Monday, October 27, 2008

Not bad but not ciabatta...

I guess I was feeling overconfident, buoyed by my bagel success, but I knew from almost the beginning that my ciabatta dough was not wet enough to spread out into the classic slipper shape. In fact, based on the size of the dough after the first proof, it was pretty clear I was looking at the Ugg boot of bread as opposed to, say, the delicate Manolo Blahnik cocktail sandal I was striving for.

So, instead of ciabatta, I ended up with something I can only describe as the type of bread you get at a neighborhood red sauce Italian restaurant - not necessarily bad, in fact it is pretty tasty, but definitely not what I intended when I started my poolish on Saturday.

My misfortune wasn't limited to the dough, either. I attempted to follow Reinhart's directions for baking on a stone with a steam pan in the oven but apparently my oven gets hotter on the bottom than his does because the bottom crust of the first loaf charred before the top got done. I ended up throwing that loaf out and using my trusty cast iron dutch oven to bake the remaining loaves.

Well, live and learn. Lessons for next time? Wetter is better so however much water was in the dough - I need to double it. Also, put the stone higher up in the oven and put the steam pan in the bottom.

Now, the question is what am I going to do with three loaves of Italian-ish bread? I guess Auntie M and Grandma will take one but nobody in this house will eat the other two so I may be standing on the street corner begging passers by to take a loaf off my hands. I don't suppose it would be the strangest thing most people in this town have seen...

1 comment:

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