Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ciabatta: Bread of the Week 11

This week I made ciabatta. This is a bread that has been around Italy for years, but just got the name ciabatta in the mid-twentieth century when a baker decided the loaves look like the slippers of a dancer. He named the loaf ciabatta and now everyone wants a piece.

This is the first bread where I've simulated a steam oven by spraying the sides of the oven with water every 30 seconds for the first two minutes the bread is in the oven. It makes for a nice chewy crust. It actually looks like real bread.

One of the traits of ciabatta is large holes in the bread. Mine failed in that department. The crumb was more like a dinner roll than a traditional ciabatta. Luckily it tasted great so I just dunked it in my 44-clove garlic soup and pretended not to mind.

I normally love making bread, but this weekend I really had to work to fit it in. I couldn't make it on Saturday because the baby shower led to hanging out with my good friend Sarah (and I wasn't about to give up martinis and shopping just to make bread). So today I pulled the poolish out of the refrigerator about nine to get started. I didn't finish up until a little after 2. I am hopefully the next bread won't suck up as much of my Sunday.


Becca said...

What beautiful bread you make...looks delicious!!

essjay said...

Ciabatta is next on my list to make! I might have to make some of that soup to go with Ciabatta (whenever I make it!). I can see how it is hard to find the time to fit bread baking in. When I did the Challah this weekend I had the same thought. The first rise took 1/2 the time which I was so thankful for because it was the only way the bread got done before we had to get out of the house in the afternoon!

mary-claire said...

the bread looks delicious. and i will definitely be trying that soup soon. actually, probably tonight.

Frieda said...

Ciabatta is definitely on my finicky list of breads to make. I've made it 3 times and it only worked once....pure dumb luck?

Sarah said...

Frieda - did you use a biga or a poolish when it worked? I used a poolish, and I wonder a biga would work better.