Monday, March 12, 2012

Free and Easy Bake Along #20 - Ciabatta of the long awaited items that i've finally made. I purposely picked a ciabatta to bake for our bake along otherwise i dont know how long will i still take to really make this happen. Yeah, i got a whole long list of items that i want to bake..gosh, the list is getting longer and faster than i can eat! I had my first ciabatta bite many months ago , taken away from an outlet here and i was surprised that the ciabatta was as hard as rock, i think if i were to fling that at my dog, she will probably fainted...okay, okay maybe i exaggerated but really , that was real hard and when i got back to the outlet the next time, i told them that the ciabatta which i bought was really dry and hard but she told me that their ciabatta was meant to be that way and that we need to toast it before we eat. Really, does it meant to be that way? i dont know, i wonder why would someone wants to make a tough and dry ciabatta in the first place.

my 1st attempt

my first attempt

I already fell in love with the ciabatta that i saw in Sotong Cooks blog last year and she also included a video on that, that's a very helpful video to watch if you intend to use this can have an idea of how the dough looks like. Her ciabatta is beautiful with great crumbs and big holes. I made these ciabattas 3 times using the same one recipe, i love the ones that i made the 3rd time the most. My first attempt was also quite a nice one, full of holes but not as big as in my third attempt. Look the pictures above, you can see the difference.  These ciabattas were airy and the crust was great. My 2nd attempt was a failure, i added a little more water,  just a few tbsps more compared to my first loaf, it was a flop, the dough was just way too wet, runny and the ciabatta was only half cooked. There were probably some other things that i didnt do it right. So my 3rd loaf, i sticked back to 450gm water. To talk a little about the recipe, the dough was quite wet and was asked to proof till triple its size. For both of my 1st and 3rd attempts, I didnt manage to triple its size even after 4 hours of proofing, it could be partly due to the not so hot day..yes, i'm blaming the weather..haha and to me, the challenging part of making this ciabatta is actually transferring the dough after its second proof to the baking tin.. I followed exactly as what was shown in the video that is scoop the dough up with the scrapper and flip it outside down on to your prepared baking tin. At this point, i would think i hv deflated the whole dough but once it got into the oven, you will see a little magic there, it will puff up nicely.  You can choose to do the 2nd proofing straight in the baking tin , that way, you need not flip the dough over but according to the writer of the recipe, the purpose of flipping it over is to let the air bubbles distribute more evenly.

my 3rd attempt

Recipe ( adapted from Sotong Cooks, credit to Jenmenke video )
makes 2 loaves
500gm bread flour
15gm salt
2 tsps instant yeast
450-490gms water ( i used 450gm)

1. Mix all ingredients with a paddle till they are combined, let the dough rest in the mixing bowl for 10 minutes.
2. After 10 minutes, change to medium high speed on your mixer ( i used speed 6 on my KA mixer) and beat for about 10 minutes. ( you wont see the shape of the dough at this point, it's actually a batter ). Change to the dough hook and continue beating on medium high speed till the batter leaves the sides and the bottom of the bowl. This will take probably another 7-10 minutes. ( i'm still on speed 6 on KA mixer).
3.Remove and pour the dough into a container that well sprayed with oil . ( i floured my container ) and let it proof till triple its size. ( I only managed to double its size, pls proof to triple its size if can, sotong did it )
4. Scrape the dough our from the bowl onto a well floured surface and divide the dough into 2 pieces using your scrapper , shape the dough and use your fingers to lightly pinch all over the dough and let it proof and cover for another 45 minutes.
5.After 45 minutes, using 2 scrappers, pick up the dough and flip them over to your prepared baking pan, shape them nicely a little and bake in a preheated oven at 260C for 15-20 minutes

JoyceZoe and myself will be baking a Fresh Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Chips taken from Cake Keeper Cakes page 21 for our next bake along on Mar 27, 2012. You can google for the recipe or any similar strawberry cake with white choc chips if you wish to join in. See ya!

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  1. Lena...that was a really nice one. I tried once but could not get the holes that I see here :) Well done! Try dip it with balsamic vinegar with olive oil...mama mia ! You are so right...those bought one are way too hard :)))

  2. Your Ciabatta is gorgeous! Mine has got no "big" airholes, only small ones! Am trying out one more today, in search of that "big holes" LOL! Yours have got no sourdough starter, all Ciabatta recipes I saw uses a starter! Great job, Lena! Thanks for picking this one, I've enjoyed "playing" with the flour, one more today, keeping my fingers crossed! :)

  3. Great mind thinks alike!! I too just baked Ciabatta 2 days ago but mine is just a simple no knead dough. Just mix and leave the dough overnight and next day just pour on the tray and bake. I love this rustic bread especially to eat it with soup.

  4. This Ciabatta looks gorgeous so does Joyce and Zoe. Would love to try it if time permits.

  5. Lena, your 1st and 3rd attempts didn't have much different in look. All look so good.

  6. 4 hours of proofing! My husband and son will faint if they have to wait 4 hr to eat my ciabatta! LOL!

    I've heard of bakers writing about ciabatta that are preferred to have big holes. Some prefer rustic crusts and texture. Honestly, I don't really like tough ciabatta because my "old grandma" teeth find them too hard to chew...still prefer the less tougher ones.

    This is an interesting bake as we all have different perceptions of our fav ciabatta :D

  7. I have used a similar recipe that required the batter to tripled in size too...lovely crumbs!

  8. Oh yes! 3rd's the one! Beautiful, practise makes perfect and after making it the 3rd time I'm sure you must have learnt along the way.
    Yeah, the weather is the naughty one, these few days since the solar storm has been like cloudy, with low clouds and high humidity and rain rain rain... yes, blame it on the rain, please do! LOL.

  9. Eileen@Hundred Eighty DegreesMarch 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Hi Lena, I've never eaten ciabatta before, looks to me that the bigger the holes, the better the ciabatta. Your third loaf has real big holes! Congrats!

  10. I love that rustic look. Nice!

  11. Oh love your crust Lena. I wish mine will be like yours. Can't wait for my outcome tonight.

  12. Hi Lena, this is the 3rd ciabatta that I've seen today(I 1st saw it in Joyce; then from Zoe's). What I gain is that after each visit, I get to know more abt ciabatta.

    The very impressive point that I've gained is that a successful ciabatta has to have lots of holes in it?And the bigger the better?

    Your recipe is quite different from Joyce & Zoe. I'm going to watch the video clip later. Thanks for sharing!

  13. This is my 2nd dose of ciabatta today ( the 1st one from Zoe ;D ) and it looks fab for your first attempt ! ;) I hope when I finally made my own bread it'll be as good as yours hahaha

  14. The ciabatta looks so yummy! I love the many holes on the bread texture!!

  15. Wow, great job Lena! Love the look of the bread. Hopefully, I can try the recipe with my wild yeast. Will let you know but before that I have to feed the yeast for 2 days (a different way). wish me luck! haha...
    Have a great week ahead.

  16. elin: aiyah, i forgot abt the olive dipping..heard so much abt it! i know i'll be making them again so must remember the dip!!

    joyce: yours look just as great even with small holes. You're making another one today? wow, hope you get the ' hole' that you are searching for! LOL! actually i did not purposely pick a recipe without a starter, so that i hv bookmarked that for a long time and seen the video, that's why i went ahead and did this.

    gert: thanks! i would love the see your method too!

    anncoo: oh yes, pls make one if you have time. Would like to see your version too!

    cheah: thanks! yes, worth all my effort, including the failed one.

    sheoh yan: thanks yan! actually if you look closely, the 1st loaf has smaller holes, despite that, it still tasted good.

    zoe : Exactly!! if someone wants to eat this ciabatta, i will hv to tell them they can only eat the next day!! LOL! me too, i prefer not so tough crumbs.

    jeannie: thanks, i wished that i cld triple the size of the dough but unfortunately after so many hours, it didnt rise up to triple but was glad with the outcome!

    wendy: yeah, i personally think my 3rd one looks the best. the weather ..aargh...still gloomy now, think it's going to rain later..if i gila2, will still continue to bake bread despite the glommy weather.

    eileen: thanks, oh not really the bigger holes the better, it's just up to one's own preference and i've chosen one recipe that i think might give me bigger holes.

    edith: thank you, i love it too!

    angeline: i can imagine how excited you are!hope to see your ciabatta soon!

    jessie: yeah, all of us have different versions of our baked ciabattas and it's interesting to learn different techniques and methods. As regards to the holes, it's not really the bigger holes, the better. It's just that the big holes in ciabatta are one of its characteristic i believe. Some would still prefer smaller holes, different crust,really up to individual.

    anne: thank you..i hope when you make ciabatta one day, it will turn out as what you wished!

    tze: thank! me too likes the holes in them.

    kristy: thank you so much!yeah, i must read abt your wild yeast and how you did that! you are always so adventurous!!Yes, good luck, good luck!!

  17. You are so good with all these angmoh breads. Very beautifully done.

  18. I never had ciabatta before *suaku* or maybe I had, just that I didn't know it was called ciabatta :p

    Can it be eaten with stuffing, i.e. tuna?

  19. I have been meaning to make ciabatta for ages maybe this will give me the needed push. Diane

  20. You are awesome in baking breads! This looks authentic and I am sure it tastes the same too!

  21. I'm always so impressed when people make their own bread - sounds like a process but you truimphed!! beautiful bread!
    Mary x

  22. Perfect! Really, these ciabatta look fantastic with these typical ciabatta holes. WOnderful!

  23. Wow, this looks so impressive! Would make a delightful sandwich for lunch!

  24. Wow! These Ciabattas are really impressive & I love the rustic look too. I'm really amazed of how good these ciabattas look! Well done!

  25. Good work,Lena!It seems amazing!xxx

  26. Amazing looking ciabatta Lena! Funny how you describe those hard "rock" version from the outlet, heehee! Ive eaten really good ones when I was in San Francisco but yet havent got the courage to try baking it. :P good job!

  27. you are the ultimate baker! You need to start your own shop! I mean the bread looks like perfection! Shear perfection! I love it and wishing i had some with our dinner tonight! Thanks for your comment on my blog today about my son- he is doing much better!

  28. Lena, your ciabatta looks great...I love the different size of holes in it. Beautiful pictures as always.
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead :)

  29. I like the texture of ciabatta - chewy yet not overly soft (like any soft white bread) or too hard like baguette.

  30. Ciabatta is one of my favorite artisan breads! It's so lovely with just olive oil and acto balsamico!

    I didn't know it's so tricky to bake like you have described, with water content being such an important "make or break" factor! Thanks for sharing your experiences!!!

    I will definitely try to bake one soon!

  31. Hi Lena, your ciabatta look delicious. I have yet to try ciabatta bread cos my to do list getting longer, too little time and so much to do.

    Have a nice day.

  32. Thumbs up Lena! Those ciabattas look impressive! Happy u finally made them and is successful. Wish I could blog more often and try out more new recipes but I've been so busy nowadays. Looking forward to see your strawberry cake next :)

  33. Kudos to you Lena! You did GREAT!!! I too have whole long list of goodies I want to bake also and now it looks like I've just added yet another.

    Thank you so much for adding your helpful hints and the video link. It may take me a while but if I could bake a Cibatta nearly as lovely as yours, I would be thrilled!!! Thanks for sharing...

  34. A perfect bake, Lena! Congrats. I love bread especially gourmet bread. I would always order turkey sandwich on ciabata whenever I go to San Fransisco Coffee Cafe. I love this!

  35. Hi Lena, I have never heard nor read about this bread, but sure looks good.
    I can imagine you everyday wondering what to try next.....and all very creative, innovative presentations too.
    Great photography.

    Love the holes in the bread.....and I bet it must be crunchy and crispy too.
    I'm thinking about putting butter inside and have it with iced coffee, ha ha.
    Have a nice day.
    ps, your tau fu dessert is presently on display my pondok, *wink*.

  36. Hi Lena,this bread is from Italy, here in the southern countries of Europe, is much appreciated. How is a bread that takes a lot of water, so a good amount of pitches in the core and makes it very attractive. You know what your name means "slipper" in the way he presents.
    Your ciabatta is fantastic, congratulations!
    Kisses dear.

  37. Well done! So many holes, love it ^_^

  38. This looks fantastic - like it came from some gourmet baker and cost a fortune! Thanks!

  39. What a gorgeous bread! It looks like it came from an expensive Italian bakery. Your photos are also wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  40. Lena, they look gorgeous and delicious! And you are so patient to try it 3 times! I didn't dare to bake a bread... :/ Hope I'll have the courage to do so soon! (:

  41. Wow first time getting to know ciabatta ;) I really feel like tasting some now...owh no! ;)

    Psst..You may find various types of soy made meat in Tesco cold shelf vegetarian section where they keep all those french fries. ;)

  42. I love having my ciabatta dip in olive oil then zaatar.
    Beautiful Ciabatta :D

  43. chris: hey, i'm very sure you can do this too!

    yvonne: i know coffee bean serves this, maybe you have eaten that before..sure you can eat this as sandwich!

    diane: oh, i'll be excited to see you making a ciabatta! hope you can make one someday!

    daphne: thanks, they do taste great, it's soft and the crusts are nice too.

    mary: it does take a little patience and time but all worth it..i'm sure you can make this too!

    angie: thank you, i love those big holes .

    adeline: thank you so much for your nice comments!

    kit: thanks, try making it some day..sure you can make do this too!

    lenia: thanks, dear!

    bee: you shld try making a ciabatta one day, this is no difficult task for you at all i believe!

    jessica: thanks! i'm so glad knowing that your son is doing well at home now. Always glad to have you coming by here.

    juliana: i remember your ciabatta too, they look beautiful too!

    tigerfish: yes, they are soft and the crusts are slightly chewy too.

    alan: yup, i never thought that just a little more water could end up in disaster, like i said, there were probably some other things that i did wrong. Hope to see you making a ciabatta some day!

    amelia: hi, i much to bake and not enough time. I want to make the tiramisu too!

    sotong: thanks for sharing the recipe and the link, that's really helpful! it's been quite some time since your last post, looking forward to your posting!

    louise: hi, i think i will be as thrilled just as you knowing you baking a ciabatta. Hope all is well with you!

    jen: thank you! turkey sandwich sounds great, i also made some simple fillings to eat with these ciabattas!

  44. lee: haha! you are right, everyday i will be sitting down and wondering what to cook next..i love the holes in the bread too!

    duxa: hi,thanks so much! yeah i know they mean slippers and i really admire the holes in the ciabatta!

    esther: thank you!i love those holes too! hehe..

    cafesucrefarine: thanks for such nice words!

    mary: thanks! that's very encouraging!

    jasline: although three times but they actually dont require much effort but need a little patience. Thank you! You shld try baking a bread some day..maybe once you started, you will get addicted!

    love2cook: thanks for your information, now i know !

    lisa H: thank you so much!

  45. I was so busy,I nearly missed this bake along but seeing I still have time, I made it today:D I think I used the same recipe as yours except from different website...the method are similar:) Yours have better holes distribution though.