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

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Spelt ciabatta & crustini

I wanted to see if my no-knead ciabatta process/recipe would work with the softer (and lesser) gluten of spelt flour. 

New Year's Eve I put the spelt to the salt/oil/water & yeast.  (With the lesser gluten, I pumped up the yeast from 1/4" to 1/2" spoon.) It mixed to a very soft and wettish dough.  Hmmm.

Then I covered the bowl and set it to rise in overnight (18 hours).

When I uncovered the dough I saw that the dough HAD risen, but it had started to collapse a good 3/8" to 1/2" down the side of the bowl.

I gently pushed the dough down and just knew that it was way too loose to put it on a flat sheet for the 2nd rise.  I'm sure it would have oozed out to flat.  So I sort of poured it into a 9x9" cake pan for the 2 hour rise.  (In retrospect... why didn't I add more flour at this point?  And would it have been a good thing?)

Well, after 2 hours, I sure wouldn't call it RISING.  All it did was spread out like I predicted.  Oh well - into the oven then.

I let it bake for 40 minutes until it thumped hollow.  I took it out and sliced it in half and saw that while it had crumb, it was very, VERY wet.  So I put the halves back into the oven for another 15 minutes.

When I took them out a LOT of steam came out of the oven.  That showed me there was way too much moisture in the dough.

As you can see from the side, there were yeast bubbles on the bottom of the loaf, where not strong enough to rise the dough very much.  The loaf was only 1.5" tall - and even that height was only achieved from the confines of the cake pan.

I'm not marking this effort as a success - only a learning experience.  If I try this particular (ciabatta recipe) again, I will MOST DEFINITELY reduce the liquid in the batter.

But - waste not, want not, I did cut some 1/4" slices, spritzed with EVOO and toasted them to make crustini.   They made a fair addition to lunch.  One thing I noticed, with this being a yeast bread (unlike the soda bread) the spelt ended up tasting a lot like rye - which is not a bad thing in my book.

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