I enjoy a challenge almost as much as I enjoy bread. To this end I decided to try myself with a bread based challenge. Ciabatta is Italy’s answer to the French baguette and both are among my favourite breads. I have spend a lot of time trying for the worlds best baguette, and although I may never achieve the perfection I seek, I am satisfied that it is at least very good. Ciabatta, however, I have never tried. In fact I don’t even have a recipe on hand. I don’t know if I’ve even properly seen a recipe, so it could be said I have no clue as to how to make it. Bread is complex enough that simply trying a new recipe for the first tome could be considered a challenge, but I feel like taking it a step further. I’m going to try to recreate ciabatta from scratch, without consulting any recipes, based on my own bread knowledge alone. Continue reading
Many cooks don’t like baking. I am inclined to go so far as to say most don’t. When questioned most of the cooks and chefs who can’t stand to bake quote a lack of patience. Baking does indeed require patience. Personally I find it to be a form of meditation. Nothing more so than bread. All bread takes time and the best bread tends to take the most time. My personal favourite is a French recipe that takes several days. Appropriately we begin with the starter. Continue reading
Despite doing most of my work in pastry, I’m a bread guy at heart. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I could eat an entire loaf of good quality bread in one sitting. Plain. Without butter, even. Really good bread is a rare thing, though. It’s far easier to find in your own kitchen than it will ever be to find in a store. There are of course good breads in good bakeries but that’s not what we’ve all gathered here for, is it.
I get a twisted sense of amusement when people act shocked at the thought of making bread at home. People seem to think that this is a somehow insurmountable task, when really it doesn’t have to be difficult. The rewards are well worth it. Continue reading