like a chicharon as soon as touching the hot oil. However, its sizes were only half as big as commercially available shing-a-ling. The flavor was salty and bitter. Typical flavor of miki that I never like ever since.

dried-and-fried-pansit-miki

Sister told that it should be washed before cooking. Okay! I got it. I am going to try the bigger next time. The bigger version for making lomi.

updated: December 4, 2014

I went to the same store where I bought the pansit miki. That time, I asked for the type for making pansit lomi. The bigger version, I meant.  The seller gave me the dried pansit miki. If it was an examination, then I surely gave him a zero grade for non following direction.  It was still different from what I used before so it was worth a try.

Bill of  Materials:
Dried Pansit miki: 25 pesos for 200 grams
Oil for frying: 1/4 cup from our small kitchen.

hapimi dried pansit miki

hapimi fried miki

This dried miki was not bitter. It was crunchy and could be eaten as is. If you are willing and a little adventurous. The resulting fried product was also good tasting. On the contrary, it never popped.

 

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.