Thursday, February 17, 2011


Since New Year's I've been seeing a lot of people really getting into a BYOB trend- Baking Your Own Bread.  (like our bread bowls)  Well, my sweet friend Sohira has a tasty and simple recipe for everyone out there trying to "conquer yeast".  Sohira is one of my great friends from college.  We attended her wedding in Aruba in summer of 2009- I showed it to you here. Then last year I tried to throw her a baby shower...but Snowocalypse hit.  Sohira is fun, funny, always positive and encouraging; while I'm sad I don't get to see her often (I have yet to meet her daughter) I'm so glad she is my friend!

When Leigh asked me to guest post onto her blog I almost jumped out of my skin! Blogging?! ME!? YESSSS!!! I read her blog faithfully and have always loved the easy way she whips crafts up.  We have known each other since our freshman year of college – Leigh had to teach me how to make Ramen Noodles (no kidding!!). I have learned a bit since then, though, hence my post today on her fabulous blog!
This past summer I received The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart bread recipe book as a gift and I honestly thought it would be one of my favorite “picture books” – i.e. I would love browsing through it and letting my senses run amok. After a few such sessions I decided to actually try a recipe, the Ciabatta recipe, and I fell in love!!!!

 The recipes or “formulas” as Mr. Reinhart calls them are very detailed and, if followed correctly, are fairly easy! I made the Ciabatta with the one-day pre-ferment called a Poolish (basically consisting of flour, yeast, water) and it is my favorite one to make because it takes you just one day. Some formulas in here call for 2 or 3 days for certain types of bread.
  Josh and Anaïs (my husband and my daughter) always love helping out with the stirring J

 The final product is SOO delicious…technically it must rest for 45 minutes but we make it to 5 minutes before cutting into it (can you blame us, really!?).

So, Leigh, after years of watching you bake, decoupage, decorate, scrapbook, and being your fabulous self, I joined the club and have loved every second of it. I’m actually thinking about getting a sewing machine soon, too!  Aren’t you proud!?!
Yes, Sohira I'm super proud of you!!  Thanks for sharing your recipe, I can't wait to try it!
Poolish (the pre-ferment for the Ciabatta)
2 1/2 cups of unbleached bread flour (I use King Arthur)
1 1/2 cups water, room temp
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (I use Red Star)

Stir ingredients together...dough should be soft and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temp. for 3 to 4 hours.

Ciabatta, Poolish version
3 1/4 cups poolish (the entire recipe above)
3 cups unbleached bread flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
6 tablespoons to 3/4 cup water, lukewarm (I usually use the maximum amount, 3/4 cup)

1. Stir together ingredients. With a large metal spoon (or on low speed with the paddle attachment), mix until form sticky ball. Mix for 5 to 7 minutes (medium speed)
2. Sprinkle enough flour on the counter and stretch and fold dough (hold both ends and stretch, let it rest for 2 minutes, then fold over itself like an envelope).
3. Let rest of 30 minutes. Stretch and fold again, mist with spray oil (I use Pam for baking), dust with flour, and cover. Ferment on the counter for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4. Set up a couche (I take out a sheet pan, line with parchment paper, and sprinkle corn meal/flour mixture on there, with a crease in the middle to hold 2 loaves). Shape bread (cut in two with a pastry scraper, gently roll both sides of dough in a bit of flour.) and mist with spray oil, dust with flour.
5. Proof for 45 to 60 minutes at room temp
6. Prepare the oven for hearth baking (preheat to 500 degrees)
7. (there are some more directions but it's literally 1/2 a page) After 5 minutes turn temp down to 450 and bake loaf for 15-20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through. 
Cool for 45 before slicing (I TOTALLY ignore this one) 


Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

I need to try bread. Great guest post and beeeeautiful wedding. ;)

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

It still sounds really complicated to me! I'm afraid of bread!