Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ciabatta, the making of

These pictures show my hands as if they belong to an Italian mama, stretching and pulling dough. Give me a while more and I'll develop the hips and upper arms that go with it as well (believe me, those are on their way, I've taken up the habit of just elegantly wiggling my fingers as a greeting instead of a full length arm wave). As an aside: I hereby solemnly declare that we -DH and I!- are going to the gym as soon as we're back from our vacation.*cough* Let's go back to bread, I used Peter Reinharts recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice for the dough, apart from tweaking the amount of flour a little, everything went smoothly. In fact I smoothed all over one step in proofing the dough. Ahem. How can I just skip an entire step in the proofing process and not notice? Too busy looking at the pictures that explained how to stretch and fold the dough I think.

Am I the only one who wonders if the pretty assistent is a real human being or a mannequin doll? She is so flawless! I wonder where they found her, in the bakery? On the street? Out of a model agency book that specializes in baker's apprentices?

Anyway, despite missing one proof, we had lovely ciabatta that weekend. Light and open crumb, crackly crust. My main point of telling you this besides showing a pic is that I used a linen cloth to proof the bread. (Act amazed, thank you). Kidding aside, my friend Monique and I were on the market in Utrecht some time ago and bought very heavy linen, meaning to use it as a makeshift couche, it went into the washing machine and in the basement ... going unused for months.

Mostly I use plain plastic bags to proof my dough and that works fine. I am always a bit weary to use cloth for fear that it would dry my dough and make this ugly tough skin on top thereby ruining the chance of ovenspring. I used cotton tea towels before and I wasn't satisfied with the results. I was indeed happy with this undertaking, floured thoroughly the cloth made the folds I wanted and my ciabatta's rolled off perfectly.

14 comments:

  1. I was very happy with this recipe when I tried it but I have not tried my linen cloth yet.
    Shoot, I all have to do is breath deep and I miss read or skip something.

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  2. Beautiful! We use heavy duty linen or sometimes old army tents making cloth for couche. Works great!
    You really did a great job on this!

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  3. I love Ciabatta bread! Yours looks delicious!

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  4. SueCooksWild20/7/07 4:06 PM

    I agree with you about that apprentice assistant. She looks like she's made of porcelain to me!! But your bread looks real and very lovely! Enjoy your vacation!!

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  5. Look at that beautiful bread. I am so jealous. I run away from all bread recipes.

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  6. I have so much to learn about baking bread!! Yours looks so tasty!

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  7. Your crumb!! Your crumb!! Your Crumb is the crumb of my dreams. I have never been able to chieve such an airy and open crum. I don't know if it's my electric oven that I hate but I want your ciabatta, Please?

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  8. Ciabatta has got to be one of my most favorite bread of all time - and wow does your look excellent!

    I hope you guys have a great vacation!
    xoxo

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  9. You got great crumb out of that.

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  10. I've found you site on Lien's blog. I was looking for some Dutch blogspots. :-) Than I have found yours.
    Wat jij hier doet, noem ik een kunst. Fantastisch!!
    Groetjes,
    Gabriella

    www.gabriellaskeuken.blogspot.com

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  11. That is one gorgeous ciabatta, Karen. You are the bread woman for sure. I'm in awe.

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  12. Yum Yum Yum!!! It looks like your only mixtake was that you only made one loaf! Or maybe that was on purpose to avoid more gym time.

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  13. Pardon my spelling...That should be miStake.

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  14. mmmmmmm...your bread's beautiful. I love that crust and all those gorgeous holes....

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