From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Saturday, February 18, 2012

More cheers for Ciabatta!

Ever wonder if you could bake the no-knead Ciabatta in a loaf pan?  Well, I did.  So today's experiment was to try.

First I split the batch of 18-hour risen dough.  One for the loaf pan, and the other half for future pizzas, then waited for the 2-hour re-rise.

As if baking in a loaf pan wasn't enough of a fun experiment, I decided to bake it in the little toaster oven.  I used my oven thermometer and found out a setting of 360F warmed the oven up to the required 425F. (I NEVER trust temp settings on small appliances.  Heck, even my large oven is off by 30-40 degrees, so it's wise to have a good oven thermometer on hand, especially for baking.)

I baked the bread for 20 minutes at this temp, then lowered the temp gauge back to 350F for another 10 minutes.

And it was done!

It didn't rise as much as I expected (and feared - not much clearance in the toaster oven) and popped right out of the pan (a standard 9x5).  The finished loaf was a nice 3.5" high.  Perhaps next time I'll slice the top before baking and see if it puffs up any higher.

Today was a double success - not only the loaf pan project, but using the toaster oven.  It saved me having to fire up (and preheat) the big oven.  Also the loaf was done in 8 minutes less than the conventional full-size loaf would have required in the stove.

As for the other half of the initial risen dough, I cut it in half and bagged up both and put them in a jar in the 'fridge.  I'll use 1 soon for a small pizza (now that I've got THAT figured out!), but as for the other one, I'm going to see if it can be frozen, then re-thawed for a later pizza crust.  Stay tuned.

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