Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brew and Bread

Okay, well, here it is- judge if you will: We now have a kegerator in our garage.

There I said it. I feel better now. Somehow I thought that this phase of my life was over, but apparently I was wrong.

Having beer on tap just footsteps from our living room is pretty sweet, though, I have to say. It's just so convenient!

So now we can hang out in our garage and drink beer with our neighbors while the kids play in the yard. Not that we would actually do that or anything...

Sawyer is clearly missing some essential mineral in his diet. Either that or his mom needs to pay more attention to him instead of gabbing with the neighbors while drinking a beer. Ahem.

But enough about that.

Let's talk ciabatta bread! I have been wanting to make ciabatta for awhile but I was intimidated by that whole sponge thing that you have to make the day before (could they at least come up with a more appetizing thing to call it??) and the use of parchment paper and the folding and creasing and making sure that you get the right crumb. Huh? Sounds confusing.

But then I came across a recipe for ciabatta that required no sponge! And I found parchment paper at Fred Meyer and guess what? It's just wax paper (kind of)! My recipe said I didn't need to worry about the special "ciabatta fold" and the reviewers raved about the bread's crumb! Whatever that means.

So I decided to give it a whirl and lo- behold...

See those air pockets? That means it has perfect crumb. Perfect crumb, I tell you!

I was going to link to the recipe, but I found it to be somewhat confusing and I had to recalculate all of the measurements since I don't have a kitchen scale. So here you go: My version of ciabatta bread...

In your Kitchen Aid mixer put:

4 1/2 cups bread flour, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. yeast, and 2 cups warm water.
Use the paddle attachment and beat together until ingredients are combined. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Switch to the bread hook and beat the heck out of it for about 10-12 minutes on speed 5-6. This will cause your mixer to bounce up and down on your counter. Just deal with it. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO THIS STEP WHILE YOU HAVE A SLEEPING BABY IN YOUR HOUSE. I'm just sayin'.

Put the dough (it will be wet and gloppy) into a well oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until dough triples in size (for me this took about 2 1/2 hours).

Carefully turn the dough out onto a well floured counter. You might have to scrape the bowl. Cut the dough into three pieces, spray lightly with oil and dust generously with flour. Let rest for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to a whopping 500 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Once your bread blobs have been sitting for 45 minutes or so, flour your hands and carefully stretch each one into a 10 inch oblong shape. Flip the loaf upside down and place on the parchment. Try to do this in one step so as not to overhandle the dough. At this point your loaves may look like pathetic little flour lumps. Fear not! They will puff right up in that hot oven.

Bake for about 15 minutes, turning the cookie sheet once during baking. Let the loaves cool for at least 10 minutes on a rack until you cut into them.

I have been baking bread for years and Brent claims this is my best bread ever. So hop to it!

And finally, this one is just for fun. Just because. Well, for obvious reasons.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm! I am excited to give that a try! Thanks for sharing. :)