Saturday, March 27, 2010

BBA - Ciabatta Redemption


Back when I had been baking bread for, oh, a month, we were entering the "C"s of the Bread Baker's Apprentice, and ciabatta was quite an undertaking for an absolute yeast novice like me. I read the instructions over and over and over and over, followed them diligently, and was rewarded with these monstrosities:

Yeah, I know. I was truly devastated. I doubted my ability to learn to bake yeast breads. Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs (one of my favorite bloggers) offered advice, but I was too scared to try this bread again. So to bounce back, I made bagels, which had been made before I joined the group. Where the ciabatta had been stressful, the bagels were fun. I've made many more recipes from the book with success, but I've never recovered from my ciabatta fail.

Last week, I made the focaccia again, and the stretching and resting that I found so enjoyable and therapeutic reminded me of the ciabatta. The ciabatta had stretching and resting. Why had it been such a different experience? I decided I would attempt the ciabatta again using Nancy's advice and see what happened. No matter how it went, I wouldn't let it stress me out.

And it didn't. I found it to be relaxing and fun. This time, I made it with 2% milk instead of water and I added the optional olive oil. I paid attention to how the dough was during the mixing and added a little more milk when it cleared the bottom of the bowl when it shouldn't have. I didn't get the sought after "holes" in the bread but it was delicious, crusty and smelled amazing. Nothing at all like my first attempt. It's inspired me to retry some other recipes that were disappointing. I'll let you know how that goes!

10 comments:

TeaLady said...

Way to go, Leslie. Nice job on the redo for the ciabatta. Mine wasn't great, but it was tasty. Sans holes.

I redid the french bread. The more you do , the better you do.

Tracey said...

Good for you Leslie! I tend to avoid revisiting recipes that have given me trouble but it's so worth making them again when you succeed the second time. The ciabatta looks fabulous! I've never made it but maybe one of these days when I get my bread baking mojo back :)

Diana's Cocina said...

This is one bread i can always eat. I would love to have a chunck to gobble down.

Di said...

Those look wonderful! You've definitely inspired me to go back and make this one again.

Julie said...

Looks beautiful! It's always something when we can go back to something we've failed at! Good for you!

pinkstripes said...

Yay! They look wonderful. Good for you! ;)

Mary said...

It looks lovely! I've never made ciabatta, but now I want to try. Glad it worked out for you:)

Yum Yucky said...

Mmmm! Cia-Cia-Cia-BATTA!! I could eat all the loaves pictures. And then I'd beg for more. ((burp))

Kayte said...

Looks great...love the shape you got, so much like those special ballet slippers that the bread is named after...looks really really good!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I'm soooo glad you went back to this bread, AND that it was fun, relaxing and successful! Nobody got holes, really, but just look at the lovely shape of your loaves. Three cheers!!