Monday, July 23, 2012

Ciabatta Bread!

Alex got me a Pannini cook book for my birthday last year that has some SWEET recipes for BREAD.  Not  recipes for sweet bread, but SWEET recipes for BREAD!  I don't generally have much luck with bread.  I can make it, it is good enough to eat, but it isn't beautiful and fluffy and light.  People have always told me my yeast must be old, I'm kneading it too much or its because I'm at altitude.  Well, I have used fresh yeast and I try not to have a relationship with my bread in the making stages and I still end up with dense bread.  I'm not complaining, I am totally down with dense would just be cool to be able to produce Wonder Bread like bread from time-to-time.

Well, this bread was no exception.  It turned out rather dense as well...again, not complaints...just dense.  I was going to make pannini's with this bread, but it turned out as PERFECT bread for hamburger buns!

Cibatta Rolls (from Panini from the publishers of Fine Cooking):
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon tepid water (70 to 78 degrees)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan and brushing the rolls

Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add the yeast, flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil and stir with a rubber spatula just long enough to blend into a dough.  With a dough hook, mix the dough on low speed (2 on a KitchenAid mixer) for 3 minutes.  Turn the speed to medium high (8 on a KitchenAid mixer) and knead until it clears the sides of the bowl and collects on the hook, becoming smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes more.  at this speed, the mixer will "walk," possibly off the counter, so do not leave unattended.  

Oil a 7x11- inch baking dish.  Scrape the dough into the dish and pat with coiled fingertips to flatten it.  Let it rest and relax for 5 minutes, then use lightly oiled fingertips to push and stretch it across the bottom of the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it has more than doubled in volume and reaches the top of the pan, about 2 hours.

Lightly oil a large baking sheet.  Uncover the dough and place the baking sheet, right side down, on top of the dough.  Invert the dish on to the baking sheet and sake once or twice to release the dough onto the sheet.  

Use a sharp chef's knife to cut the dough into 6 squares, and use the edge of the knife to push the squares 3 inches apart on the baking sheet.  Put 4 short drinking glasses near the corners of the pan and drape a sheet or two of plastic wrap over them so that ti covers the dough pieces and keeps them moist but does not touch them.  Let the dough pieces stand until they have expanded by about 50 percent, about 40 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  Remove the plastic and glasses and bake the rolls until dark golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Brush the hot rolls with olive oil.  Let cool completely on the baking sheet before slicing with a sharp serrated knife. 

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