Where once I was terrified of working with yeast, I am now getting sort of cocky. I’m sure I’m heading for a fall, but in the meantime I’m rocking this over confidence all the way to Carb Overload Bank. I am obsessed with making bread.
This week, I decided to replicate a sandwich my older son makes at his job at an Italian take-out place (which I will blog about later). Since I am so perpetually disappointed in the bread choices, and quality, in my little So Cal town, I wanted to attempt making the ciabatta I remembered from my Nor Cal days. I found a pretty good one on http://www.food.com. However, I was flying by the seat of my pants as there weren’t any pictures to document the process. Since I find bread so mercurial to work with, pictures are always welcome. “Dough will look sticky.” How sticky? Gum in your hair “sticky?” Elmer Glue ‘sticky.’ Help me.
What follows are a few pics of what you can expect from this recipe. The only tweaking I made was to add a little more sea salt, and it could have actually used a little more.
The bread was fab. My only issue, with bread baking in general, is determining the ‘back out schedule’ for starting the process. This recipe can take up to 24 hours to execute depending on how long you let it rise. However, the effort and timing is worth it. The bread kept nicely for a couple days, and has frozen beautifully.
Served with this little dipping sauce made of 3T olive oil, 1 T balsamic vinegar, s & p, and 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes and it’s even more delicious!
P.S. Ciabatta apparently translates to ‘Princess Slippers.’ Since I didn’t get that memo until after I shaped the bread, the only feet these loaves would have been slippers for are Cinderella’s ugly step sisters…