Saturday, September 3, 2016


Last month, the Artisan's Bread Bakers Facebook page had Ciabatta as the "Bread of the Month". We are all encouraged to try the recipe and post the results. Ciabatta is Italian for slipper, probably named because of the long, wide, flat shape of the bread. These are high hydration loaves, this recipe has a 78% hydration.

The poolish after 14 hours
This recipe calls for an overnight poolish. Poolish is a slow ferment that adds flavor and complexity to the loaf. The recipe called for a 50/50 by weight mix of flour and water and a pinch of yeast. 14 hours later the poolish had a vigorous lot of fine bubbles breaking the surface and a pleasant, slightly sour odor. The rest of the flour, water, salt and yeast was added to the poolish and mixed with the dough hook. The final result was a very slack dough transferred to the proofing bin.

Thirty minutes rest followed by a stretch and fold saw the dough starting to develop. Three more rests and stretch and folds gave the gluten a good chance to develop and some large bubbles could be seen at the top of the dough. 

After a final 30 minute rest the dough is tipped out onto the bench. This is where things get interesting! When I made this two weeks ago for the first time I just made two large loaves. Big mistake! The loaves were too long for the baking stone and dripped over onto the racks. So this time I made two smaller loaves (about 12inches) two other 8 inch loaves and five buns. Much easier to handle and bake.

The final result


It's Labor Day weekend - time for cook outs, right? Well not this Saturday. Tropical Storm Hermine visited us last night and dumped five inches of rain and most of Saturday has been spoiled with showers. Already had the hot dogs in the refrigerator so time to experiment with a recipe I have eyed for some time. Hot dogs wrapped with challah bread dough.

Made a batch of my stand by challah dough, separated into 10 strands and spiral wrapped each hot dog. Finished with an egg wash and sesame seeds on half and poppy seeds on the rest.

25 minutes in a 350oF oven and out they came. Some went for supper, the rest in the freezer for later.
Challah Dogs