For my second bake of our weekly bread this week I wanted to do something fancy. And artisanal. Frankly, I wanted to bake baguettes. They are probably my favorite bread. So crusty on the outside and yeasty delicious and soft on the inside. Yum. Plus, you know that line from Superbad is true, right?
Alas, we were planning on making veggie burgers, so we needed something a little less crusty and a little softer to cut into buns. So I flipped to the next page of the book and wham, bam, thank you Paul Hollywood, there was a recipe for ciabatta. So I made it.
I guess the main difference between ciabatta and other breads is the olive oil. The mixture is basically bread flour, olive oil, water, yeast, and salt. Pretty damn simple. Mr. Hollywood suggested using the stand mixer instead of kneading by hand because the dough would be very wet, and that is gratifying. There’s little in the world I enjoy more than the thump, thump, thump of dough slapping against the side of the mixer bowl while the dough hook kneads it.
After about 8 satisfying minutes of the mixer, the dough has to rise about 2 hours until it’s doubled or tripled in size. It’s recommended to do this in a square plastic bin, so we picked one up at the grocery store. I covered it with my favorite tea towel to rise, and holy shit it went from a drop in the bucket to overflowing! So I cut them into loaves and coated them with semolina and put them in the oven, and I ended up with this:
Four reasonably sized loaves, some more perfect than others, of delicate ciabatta perfect for sammiches and just generally enjoying. This will be a bread to really perfect, as the dough really is very delicate, but it wasn’t difficult in the least to get a good result.
And if you’re wondering, the burgers were delicious.