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Monday, June 29, 2009

BBA Challenge #7 - Ciabatta (with Rosemary & Parmesan)

In the 7 breads we have made so far, I have found that I enjoy working with soft dough. While I still enjoy the feel of the stiffer doughs in my hands, there is something about these softer doughs that I just find fun. And this ciabatta dough was no exception. The stretching, pulling and folding was just fun; even though I'm not convinced I did it quite right.

I used a bit of my regular sourdough starter and some poolish that I had left over from another bread project. As I set out to begin I pulled the starters out of the fridge, measured them, and was going to leave them out to come to room temperature while I just straightened up about the kitchen a bit. Well, the straightening up turned into hand washing everything that had been left in my dishwasher while we were gone for a week... unwashed.

Yes, "Ewwwww!" is right.

Needless to say that with the two hours that my starter set out while I had to scrub the kitchen and all my dishes that were in the dishwasher and run them all again, it was definitely room temperature.

Sort of at the last minute I decided to add some parmesan that I had left over from something else and some fresh rosemary from my herb garden. I had already done the first stretch and fold, so I just added them in for the 2nd round.

For a homemade couche, I used one of my flour sack dish towels that I had attempted to use for a similar purpose for sourdough a while back. The only problem was that the dough stuck and now I have all these dark little balls that are stuck to it no matter how many times I wash it. However, with Reinhart's suggestion to spray it with oil and then dust with flour, I had much better non sticking results this time.

It was very hot around here on Saturday when I was making this bread. I think the outside temperature was at least a few degrees above 100 F and I considered just setting my loaves outside to cook. But with our old air conditioners and the added heat of the oven, it was, in turn, warm inside my house and I was afraid that I had overproofed my loaves because they proofed so quickly.

I moved the first one over to my peel and it deflated quite a bit and I decided to re-stretch and fold and let it proof again since, clearly, it was not going to take long with as warm as it was. The 2nd loaf I moved also deflated, but I decided to just cook it and see what happened.

See? No big huge beautiful holes. And I had such high hopes with the unexpected oven spring that I got that puffed it back up after deflating.

These pictures are of the first loaf that I baked. I did not photograph the one that I re-folded and let proof again because it was no better & maybe a little worse.

However, it was all good because I loved the flavor - especially the saltiness that the parmesan added and the rosemary just added a gorgeous flavor to it.

My man didn't agree.

But hey... what does he know.


This ciabatta is a great bread to show off and take to a friend's house. I took a loaf with us to dinner with some friends on Saturday night and the rustic beauty of it impresses. It makes me look like I know what I'm doing.

Overall Impressions:

Ciabatta was really fairly easy. I'm just not sure where I went wrong to not achieve the big beautiful holes.

I'm not sure about you, but I made a huge mess in my kitchen with this one with all the flour dusting in between stretches and folds. I had flour from one end of the kitchen to the other by the time I was done.

Will I make this bread again? Yes. But apparently I won't be adding rosemary to it again if I want my man to enjoy it.


Rolfe Bautista said...

I am glad that I found your blog :D Its wonderful and I cant wait to see more. This all looks so delicious!

susies1955 said...

Hum, I think it is pretty holey! :) I think it is a nice job done.
Mine had a tight crumb and I know I didn't fold it right. It needed more water too.
I plan on trying it again one day

misterrios said...

Nice! I would say it is plenty hole-y!

maris said...

Yours looks a lot holey-er than mine! I made mine into croutons, innovative, right? Heh. Like Susie, mine turned out very dense. I didn't let mine rise enough and I think I degassed it too much after the first rise.

Yours looks great though and it's funny that your hubs isn't a rosemary fan - my family hates it too!

Rebeca said...

Looks great!