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Ciabatta

August 22, 2012

Sunday afternoon of this past weekend was spent mostly in a processing mode indoors (despite the exceptionally mild 86 degree August day).

More soup, more frozen beans, more canned beans, chopped and frozen “soup” carrots (a little to large for fresh eating) and almost split and frozen jalapenos. (OK, not really “almost”, not even started. They remain in the fridge 3 nights later).

As long as I was trashing the kitchen, I tried a new ciabatta topping variation to go with the evening’s fresh tomato soup. (Simple: Butter, garlic, mayo, basil and fresh Parmesan.) I had to use a spare ciabatta loaf from the freezer (oops, someone forgot to bring out the bigo in time to finish making fresh loaves for dinner).

Below, the beans and carrots to be cut and blanched before freezing, the peppers that were to be halved and seeded for popper boats, and the ciabatta.

The gooey spread has topped the slices (note this was written as a grill recipe but I decided to roast/ convection /@ 400 for about 6 or 7 minutes instead.)

And the results were droolingly delicious:

So this morning mrs cohutt asked about “that dish I left in the refrigerator”.

Huh? Oh yes, the bigo I parked and forgot about.

Oh that? Yes, please take it out at lunch and let it perk up a bit for finishing the ciabatta tonight. Yes, that’s it, my plan all along. 😉

This was the second attempt (using this recipe) and I will have to say it turned out much better than the quite satisfactory initial attempt.

The air is thick with the aroma of fresh bread in the cohutt household:

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Genene permalink
    August 22, 2012 10:38 pm

    That looks AMAZING!! Making me hungry….

  2. August 22, 2012 11:32 pm

    Wow that Ciabatta looks amazing! You gotta use up all that basil somehow!
    I like to make a bean dip for spreading on ciabatta. When my wife and I were in Australia we noticed that loads of restaurants serve, as an appetizer, toasted bread (ciabatta-esque) and a trio of dips/spreads. Each restaurant varied their dips. It was always delicious and to this day I’m quite happy having some toasty artisinal bread slices and something tasty to spread upon them for dinner any night of the week.

  3. August 23, 2012 3:54 am

    Looks fab! Very impressive.

  4. August 23, 2012 5:12 am

    Thanks all.
    I couldn’t fall asleep last night as the aroma lingered all over the house, especially our bedroom. Eventually I gave up & snuck into the kitchen for a snack. Yum

  5. Barbara permalink
    August 27, 2012 5:24 pm

    Will you post your ciabatta recipe? None of my ciabatta recipes create the large holes I like in my ciabatta.

    • August 27, 2012 5:52 pm

      I guess my link was too subtle. It is from Leite’s Culinaria here http://leitesculinaria.com/79221/recipes-ciabatta.html; it was originally in “The Italian Baker” by the same author Carol Fields. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1607741067/leitesculinari

    • August 27, 2012 6:09 pm

      Oh yes, I forgot, I miscounted and added one more tablespoon of olive oil (and one less of water) vs the recipe above.

      Also, I figured out a couple things between batches that helped a lot.

      Less yeast, especially in the bigo, plus a dough that was drier than I thought it would be given the descriptions in the recipe made a huge difference.
      Also, I finally remembered to get some parchment and let the loaves rise on on it; this allowed for an easy and “non-deflationary” roll onto the hot baking tiles. With the firmer dough and a less awkward transfer to the oven the loaves kept their flat oval shape pretty well. (They probably doubled or close in height when they baked).

      I use the bulk SAF instant yeast and don’t proof it at all, per their confident instructions I just mix it in with the dry ingredients then add the liquid to the whole batch.

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