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

Monday, March 5, 2012

More is better - ciabatta pan loaves


My bread-baking has evolved again over the past month.  Ever since I stopped letting the no- knead dough rise in my cool (mid-60s) kitchen and am now putting the batter into an old foam cooler with a nightlight, the rise is just terrific.  And the 2nd rise now gets put into a warmed oven so I'm getting the texture I always looked for.

But since there's only me eating this moist chewy goodness, a large slipper loaf started drying out after a couple of days.  So I found that I could divvy the batter into 3 standard loaf pans and make smaller loaves.

They bake in 30 minutes and pop right out of their pans.  The loaves get about 3" high and slice just great for dipping in soups, corralling vegs onto a fork, and (when lightly toasted) make a perfect platform for anything spreadable (from peanut butter to spicy chicken salad).

After I bake a batch, I attack start enjoying one right away and freeze the other two so I don't waste a single slice to dryness.

Now I'm not saying I'm turning into a regular baker, but this past weekend when I went to my go-to veg market, I brought home a 10 POUND bag of their generic hi-gluten bread flour (it beats any package bread flour I've tried up to date).  Even now, somewhere in the back of my mind, I'm thinking ciabatta buns for burgers.  *grin*

Have you ever had so much fun with just one simple basic recipe like this?

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  1. I love having bread on hand. Yours looks super.
    My sis just brought me down (Iowa) a 20 pound back of Sam's bread flour that she uses all the time.

    I need to bake tomorrow. We finished off most of my stash while they were here over the weekend.

    I still try various recipes but have a favorite white and whole wheat version.

    1. Seeing all those pics of your bread on your blog over time encouraged me to find at least one simple bread I could make, so thanks for the push, Glenda. I make up a bowl of batter once a week. Now I have to find a good flat bed recipe/process. :-D

    2. I had to make myself laugh today. I just got my electric bill for February. It's up $7-10 because I've been using the electric oven so much. Errrk.