Sunday, April 20, 2008



Hi friends,

It's been a wonderful weekend of gardening and baking. For the past 2 weeks, I've been baking bread again. Three times a week! Feels great to know I can do this AND be a mommy to Anton. My favorite loaf is called Ciabatta. It's crisp and dark on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside with lots of holes for texture. I use it for everything from toast to sandwiches. And it's easy! There is very little shaping or proofing involved. You barley handle the dough at all.

I've just about memorized the recipe by now so have gotten over the psychological barrier of thinking I can't juggle breadmaking steps with everything else. If you make a schedule and make it habit - it's really easy.

So! I've also planted new flowers in our window boxes and got a couple of tomato plants in the ground. I'll post pictures soon.

Feeling the high of spring and the productivity it brings. Happy to be here. Happy to be alive.

Ciabatta

Starter:
1/2 t yeast
2/3 C water
3T milk
1/4 t sugar
1 C flour


In a bowl, sprinkle yeast onto surface of lukewarm water. After 5 minutes, add milk, sugar and flour. Stir to dissolve. Cover with a damp dishtowel and leave overnight or 12 hours.

The next morning, make the dough.

Dough:
1/2 t yeast
1 C water
1/2 T olive oil
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t salt


In a bowl, sprinkle yeast onto surface of lukewarm water. After 5 minutes, add olive oil, salt and flour. Add this mixture to the starter you made last night. Cover with a damp dishtowel and leave for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle baking stone heavily (yes - it's terrific for bread and cookies and pizza and much better than a baking sheet) with cornmeal. Scrape out dough with a rubber spatula or bowl scraper onto the stone. It will be very wet and sticky. Try to make a rectangle. Scoop up the sides of the dough as if you're trying to fold it from underneath its surface. Do this on all sides. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Handle the dough carefully so you don't break the air bubbles.

Bake for 30 minutes at 425° and enjoy your beautiful and tasty ciabatta loaf!

1 comment:

Patti said...

I'm catching up, Anne. Yum! I love Ciabatta! I used to bake our bread when Kev & Chris were little, but I just did stone ground whole wheat w/ molasses. I know Kevin & Christine would love to do this for/with Silas. I'll pass this on.